Josh Stephenson/Durango Herald
At the start, all signs pointed to an even matchup.
After the second quarter, the rout was on.
The Durango High School boys lacrosse team scored nine unanswered goals to turn a close game into a 12-2 victory over Mountain League opponent Telluride on Tuesday at DHS.
Defensively, the Demons turned in one of their best performances of the year.
After the Miners scored to cut the DHS lead to 3-2 with 3 minutes, 27 seconds left in the first quarter, Durango put the hammer down in its own zone, refusing to concede again the rest of the afternoon en route to its first Mountain League win of the year.
“What I’m most proud of is at halftime, we stressed defense,” DHS head coach John Robinette said. “We said, ‘Look, men, let’s tighten up, and let’s go defense.’ ... Looks like they only had maybe nine shots that second half, so we were doing a good job of getting sticks in the lane and checking their sticks and not letting them get shots.”
Durango began to turn the tide dramatically in its favor in the second quarter. After leading 4-2 at the end of the first, the Demons scored five unanswered goals in the second quarter to take a 9-2 lead into intermission, dominating possession for much of the frame and, as they did all afternoon, getting goals from all manner of locations in the attacking zone.
Trevor Gabbard scored three of his four goals in the frame to go with 10 groundballs for the game. He put home Durango’s first two goals of the quarter, with one coming off a nice cut to the middle and another a goal off the bounce after he zig-zagged through the defense.
Gabbard capped the frame with perhaps the day’s most picturesque tally. He again cut to the middle, took a solid feed and fired a laser into the upper left-hand corner of the net, snapping his shot off before Telluride could recover defensively.
“We actually drove, drew the slides and made our passes and actually ran the designed plays,” said Gabbard, son of Joe and Kelly Gabbard. “And that allowed us to score, not to mention our shots were on, for sure.”
Jared Cook chipped in three goals and an assist for Durango (3-6, 1-6 ML), while Liam Millar scored a pair early to go with three assists.
Wesley Komick had a pair of goals as well for Durango, and Duncan Whitley had a late goal and two assists.
Walker Brown made four saves in goal before giving way late to Robert Moore, who stopped a pair of shots.
Robinette said he was pleased with the play of his midfield, as well.
“Trevor and Duncan, and (Jacob) Boyle didn’t have any goals, but I mean, he played a huge game for us once again,” Robinette said. “Those three starting middies, they get the lion’s share of the playing time, and we rely on those guys a lot for all facets.”
And after an early stretch of indoor practices and cream-of-the-crop competition, the Demons have settled in to win their last two games, illustrating that they’re more than what their early-season record may have indicated.
“It was kind of rough because we didn’t get on to the field until our first game, and it didn’t allow us to play in the open field,” Gabbard said.
Durango (3-6 overall, 1-6 ML) will go on the road to play Sandia Prep at 2 p.m. in Albuquerque on Saturday.