Unbeaten Rock Lions take down two powerhouses

Published 10:52 am Monday, October 10, 2022

The Rock Church School soccer team recently enjoyed two huge non-conference wins against some of the best programs in the Virginia Beach and Richmond areas.

On Sept. 20, the Rock Lions took their talents on the road to face Atlantic Shores Christian School. The game was a close one at halftime with a score of 2-1. D.J. Dillon had Rock’s two first-half goals to get the Lions the lead. 

In the second half Rock continued to feed Dillon, who recorded four second-half goals. 

The Atlantic Shores Seahawks were stunned as they put one goal in late to make it a 6-2 loss. The Rock Lions had taken down a giant.

“We were elated at the outcome,” Lions Head Coach Danny Dillon said. “Atlantic Shores out-possessed us 70 to 30 because of their size and speed, but they did not have an answer for D.J. That kid continues to amaze me!”

Two days later, Rock traveled to play a junior- and senior-loaded Grace Christian School team, one of the top-10 soccer programs at the Division I level of the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association. The Rock Lions were smaller at almost every position. 

The Grace Christian Kings came out on fire and scored within the first 30 seconds of the game. It appeared that the Lions were going to be outmatched. However, the Lions regrouped and found D.J. Dillon, who would score about a minute later to tie things at 1-1. 

Dillon went on to out-muscle and out-skill three King defenders to score two more goals before the half. Both goals were struck across field and hit just inside the far goalpost. 

The Kings were stunned to find themselves down 3-1 but knew there were still 40 minutes to play. 

Rock came out and was led by a stout defense comprised by Cole Butler, Seth Woodward, Miles Dawkins, Luke Blythe, Justin Temple and Alex Deaton. They held off shot after shot, while Rylan Holloman, Rock’s goalie, had great saves as well. 

Dillon put one more goal in with about 10 minutes left that would seal the deal. Sterling Myers, of Grace Christian, would score with about two minutes left, but it was too little, too late. The Rock Lions won by a score of 4-2, shocking the Kings. 

“It was some of the best two wins in our history,” Coach Dillon said. “These schools have more students in their senior class than we have in our entire school. Our defense and goalie were phenomenal. Our five seniors have been playing together for 10 years, and it showed. D.J. was on a different level. Their coach said he was one of the best soccer players he’d ever seen! God keeps honoring us with these big victories. We continue to give Him the glory. So glad we can represent Rock and the city of Franklin/SoCo in such a great manner!”