Austin Dewing darted and dashed his way through the Battle Mountain defense all evening long at Air Academy's K-Dome during the quarterfinals of the Class 4A state soccer tournament Saturday night.
The junior was too much of a headache for the No. 8 Huskies, picking up a goal and an assist to lead the No.?1 Kadets to a 3-0 victory and a matchup in the semifinals Wednesday against No. 5 Ponderosa at Sports Authority Stadium in Parker.
Dewing set up the first goal for Air Academy (17-1) in the 19th minute when he weaved in and out of four defenders before firing a shot at Battle Mountain goalie Donnie Leavitt. The sophomore made the initial save, but the ball jockeyed loose from his hands and Kadets senior Brittain Romes banged home the rebound for the 1-0 lead over the Huskies (15-3).
"That was fantastic," Romes said. "The keeper bobbled it and I just chipped it. I was super excited, but my celebration wasn't very good. I was just running around."
Leavitt voiced his displeasure with the call after the game, calling it "terrible," and felt the whistle should have been blown.
Later in the half, Dewing capped off a dazzling dribble and drive via a chip shot over Leavitt to give Air Academy a 2-0 lead at half.
"It was a little bit of a combination of we had a nice play going and Alex (Granados) played a dime ball over the top and I just had to tap it in," Dewing said.
Leavitt had no chance after Dewing split the Huskies defenders.
"(Dewing) is amazing," Leavitt said. "His quickness. His footwork. His energy."
Dewing has been one of the top scorers in the state, with 22 goals in 18 games, and lately opponents have attempted to blanket him with multiple defenders. No team, however, has been able to slow down the shifty forward.
"I just try and stay out of the way and let guys like Britt and John (Sims) finish the goals," Dewing said. "If I can pull a couple defenders off I will stay up there and let them take care of what they can take care of."
Sims scored in the 58th minute to give Air Academy a 3-0 lead. Air Academy coach Epsen Hosoien said the Kadets have a plan in place for when a team finally finds a way to hinder his star forward. For now, that plan has yet to be needed.
"He is one of those players that can create chances out of nothing," Hosoien said. "He is dangerous. He's fast and has an eye for a goal, as well. Teams are struggling to figure him out."