Ramirez hat trick leads Lanett past Valley

Published 10:56 pm Thursday, March 16, 2023

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It may be Lanett’s first season on the pitch, but the rivalry is alive and well as the Panthers marched into Ram Stadium and walked all over the Rams with a 7-1 victory.

Lanett was led by Freyder Ramirez who scored five goals.

Panther head coach Jakobi McCants was thrilled to get the victory over their cross-town rival.

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“It was a team effort,” McCants said.

“Everybody played together. We preach communication and spacing, and that’s what we did tonight. We knew what their energy would be tonight. We came together and did what we needed to do,”

The Panthers struck first 15 minutes into the game, but Valley answered with a free kick 12 minutes later to tie it up.

Lanett’s forwards had too much speed, and the Panthers cut through Valley’s defense to take a 2-1 lead heading into halftime.

Lanett kept the pressure up in the second half and started to unsettle the Rams as the Panthers scored four minutes into the half to make it a 3-1 game.

Valley only had a couple chances on the other end, and Lanett took a 4-1 lead with only 28 minutes left in the game.

Ramirez for the Panthers earned a hat trick with his third goal a minute later to make it a 5-1 game.

Ramirez scored two more goals in the final 20 minutes to seal the rivalry win for the Panthers.

McCants was thrilled with Ramirez’ leadership.

“He’s been that strong for every game we’ve had,” McCants said.

“He’s taken our offense above and beyond. I’m very proud of him.”

For Valley head coach Will Elliott, he knew Lanett would be a challenge.

“I felt like Lanett started being a lot more physical and intentional with their passing,” Elliott said.

The game got chippy toward the end, but Elliott made sure to settle his guys down.

“We have always preached sportsmanship and blocking out outside noise,” Elliott said.

“Constant reminders of being mentally tough and telling our kids that regardless of the score that they are fine was key.”