Grangers stay red-hot

By Kevin Eckleberry

March 16, 2014

They just keep rolling along.

Facing a First Presbyterian team ranked fourth in Class A, the LaGrange Grangers got a pair of first-half goals from Michael Brackett, and they made that lead stand up on the way to a 2-0 victory Saturday night at Callaway Stadium.

The Grangers have won seven of their past eight matches, and they improved to 7-2 heading into Tuesday’s Region 5-AAAA showdown at Fayette County.

The Grangers dominated the action in the first half on Saturday and had numerous scoring opportunities, but that didn’t translate into a goal through the first 34 minutes of the game.

Finally, with 5:58 showing on the clock, Brackett found the net, giving LaGrange the 1-0 lead.

It took the Grangers less than a minute to score again.

Once again Brackett did the honors, with his goal with 5:02 left in the half pushing the lead to 2-0.

Brackett now has seven goals for the season, tying him for the team lead with Jackson Fagundes.

In the second half, First Presbyterian showed a lot of fight and was able to keep the ball on LaGrange’s side of the field much of the time.

“There’s a reason why they’re number four in their (classification),” LaGrange coach Keita Placide said. “The second half, they came to play and put us on our heels. We had a couple of opportunities as well to put it away.”

LaGrange’s defense made sure the two-goal lead would be enough, though.

Goal keeper Michael Coffman had eight saves to help LaGrange secure its fourth shutout victory in its past five games.

The Grangers were a bit short-handed because of injuries on Saturday, but the fill-ins were up to the challenge.

“Most of my starting players are a little injured right now,” Placide said. “But all the kids are working hard.”

LaGrange will put its 3-0 region record on the line against Fayette County, and it will visit Sandy Creek on March 25 before hosting Columbus on March 27 in a game that could decided the region championship.