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With speed for days, Franklin boys soccer Darren Green is a goal-scoring threat at any moment.

JAIME VALDEZ-PORTLAND TRIBUNE - Sept. 08, 2021; Portland, OR, USA; Franklin's midfielder Darren Green (10) dribbles around the defense of Jesuit at Franklin High School. Photo by Jaime Valdez-Portland TribuneDarren Green knows it takes a team effort to win, but he says he can do a little more in his role.

Of course, the senior speedster's role for the Franklin High School boys soccer team is to score goals.

And score goals he does.

{obj:56682: Against preseason No. 1 Jesuit on Wednesday night, Sept. 8,} Green found the back of the net three times for a hat trick, giving his preseason No. 6 and defending champion Lightning squad a 5-2 win.

After winning the state title in 2019 as the No. 14 seed, the first in program history, Franklin hopes to capture that same lightning-in-a-bottle energy from the 2019 state title run, and Green looks to be the storm to provide it.

"Me personally, I feel like I haven't been scoring as many goals as I want to, so I was trying to find the back of the net," Green said. "I feel like I can go on a scoring streak from here on out, I feel like that opened my confidence up."

Confidence is what Lightning coach Jose Milian preached to his team in order to avoid slow starts like the one his squad saw against Jesuit when they fell behind 1-0 in the first five minutes.

Green helped turn it around quickly though. After Franklin tied the game at 1, Green scored back-to-back goals within 50 seconds of each other and made it 3-1 Lightning right before halftime

Hearing the confidence from Green and actually seeing it take place on the field is a boost not only on the scoreboard, but for the whole team.

"(Green's) a natural," Lightning coach Jose Milian said. "He's been practicing his craft and there's no doubt that he's one of the elite players in the state.

"Darren is one hell of a great player, and he'd be the first one to tell you … This win took everyone to win and that's the most important thing for us."

Green's hat trick was a reflection of how it takes a whole team since someone had to get him the ball to begin with.

His first two goals, scored less than a minute between each other, started with turnovers at midfield that turned into breakaways on solid entry passes.The third came on a free kick when another on-point entry pass gave Jesuit defenders no other option but to push Green to the ground.

After each goal, Green took to the corner to celebrate with his teammates, a celebration that senior goalie Emilio Bucardo was excited to take part in after the win with Green.

"That's like Ronaldo, man. Did you see that free kick? It bent so nice," Bucardo said on Green's third goal. "Darren is a good person, he's funny, but when we're on the field he knows it's time to work, the jokes stop. But once we're off the field, we have fun all the time."

Being seniors, Green and Bucardo saw first hand what it takes to become a state-champion team from the 2019 season.

When it comes down to it, in Green's eyes, it's all about being a family off the field and putting in the work on the pitch.

"The biggest thing I think is it's like a family and the work ethic is really high," Green said, "In training we try to develop that and we do whatever we can to make sure this is family oriented and we do whatever we can to get the win."

Things don't get easier for the Franklin family next week when it takes on La Salle Prep on Tuesday and plays Central Catholic the following night on Wednesday.

With Green sprinting toward the goal though, teams should be weary that lightning could strike twice at any moment.

Maybe even thrice.

PMG Managing Editor of Sports Austin White can be reached by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on Twitter @ajw_sports.

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