It wasn't surprising that Air Academy and Cheyenne Mountain couldn't settle their heavyweight boys' soccer clash in just 80 minutes.
The two teams took turns putting up goals and grasping the momentum for two full halves with the 4A Pikes Peak Athletic Conference lead on the line before Alex Granados buried a penalty kick to send the Kadets (10-0, 4-0 PPAC) to a huge 4-3 win.
The senior stepped up with 3:09 left in the second overtime after teammate Austin Dewing was tackled by Cheyenne Mountain goalie Erich Frey (7-3, 3-1) in the box. Granados drilled it.
"Once I saw it was a PK I knew I had it and I was going to score to win this game," said Granados, who has been a starter since his freshman year when the Kadets won the state title. "Usually I have a definite spot where I kick it, but some of the guys on Cheyenne play club with me, so I switched it up."
Granados knew the Indians from his club team would tell Frey which way the Kadets senior would likely kick it, so Granados audibled. The result was Air Academy staying perfect and taking a firm hold of the league standings.
While Granados was the hero, Dewing made one of several great plays he had by making Frey come to the ball. Without the junior, Air Academy wouldn't have made it to overtime.
He scored in the 27th minute to tie the game at 2, and then knotted the game at 3 with 12 minutes left in regulation.
"This is definitely a confidence booster - for me personally because I've been struggling lately, but more importantly for the team," Dewing said. "This was a big-time team effort and I was just the guy who put the goals in. My teammates were all great tonight."
The game started in disastrous fashion for the Indians, as a miscommunication between the keeper and a defender led to an own goal in the opening minutes of the game.
However, Cheyenne Mountain showed mental toughness, getting goals from Christian Nehme and John Herd in a span of 1:18 to take a 2-1 lead. The Indians blew two separate leads, but coach Tomas Martinez wasn't discouraged.
"I tried to make sure the guys knew this wasn't a must-win game tonight, because league trophies are nice but we're about the big trophy," Martinez said. "That's not to sound cocky, but we want to be playing our best at the right time. We knew Air Academy was a highly ranked team and I think we played very well and could've easily tied or won."
Air Academy coach Espen Hosoien was pleased with the win after losing to the Indians the past three years.
"In the second half and both overtimes I think we were the team pushing harder and wanting it more," he said. "We really wanted a win against Cheyenne Mountain."