CHAUMONT — It seemed like when nature’s clock reached 8 p.m., long after the sun had set and the second half was ready to begin, the “on” switch was emphatically put in place by the Belleville Henderson boys soccer team.

After spotting Lyme a one-goal halftime lead, the Panthers came out like gang busters, scoring five goals, to defeat the Indians, 5-2, in Friday night’s key Frontier League “D” Division match at Lyme High School.

It looked like initially the Indians, who played a spirited first half and drove hard to the net, had a chance to hand the Panthers their first league loss in three seasons.

But, as a famous football prognosticator says, “Ah, not so fast my friend.”

The Panthers scored two goals in the second half’s first seven minutes to wipe out the Indians’ advantage, and then added three more goals in a 5-minute, 25-second span for five unanswered overall to salt the game away.

“I think sometimes the guys can’t score in a half to give me a heart attack,” a now relieved Panthers coach Shawn Maloney said afterward. “They are a resilient group and they will figure out a way to get it going.”

The Panthers (11-0 overall, 10-0 league) are in prime position to wrap up their third straight “D” Division while sending their nearest competitor, Lyme, to a pair of 7-2 records.

Senior Kyle Moyer was certainly the motor to the Panthers’ offense, setting up two goals and assisting on two others after the break.

Brayden Richmond (penalty kick), Hayden Allen and Kenny Zehr also tallied for the Panthers.

“Lyme played hard in the first half and had scoring chances, but we were a little frustrated, then regrouped at the half and guys really turned up the pressure,” Maloney said.

“Once Brayden scored the first goal, everything came together,” said Moyer, who now leads the FL in overall scoring with 19 goals and 8 assists for 46 points. Richmond isn’t that far behind at 19-7-45.

“We relaxed more after Brayden’s first goal,” Moyer said.

Lyme coach Rob Goutremout was not a fan on the penalty called inside the box against his team.

“Basically they scored and then everything snowballed against us,” Goutremout said. “We got (down on ourselves) and never recovered.”

Sophomore striker Derek Radley scored his 11th goal of the season for a little consolation with 8:44 remaining.

The Indians played a solid first half, thanks to pressuring the Panthers’ defense, scoring a goal by Jon LaFontaine for a 1-0 edge, and relying on keeper Evan Froelich’s mostly acrobatic five first-half saves.

“I thought Evan really played outstanding in the first half,” Moyer said.

The Panthers took the lead for good on Allen’s goal, converting a nice setup from Moyer with 33:12 left in the second half.

Zehr finished off a great cross from Moyer with 20:35 remaining before Moyer scored with 16:11 left and then Moyer utilized his speed with a pass from Richmond to finish off the BH scoring.

Maloney put Moyer back on the defensive line to help protect the lead and he inserted younger players up front to get experience.

“Our goal is to win the league and Section 3 titles, like every year,” Moyer said.

In a twist for 2021, Goutremout said there will be no FL playoffs, “and we would like another shot to play them again.”

“This one stung,” Goutremout said. “We won’t forget this and now we will come out Monday (at Copenhagen).”

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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