AURORA — Three minutes can make all the difference in lacrosse game.
Class 5A No. 1 Regis Jesuit scored four goals in the third quarter – three in a three-minute span – en route to a 8-2 win over Columbine in the state semifinals.
With the win, the Raiders advance to Friday’s title game, which will be held at Mile High Stadium.
Neither offense could generate any solid looks in the first quarter, but it was just over two minutes into the second when Will Dennen got Regis on the board. The 1-0 score would hold through halftime, but the Raiders came out firing in the second half.
Anders Erickson, Jack Ringhofer and Alec Breeden made it a 4-0 about midway through the third quarter.
“That was huge especially after halftime to swing momentum back our way,” Erickson said. “That was a crucial moment in the game for sure.
Jake Taylor got one more for Regis before the third quarter concluded. Tanner Hollens got Columbine on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter, but the Rebels couldn’t generate much offense after that.
The Raiders advanced to last year’s state title game, but fell to Cherry Creek. That game left a bitter taste in the mouths of the players and coaching staff and they’ll look to come into this Friday ready to avenge that loss.
“We’ll have a different kind of preparation,” coach Jim Soran said. “You want them to remember that (loss). You want them to think about what they didn’t do right and learn from it.”
The Raiders will meet Kent Denver in a rematch of the 2011 state championship game.
(2) Kent Denver 12, (6) Arapahoe 10
A seven-year championship game drought for Kent Denver is over. The No. 2 Sun Devils were able to put just enough distance between themselves and Arapahoe to reach their first boys lacrosse title game since 2011.
Kent Denver prevailed 12-10 in the later of the two 5A semifinal games on Wednesday.
Michael Bowler put Kent up early, scoring less than four minutes into the game. The Warriors countered just 30 seconds later thanks to Dillon Linhardt.
Rhys Zoldi regained the lead for the Sun Devils before the first quarter ended. They went on a bit of a run in the second, scoring three of the four goals of the quarter. George Kandel accounted for two those Kent goals.
Arapahoe found some offensive rhythm in the third quarter, twice cutting the Kent lead to one goal. Ben Carpenter and Kandel were each able to pad the lead back to two and hold the Warriors at bay.
Kandel added another with 2:35 left in the third to once again make it a three-goal game.
The Warriors tried to rally late in the fourth as Bobby Baltzer scored to make it a 12-9 game with 1:45 left in the game.
The Warriors added one more to cut the lead to two, but they just couldn’t battle all the way back and it was Kent Denver who advanced.
The Sun Devils last won a boys lacrosse championship in 2008 when the sport was played under one classification. They beat Fort Collins 15-6 to claim their then-record fifth title.
In its last title game appearance, Kent lost to Regis Jesuit 11-10. Seven years later, it’ll get its shot at redemption. If the Sun Devils win Friday’s game, they’ll tie Cherry Creek with the most boys lacrosse championships in state history with six.
The 5A boys lacrosse championship game is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start on Friday.