OWINGS MILLS — There was 9.1 seconds left in the Class 4A/3A boys lacrosse state title game between Churchill and Severna Park at Stevenson University, and Falcons’ attack Jack Thomas — positioned behind the net — had one job to do with everything on the line.
“Just had to go right away,” he said.
Thomas bolted to the right side of the cage and, when five seconds remained, sealed a Churchill defender to fire a tie-breaking bullet into the back of the net that set Stevenson University unglued. It gave the Falcons their first lead of the night, but it didn’t matter, three seconds was all they needed as the last-second goal lifted Severna Park over Churchill on Wednesday night, 7-6.
Under-1:30 to go: Churchill 6, Severna Park 6 – Class 4A/3A boys lax state championship https://t.co/gxuZ08bqfS
— Kyle McFadden (@k_fadd) May 25, 2017
With the win, Severna Park (20-0) caps an undefeated season and captures its second state title in as many years. It’s the seventh boys’ lacrosse state championship in school history, and 37th win a row.
“I can’t even describe it right now,” Thomas said. “Pretty speechless.”
The series of events left both sides speechless. While Thomas was lost for words in the presser, Churchill players and coaches and sank to the turf in mesmerization; distraught that another chance to win the school’s first ever state title.
“Couldn’t be able to make a play we’ve made all year,” Churchill coach Jeff Fritz said of Thomas’ goal with three seconds to go. “Just disappointing. … Unfortunately, we didn’t make enough plays. That’s all that it is.”
Despite winning 2 of 15 faceoffs and falling behind 3-0 in the first 11 minutes of regulation, Severna Park dug deep with a suffocating defense and an unrelenting attack, forcing 17 turnovers — 11 in the second half — to outscore Churchill 7-3 in the final 28 minutes of regulation.
“It says a lot about the character of these guys,” Severna Park coach Dave Earl said. “Can’t say enough about our players and the support from the administration. It’s been awesome this year. Hats off to Churchill; extremely good team, very well coached. They had a great gameplan against us, really took advantage of their opportunities. They took us out of our run-and-gun style.”
After Jack Taylor, Spencer Knife (three goals) and Reed Moshyedi propelled the Bulldogs to a 3-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, Trevor Patschorke and Chase Cope scored goals within three minutes of each other midway in the second to bring Severna Park within one, 3-2.
Knife gave Churchill some more breathing room in the opening four minutes of the second half, 4-2, with an unassisted goal, but Severna Park responded immediately with a two-goal swing from Cian Chung and Thomas to push it into a stalemate at 4-4.
For the final 12 minutes, Churchill grabbed one-goal leads twice, only to have it slip away by Severna Park goals from Patschorke, with the latest coming at the 1:53 mark to make it 6-6.
That 1:53 waned to 0:09, with Earl orchestrating the final move in a timeout huddle. Thomas took his ground behind the net, chugged to the right side, sealed, pivoted, and fired. The rest, with another state championship trophy bagged, was history.