Two of the top teams in the state squared off for Oakland Activities Association Red division supremacy on Tuesday night.
Rochester Adams, powered by two first-half goals from junior forward Parker Raymond, prevailed 2-0 over Troy Athens while corralling three points to claim the top spot in the division standings heading into the season's home stretch.
Adams (11-3-2, 4-0-2), ranked second in the state by the Michigan High School Soccer Coaches Association, has 14 points while third-ranked Athens is in second with 12. Each team has one division game remaining this season.
Raymond scored the first goal off a corner served up by Ryan Alda, and he knocked his second home just before the half when he took a 30-yard pass from Kelton Schultz and finished on the run.
"He was on a tear in the first half and took over," Adams coach Josh Hickey said of Raymond. "He got free a couple of times and made the most of those opportunities."
Athens (13-3, 4-2) came out in the second half determined to get back in the game, but Adams junior goalie Logan Janes wasn't about to let that happen.
Janes made four key saves, and Adams' defense, which benefitted from a couple of misfires by Athens, did just enough to secure the big win.
"It was a big game," Hickey said. "They came out in the second half and wanted to take it to us. They were ready to go. Our back line and our keeper held it together."
With a win over Troy next week, Adams would clinch the always tough Red.
Athens would need a win over Clarkston next week, coupled with an Adams loss, to win the division outright.
An Adams tie and an Athens win would see the two teams share the division crown.
Geoff Robinson is a freelance writer