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Franklinton tops Southern Nash in final seconds

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FRANKLINTON — With four seconds left in the game, Franklinton’s boys soccer team sank the game-winning goal against Southern Nash to beat them in the Big East conference tournament semifinals 2-1 at home Tuesday.

The recent rivalry between Franklinton and Southern Nash added another chapter to their story with a big win that secured a second-place spot for the Red Rams in the conference standings and a possible top seed in the 3A state playoffs.

Southern Nash scored the first goal of the match in the first half, but Franklinton tied it up right before halftime off a long shot goal from Lucas Martinez.

The second half was a defensive battle between the two squads. None of them could find a way to take the lead.

Then with four seconds left, Franklinton’s Aryan Ahmadi ripped a 25-yard shot off a pass from Josiah Caronna. The ball went over the Southern Nash goalkeeper and into the top left corner of the net for the game-winning goal.

“It was an amazing goal,” Franklinton head coach Bert Woodburn said. “It should go on the Top 10 list at ESPN for plays of the week. It was an exciting game from start to finish.”

The goal was a moment of redemption for Ahmadi. In Franklinton’s first match against Southern Nash on Oct. 7, the Red Rams seemingly tied the match at 1-1 with minutes left in the contest off a header from Ahmadi. However, the official ruled it a no-goal and Franklinton ended up losing 1-0 at home, making it their first and only loss at home this season.

More than two weeks later, Franklinton exacted revenge on the Firebirds with a 1-0 victory on the road in the final game of the regular season that made them tie for second place in the conference behind Fike.

The conference tournament win improved Franklinton to a 19-4-1 overall record. The Red Rams will play Fike in the Big East conference tournament championship.