ELIZABETHTOWN — Greyson Heustess booted home the game-winner early in Saturday’s Class 2-A East, first-round playoff match against No. 9 seed North Brunswick and Brooks McGill added the insurance goal late in the match to send No. 8 seed East Bladen ahead.
The Eagles’ reward? A long bus ride to face undefeated No. 1 seed First Flight, 16-0-2, at Kill Devil Hills.
East Bladen wasted little time Saturday to get on the scoreboard. McGill pounced on a loose ball near midfield and crushed a long pass downfield that found Heustess behind the defense. Heustess corralled the ball and ripped a shot home from in close for a 1-0 Eagles lead just 6 minutes in.
East Bladen continued to force the pressure throughout the rest of the half, but came up empty on several chances to extend the lead. The match remained 1-0 at intermission.
Through the first 30 minutes of the second half, neither team could threaten as the two defenses stayed solid. But the Eagles finally found a crack in the Scorpions’ defense with about 10 minutes left in regulation.
This time, it was Heustess who lofted a long pass downfield and found a streaking McGill, who left a defender in his dust and found the back of the net with a shot that doubled the Est Bladen advantage to 2-0.
The Eagles’ defense took over from there, wrapping up the playoff win.
East Bladen netminder Spencer Scott recorded eight saves against North Brunswick, and the Eagles improved to 15-5-1.
West Bladen blanked
The good news for the Knights was that they were awarded a Class 2-A East playoff berth. The bad news was that they were saddled with a No. 16 seed and a 550-mile round-trip to Kill Devil Hills on Saturday to face the top-seeded Nighthawks of First Flight.
West Bladen managed to limit the damage — especially in a first half that saw the Nighthawks score just two goals for a 2-0 edge at halftime.
But First Flight, even while clearing its bench, scored three goals on the second half and sent the Knighyts home with a 5-0 loss.
West Bladen completed it season with an 8-13-1 record.