GRAYLING -- Despite being without three starters, the Grayling boys soccer team pulled out a 2-2 tie with Gaylord and then cruised to an 8-0 trouncing of Roscommon in a game ended four minutes early because of the eight-goal lead mercy rule in Saturday's tri meet at home.

 

The Vikings are 3-0-1 in their last four games, improving their season record to 5-1-1 as they prepare for a big week of competition starting with tonight's 5 p.m. home game with Charlevoix.

After opening the Gaylord game with a goal in the first six minutes, and feeling comfortable with their chances despite playing shorthanded, the Vikings failed to keep the momentum. Eliot Boik controlled a long ball off the foot of Anthony Harrington, measured the Gaylord goalie and sent a shot that found the back of the net to give the Vikings a 1-0 lead.

But the Blue Devils shook off that early deficit and rallied to tie the game, 1-1 with about 14 minutes left in the first half. That's how the score stood when the two teams broke for the break.

"We felt good being tied 1-1 going into the half," Grayling head coach Andy Moore said. "We felt real positive, especially for the formation we were running with the three kids out. We knew one right away that we were going to have for the weekend, and then two more we found out in the morning.

"So, we really had to change our strategy for the day, or at least for that game.

"But they handled it well. We some had some kids who've had a lot of bench time now who played a lot in the game, and they stepped up and played well. We picked up a couple kids this week who have played soccer before, and decided to play again. They were a little rusty, of course, but they played well."

The Vikings reclaimed the lead, 2-1 early in the second half, and then went into defensive mode in an attempt to hold the lead. Gaylord spoiled those plans, though, without about 10 minutes left in regulation.

Grayling goalie Logan Cobb recorded nine saves for the game. 

Moore confessed he was little shocked with the outcome of the Roscommon game, feeling it would be a little closer than it turned out to be. But, the Vikings just took it to Bucks early and never took their foot off the gas.

 

Boik converted a penalty kick just one minute into the game, and the Vikings just kept the pressure up on the Bucks from there. Moore changed the lineup a little bit, and the Vikings just clicked. They built a 5-0 lead by the half.

Jacob Schade scored three goals for a hat trick to lead the Vikings, Boik and Cam Ketchum each scored two and Harrington added one. Boik and Ketchum each had two assists while Mitch Harrington added one.

 

Grayling defeated Kalkaska, 8-0 last Thursday with Boik accounting for five goals, Schade two and Ketchum one. Schade added two assists, Anthony Harrington two with Bryson Cobb, Andrew Walsh and Ketchum adding one apiece.

 

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