Blue Devils take it to limit to secure 20th conference championship in program history

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EAST MOLINE, Ill. — Before leaving Flinn Stadium on Friday night, Quincy High School girls soccer coach Travis Dinkheller told his leg-weary team he needed 80 more quality minutes from them to complete a weekend sweep.

“If it takes 100, then we’ll play 100,” Dinkheller said.

How prophetic.

Saturday’s Western Big 6 Conference championship showdown with United Township was tied at 1 at the end of regulation, which meant a pair of 10-minute overtime periods had to be played. So to win a title it was going to take those 100 minutes.

“You could see they were tired coming off at the end of the second half,” Dinkheller said. “I told them, ‘There are a lot of reasons why you could pack it in, but 20 more minutes for a lifetime of memories. I told them we didn’t have a choice and we had to go out and do it. And they did.”

Rian Moore and Bri Lannerd scored two minutes apart in the first overtime and the Blue Devils made the lead last, earning a 3-1 victory to finish the WB6 slate undefeated with the 20th conference title in program history.

“It was something special,” Dinkheller said.

They’ll have something new to wear, too.

“We’ve gotten them WB6 championship t-shirts when we’ve won the conference title in the past,” Dinkheller said. “Afterward, (senior goalkeeper) Taylor Fohey said, ‘Do we get new t-shirts?’ And I said, ‘Absolutely, 100 percent.’”

The Blue Devils (12-4-1, 7-0 WB6) took the lead 14 minutes into the game when Lannerd scored off a Moore corner kick.

“That combination is quite insane,” Dinkheller said.

The Panthers (10-2-2, 6-1 WB6) scored the equalizer 11 minutes into the second half. It stayed tied at 1 until overtime. Three minutes into the first extra period, Moore scored off a Lannerd assist. Two minutes later, Lannerd scored an unassisted goal.

“They were really exceptional goals,” Dinkheller said.

The fact they secured a conference crown made them even better.

“These girls earned it,” Dinkheller said.

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