COLORADO SPRINGS — Momentum can be a tricky thing.
The Dawson School proved to be on the right side of a huge momentum swing as the CHSAANow.com No. 1-ranked Mustangs surged in the second half to beat No. 3 Cheyenne Mountain 13-8 Saturday afternoon.
Trailing 5-3 at halftime, Dawson (4-1 overall) came out and outscored the Indians 10-3 in the second half, including the five goals of the game.
"There a couple of key plays that turned it around for us," Dawson coach Peter Devlin said. "Once we started moving the ball more against their zone, we've always had trouble with their zone and we were able to find some openings this time."
But it took some time for those openings to develop. The Indians (6-2) jumped out to a quick 5-1 lead with sophomore midfielder August Johnson picking up three of the five goals. But once he registered his hat trick, it seemed that the Dawson defense was able to bottle him up.
“(Devlin) knows he has to double (Johnson),” Cheyenne Mountain coach Mike Page said. "He's coming off an injury as well so I can tell it was catching up with him a little bit."
A 5-1 lead over the top team in the state was a great start for the Indians, but Dawson hasn’t been ranked the No. 1 team in the state based off their reputation. With the clock ticking away in the first half Hunter and Wyatt Watts connected on goals only 16 seconds apart. Those goals cut the Cheyenne Mountain lead to 5-3 at halftime.
And suddenly the momentum had shifted.
"That was the momentum changer," Hunter Watts said. "It really got us hyped up and got us going to push for the end."
Less than two minutes into the second half, Jesse Rosenblatt buried a shot from the right side to bring the Mustangs to within one goal.
Johnson was able to find the net one more time, but quick goals from Dawson’s brother duo of Hunter and Wyatt Watts pushed the game to a 6-6 tie.
The Indians desperately needed to recapture the offensive momentum they seized early in the game. They got a huge goal from Cullen Nordeman, but as they had since late in the second quarter, the Mustangs found an answer.
Rosenblatt scored with 0.2 seconds left in the third quarter, sending the game into the final 12 minutes locked in a 7-7 tie.
The two teams traded goals to start the fourth quarter and then it was Gavyn Pure who gave the Mustangs the lead for good.
"With them, they have (Johnson) who is absolutely unbelievable," Pure said. "You're never safe and we wanted to get as many as we could to feel safe."
The Mustangs then added four more goals in the last eight minutes of the game to give themselves that cushion.
But even up five, there was no point that Devlin and his team felt like they had the game in hand.
"Maybe when there was under a minute left," Devlin said. "Those guys can score at will if they get the ball in the right spots."
But as the clock ticked down to zero, the chances of getting the ball into those right spots vanished. In a top-10 showdown Dawson showed why they are voted as the top team in the state. And more importantly, after Saturday, they're likely to remain there.