Hunter Norton's left-footed blast from 6 yards away Tuesday night gave Greenbrier a 2-1 boys soccer win over Evans.
In a season full of lopsided wins for the Wolfpack, they needed all 80 minutes to turn back their county rival in a meeting of region champions.
Norton's decisive strike crossed the goal line as time expired, sending Norton sprinting in celebration toward his teammates and the Evans players dashing toward the referee, arguing that not only had time run out, but a Greenbrier player hit the ball with his hand just before the goal.
Norton could offer no argument to the last point.
"My brother (Reed Norton) handled the ball," he said after the game.
By then it didn't matter. And Greenbrier, the Region 2-AAAAA champion, improved to 13-0. Evans, which won Region 3-AAAA, fell to 9-2-3.
Norton assisted Kelechi Erondu on the Wolfpack's first goal in the first five minutes. He collected a diagonal pass, scooted past a defender and centered toward the penalty spot, where Erondu raced through the sloppy field and one-touched the ball into the corner.
That goal stood until Evans junior Joe Rizner headed in a direct kick with 2:28 left. It was the Knights' only shot of the second half.
"We knew if we let a good team hang around, that would happen," Greenbrier coach Chip Warren said.
Evans spent most of the game scrambling to defend its goal, save for a few sustained minutes in the first half when it kept the ball in Greenbrier's defensive third and chose to test the goalkeeper from 25 or 30 yards out. Greenbrier goalie Devin Lemaire made six saves in the first half, but halftime replacement Brandon Sanders didn't have to do much beyond collecting two long crosses.
Greenbrier didn't score again until the final seconds, though it had plenty of opportunities. One shot caromed off the left post, and a superb save from Evans goalkeeper Jeff DuMond in the final minute of the first half smothered another chance.
DuMond never had a chance on the final shot, though the Knights argued that it shouldn't have mattered.
"We should have gone to overtime, and we had all the momentum," Evans coach Brian Killips said.
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