DENVER — A dominant boys' lacrosse season for Cheyenne Mountain ended in a stunning, unthinkable collapse.
Joe Brock scored the golden goal to lift underdog Golden from a seemingly insurmountable first-half deficit en route to a thrilling 10-9 overtime win over the top-ranked Indians in Monday's Class 4A state championship game at a rain-soaked All-City Stadium.
"I'm at a loss for words," Cheyenne Mountain senior Ike Eastburn said.
The Indians' postgame mood was considerably different from than a year ago. In 2018, Cheyenne Mountain earned an 8-6 win over top-seeded Dawson to claim the program's first state title.
On Monday, the senior-heavy Indians quickly packed up, did a few postgame interviews and hopped on the bus as rain continued to fall. They were headed to have perhaps their last team meal together, ready to move onto the next chapter.
"This is not the way they wanted to write this story," Indians coach Mike Paige said, "but they have bigger and better things to focus on in their lives."
Eastburn, Zak Paige, Deano Johnson and James LaCerte each had two goals for the Indians (16-3), who, up until Monday, had not lost to a Colorado team this season. Their two previous losses came against teams in a tournament in Virginia.
Cole Mika had four assists for Cheyenne Mountain, and goalie Liam Hybl finished with 13 saves.
It looked as if the Indians were in complete control from the start. In fact, Eastburn ignited the onslaught just 15 seconds into the game with his first score. And Cheyenne Mountain kept scoring and scoring.
The Indians were up 7-2 before Brock scored a goal just seconds before halftime. The Demons (13-6) weren't intimidated by the deficit, rallying in the second half with score after score and a strong defensive performance to tie it up 9-9 at end of regulation.
It was the first overtime state championship game since 2000.
Two minutes in, Brock supplied the heroics with his third goal — to go along with an assist — and the rest of the Demons joyously ran across field while throwing their sticks, gloves and helmets in the sky.
A few Cheyenne Mountain players fell to the ground in disbelief or put their heads down.
As the No. 7 seed, Golden showed all postseason it wasn't going to back down from anyone. Ultimately, the Demons beat the top three seeds en route to their first state banner.
"Give all the credit to that team," Eastburn said. "They fight for everything."
One moment that stood out happened late in the third quarter. Zak Paige threw a beautiful assist to Wiley Burkett, who then put the ball in the back of the net. But the score was waved off because the Indians called a timeout just seconds earlier.
The goal would've given the Indians a 9-6 lead.
But Coach Paige insisted that the moment wasn't necessarily a game-changer.
"The thing is, in any game you're going to have situations — a turnover, a timeout — that might not be as timely as it should've been," he said. "That's the way the game closed."