MONUMENT — Less than a year ago, Dalton and Garrett Ziegler were celebrating a Class 4A state boys lacrosse championship that they helped Valor Christian win.
Wednesday night, they faced the Eagles as opponents. Each brother scored twice, but it was their youngest brother Cade who got the game winner as 5A Lewis-Palmer knocked off the defending 4A champs 8-6 at Don Breese Stadium.
"It's different," Dalton said. "I've enjoyed it and I'm having one of the best years of my life."
And he gets to share it with his siblings. After the season, Dalton — a senior — will head off to the University of Utah to continue his lacrosse career, so he's trying to soak in this one season he gets to play with both his younger brothers.
He was the one who got the Rangers (4-1 overall) on the board with one minute, 34 seconds left in the first. That cut the lead for the Eagles (2-2) in half as Austin Saupe and and Grayson Goodyear scored less than two minutes apart to give them a 2-0 lead.
The second quarter was scoreless for more than 11 and a half minutes, but then it was Garrett Ziegler who got one by Valor goalie Logan Lee to tie the game. But 14 seconds later, Sean Traynor put Valor back on top.
And that's how the game would play out for most of the second half. The 4A CHSAANow.com No. 2-ranked Eagles would take a one-goal lead and the Rangers would would pull even.
Valor just couldn't seem to stretch it out.
"We fell short on fundamentals tonight," Valor coach John Grant Jr. said. "I think my guys show tremendous heart and there was a lot at stake with this game with a couple of Valor kids over there."
And did they ever play an essential role. Both of Garrett's goals tied the game crucial moments. Goodyear scored his second of the game almost five minutes into the fourth quarter to put the Eagles up 6-5. But A.J. Barnes did what the Rangers were able to do all night. He pulled his team even.
Then it was Cade Ziegler, the only one of the three to not play at Valor who finally gave the Rangers the lead with 1:55 left.
"I didn't care (who got that goal)," Lewis-Palmer coach Dan Mullins said. "But I will say that Cade Ziegler is my favorite. I love Cade Ziegler. I love all the Ziegler boys. They definitely pumped up our offense."
Dalton got his second of the game to make it a two-goal lead and it was the Rangers rushing the field in celebration.
For a big a moment against a tough team, Cade knows that having his brothers around was a big factor in him being able to connect in a clutch situation.
"It's really great," Cade said. "It's good to be able to come out here and play with my older brothers. It's brought us together a lot and it's a great opportunity to come out here and play together."
This is the third time in four years that the Lewis-Palmer has been able to beat Valor.
"Last year was one of our big quality wins, but I think they had a down day," Mullins said. "This year, they played pretty well and we matched it and came through in the end."