The Durango High School boys lacrosse team nearly blew a six-goal lead in the second half, but Cullen Robinette scored two of his game-high six goals against Montrose on Friday afternoon in a game marred by four ejections with two players from each team being sent to the locker room early.
The Durango Demons (5-3, 1-3 5A/4A Mountain League) got off to a good start, as three different players scored in the first quarter. Robinette added three more goals in the second quarter to help Durango to a 6-0 halftime lead. DHS went on to win 9-6.
“We were feeling pretty good in that first half, and our offense was moving the ball well,” DHS head coach John Robinette said. “We were getting in their passing lanes and shut them out.
“At half, I knew that Montrose would make a run, and so I wanted to limit them to five goals, but it got way too close for comfort there.”
Montrose (1-6, 0-6 ML) scored twice in the third quarter after Shaughn Rourke scored twice to make it a four-goal game at 6-2 heading into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth, the Indians scored twice more, including one after the first faceoff of the quarter when Jacob Green won it, sprinted down the field and beat DHS goalie Dylan Gaver. Montrose long stick midfielder Riley Barnhill made it a two-goal game with 11:05 remaining, and coach Robinette burned a timeout to gather his team.
Less than a minute later, Gaver made a save and came out of the net and ran up the field as a position player. He was brought down and got his feet tangled up with a Montrose player. Shoving on both sides ensued, and players ran over to stop the scrum. In the madness to stop the shoving match, Gaver was cross-checked from behind in addition to other players on both teams.
The referees convened and ejected Gaver along with senior attackman Corbin Randle, while Montrose’s Tyler Lake and Zeth Reed were also ejected.
Montrose head coach Keith Obsheatz referenced a quote from the movie “Bad Boys II” in order to get his team to keep playing after the ejections occurred.
“I taught most of these kids, and I asked them, ‘Do teachers see everything you do? No, they see the reactions you have when something happened to you,’” Obsheatz said. “I told them that they have to swallow what happened to you and keep it down, and I think it’s tough for kids these days. Everything they want is reactionary to what they see and hear, but our message as a coaching staff was, ‘take a deep breath and calm down and get back to playing the game.’ If you’ve seen ‘Bad Boys II,’ it’s a lot of ‘woosa.’”
Coach Robinette was happy to see DHS bounce back after having its goalie and a key player ejected.
“It’s unfortunate that it happened,” said coach Robinette. “The refs ejected two players from each side, including our starter, but we found a way to respond.”
Freshman goalie Bode Ensign filled in for Gaver after the ejection and was instrumental in getting the win.
“Man, their backup goalie stood on his head and made some amazing, and I mean amazing, reaction saves, and that’s kudos to him, and he really energized his team,” Obsheatz said. “We brought it within one, but credit to (Ensign) for stepping up.”
Ensign finished with four saves. Cullen Robinette added his fifth and sixth goals in a 40-second interval after he scored the first with 7:31 remaining and followed up with another at the 6:50 mark.
“Really, I wasn’t going to let them win because two kids got ejected for no reason, and I wasn’t going to let that moment define the game,” said Cullen Robinette. “I just had to take matters into my own hands and score a couple of goals for us to get back in front and settle the team down.”
Randle finished with one goal and three assists, while Dylan Berridge also added two goals for the Demons. Gaver finished with 10 saves.
DHS will have one week to prepare for Aspen, as it will host the Skiers (4-3, 1-2 ML) at 7 p.m. Friday under the lights.