What a difference a few days can make.
The Durango High School boys lacrosse team had its home opener five days ago and struggled in a 12-8 loss to Telluride. The Demons shook off the loss with an 11-7 win against Glenwood Springs on Saturday, then put on a clinic against rival Montrose with a 14-2 victory Tuesday afternoon at DHS.
The turning point was the loss to Telluride, the Demons’ first-ever loss to the Miners.
“It was definitely something I never wanted to experience, losing to Telluride, because it had never happened,” DHS senior Ryan Smith said.
“For us to be the year to lose to Telluride really started a fire under our butts. ... It was really just a wakeup call. We came out thinking we would beat Telluride, I mean, I did for sure. It kind of humbled us and brought us back down, and now we’re just playing our game.”
The strength of the Demons (3-1, 1-1 5A/4A Mountain League) is on the attack with players such as Smith, Cullen Robinette and Tommy Rodgers, who combined for 11 of the Demons’ 14 goals against Montrose (1-3, 1-2 ML). And they didn’t waste any time showing the Indians they meant business.
Less than three minutes into the first quarter, Matt Tucker scored to open up a spree for Durango.
Following Tucker’s goal, Durango added two goals from Smith before the midway point of the quarter, then got two more goals from Robinette that made it 5-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The Demons added to their lead less than two minutes into the second quarter with a goal from Robinette.
“We knew right off the get-go we’d have a good offense,” Robinette said. “We have eight good players who can go on offense and catch and score.”
The Demons’ attack slowed down the rest of the first half, but they did get one more goal with 24 seconds remaining before halftime when Smith found the net to make it 7-0.
While the offense didn’t keep up the blistering scoring rate in the second quarter, the Demons’ defense was superb in creating turnovers and limiting the scoring chances for Montrose.
“It started with our goalie Dylan (Gaver), he had nine saves, and then the defense definitely did a better job not chasing the sticks and playing bodies,” DHS head coach John Robinette said.
“We helped each other on the defensive front.”
The second half got off to another fast start for Durango. The Demons netted their first goal only 26 seconds into the third quarter when Cullen Robinette fed Corbin Randle for a goal. Two minutes of game clock later, Liam Farkas found the net for the Demons to stretch the lead to 9-0.
Durango wasn’t done in the third, as the Demons received goals from Rodgers and Smith.
The fourth quarter wasn’t all that different from the other three, as the Demons struck early and often. Durango’s first three goals of the quarter came from Rodgers, who netted the three goals in fewer than three minutes.
The Demons outshot Montrose 26-15 and had 36 groundballs to 24 for Montrose.
The Demons also won the faceoff battle 11-9.
Smith paced the attack with four goals and three assists. Cullen Robinette finished the day with three goals and three assists, and Rodgers ended with four goals and one assist.
Montrose got its first goal with 2:58 remaining in the third quarter, and received its second goal in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter.
“Against Telluride, it was a big wakeup call (for the defense),” Cullen Robinette said. “But it definitely got them thinking about what they needed to do and they’ve stepped up and are keeping teams down to minimal goals these past couple games.”
The Demons will be off the next two weeks with spring break and will be back on the field to face Fruita Monument (0-0) on April 6 at DHS.