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Lacrosse: South boys rout Mountain View in first round, 18-1
South Forsyth junior Austin Uidel, right, gets around a Mountain View defender Wednesday during the War Eagles' 18-1 win in the first round of the Class 6A-7A playoffs. - photo by David Roberts

Ethan Duerk earned his 200th faceoff win of the season last week.

On Wednesday, he added a few more.

Duerk won all but one faceoff, nine different players scored a goal, and South Forsyth routed Mountain View 18-1 Wednesday at War Eagle Stadium to open the Class 6A-7A playoffs.

"We've got so much talent, but they spread the ball around. They're not being selfish," South boys lacrosse coach Steve Hurlbut said. "It's easy for guys who have really talented scorers, for coaches to build an offense around that one guy or those two guys. But these coaches are encouraging the guys to move the ball around and that's what makes these guys really good."

That movement was on display early. Andrew Canaway scored the first goal off an assist from Chris Vitucci, then Zachary Layne doubled the lead off a pass by Ryan Lightsey. Lightsey scored back-to-back goals toward the end of the first quarter, the first one unassisted and the second shot from an assist by Carter Peterson. 

In all, 13 different players logged either a goal or an assist for South.

Canaway, Lightsey and Peterson each had three goals, while Vitucci and Peterson added three assists. Lightsey also aided a pair of goals.  

South flashed its quick-strike capability at the end of the first quarter, when the War Eagles scored two goals nine seconds apart.

After Canaway scored with 54.8 seconds remaining, Duerk won the ensuing faceoff and sprinted upfield and passed it to Canaway, who found Clay Walsh waiting to the right of the net. Walsh quickly dumped it in to make it 7-0 with 45.7 seconds left in the quarter.

Duerk won seven faceoffs in the opening quarter, helping South dominate time of possession. 

"I mean, that's such a huge position, because if you can't get possession, you can't get the ball and you can't score," Hurlbut said. "There's really, really good teams out there with a lot of great attackmen and middies, but if you can't win faceoffs, it really limits what you can do. We're just really fortunate to get Ethan, and he works so hard in the offseason. He's playing summer travel teams, he's hitting the weight room and works in the fall. He's so dedicated, so we're really lucky to have him with us."

Duerk collected his 200th faceoff win of the season April 22 during a 17-2 win against Sequoyah.

"It's huge. But it's not just me — it's my team," Duerk said. "They all have my back and I have their back. It really means a lot."

South goalie Ethan Barlag had back-to-back saves to open the second quarter and didn't allow a goal until Connor Barlan's shot bounced past him and into the net with 40 seconds left in the half. 

South added a couple of highlight-reel goals late in the quarter, when Austin Uidel scooped up a ground ball around midfield, dashed through Mountain View's half and fired a shot into the back of the net. Lightsey's impressive over-the-shoulder shot with 2:40 before halftime gave South a 10-0 lead and triggered a running clock.

South (14-4) will face the winner of Evans/Woodstock next week in the second round of the Class 7A playoffs.

"They're staying focused, but what's important is they know it's one game at a time," Hurlbut said. "Now that we've got this one locked down, we're going to go after tomorrow. And these guys know, especially the seniors, nothing's promised. Nothing's guaranteed. The clock resets tonight."