Fowler’s day ended seven minutes later, though, with his second yellow for a tackle that cleaned out Needs, giving the Crusaders the manpower advantage for the game’s final half hour.

It was the second of three yellow cards drawn by Needs, to go along with a couple of dangerous free kicks in the first half where Needs also hit the deck.

“I knew all I had to do was keep my head together and let the refs take care of it,’ Needs said. “When (Fowler) finally took my down the first time, I wasn’t sure if they were going to give me the PK or not, but as soon as they did they gave him the yellow.’

Needs cashed in on the manpower edge almost immediately, the momentum snowballing with each passing minute and each charge up the field. He tied the career mark in the 55th minute, cutting back from the right channel to evade a defender and blasting a left-footed shot into the net.

After stinging the crossbar in the 57th minute with a side-footed drive from near the penalty spot, he assumed ownership of the Delco career record all by his lonesome in the 70th. Back from a three-minute rest on the sideline to change his blood-stained No. 14 jersey, Needs received a feed from Skaer near the center of the box and tucked his shot home, drawing his team back to level terms.

“He’s one heck of a player,’ Gloucester Christian defender Bill Scanlon said. “He’s the best player in the league by far. He’s extremely fast and a very hard guy to guard. … He’s so hard to shut down. There’s really nothing you can do to shut him down completely, but just limit him as much as you can. That’s really the goal.’

And then there was the championship clincher, another hopeful ball from Nahom Kenna’s right wing placed into space down the left channel for Needs to get behind the defense. He ran onto the ball and took a touch to provide the space to brandish once more his positively lethal finishing touch.

“This was single-handedly the best performance I’ve ever seen from a soccer player,’ Dennstaedt said. “I’ve been around the game for a while and I’ve been in a lot of soccer games, I’ve watched a lot of soccer games. And I just have never seen somebody just basically take over a half and say I’m not going to lose this game.’

Given the choice between the milestones achieved Tuesday, Needs couldn’t distinguish which was dearest. Then again, he spent a lot of time on the field making sure he wouldn’t have to.

“The record is something that can last forever, but the championship is something inside that will last forever, knowing my senior year we were able to pull it together,’ Needs said. “From the start of my freshman year, that was the goal every year, to win the championship. And to pull that off, last game of my career, that’s the bottom line. That’s the sweetest memory I’ll have.’