Jonathon Fant isn’t sure how he fared on his AP Statistics exam, but he knew just how to solve Colonial Forge’s numbers problem.

One of three Eagles starters who missed the start of Thursday’s game at Riverbend due to a conflict with the college-level assessments, Fant made his way onto the wet track during halftime wearing a pair of dark-colored moccasins.

The reigning Free Lance–Star boys lacrosse player of the year slipped into uniform just before play resumed and proceeded to post some impressive stats of his own. Fant netted a hat trick during a decisive third quarter, helping Colonial Forge pass its toughest Conference 4 test yet with a 15–10 Conference 4 victory over the Bears.

During their rainy, 30-minute slog down Interstate 95, Fant and teammate Jacob Martinez blasted the likes of Meek Mill, Lil Uzi and 21 Savage to aid their mental transition from logarithms to lacrosse.

“When we got here we were just shaking,” Fant said. “We were ready to play.”

The College Board claimed victims on both sidelines, but the Eagles were forced to go it for a span without Fant, a top threat on offense, long-stick midfielder Jacob Benoit and Martinez, the team’s starting goalie.

“It really put us in somewhat of a bind,” Colonial Forge coach Phillip Fant said.

Riverbend took advantage, tightening its grip on possession from the game’s opening whistle. The Bears (9–2, 4–1) pulled ahead 4–2 on J.T. Harvey’s score with 3:50 left in the period.

But if the Eagles were undermanned, they were also undeterred. At practice on Wednesday, the elder Fant delivered a clear message: Instead of dwelling on potential absences, each player needed to stand and be counted.

“Who’s going to be the next person to step up?” Fant said. “This is lacrosse: goals are going to be scored, but ultimately we need to know who’s going to be there when we don’t have everyone to start the game.”

Junior Jacob Wilhelm announced his presence early and often. The sturdy attackman tallied four goals, buoying the Eagles’ offense until reinforcements arrived. After finding itself trailing, Colonial Forge (11–1, 5–0) reeled off five straight goals to take a 7–5 lead into halftime.

“Jon’s captain of the team so he basically tells us what to do,” Wilhelm said. “Since he wasn’t there, me and Tyler Howard [two goals and an assist] just had to take it into our hands.”

Colonial Forge also received a competent performance from its backup backstop. Pressed into net for Martinez, junior goalie Matthew Dayley stymied several Riverbend shots during his half of play.

Jacob Calabrese led Riverbend with three goals, while Harvey and Ian Smith scored two apiece. The Bears will likely see Colonial Forge again during the postseason, and a few dominating stretches Thursday could erase some of the Eagles’ mystique, said Riverbend coach Sean Mack.

“For some reason, Forge has this name that everybody seems to be afraid of,” Mack said. “We’ll have another opportunity—hopefully in the conference finals—and I think the boys will be ready for that game.”

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Joey LoMonaco: 540/368-5045

jlomonaco@freelancestar.com

@joeylomonaco

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