Jackson Sutherland stood on the outer yellow line of the goalie box, awaiting a Rampart corner kick in overtime.
The Cheyenne Mountain senior had blood trickling down his face, a microcosm of the physicality present in Saturday's matchup.
The tug-of-war nature of the game saw Rampart tally the last laugh, and goal, of its 3-2, double-overtime win. Senior Ali Jodeh scored the clinching goal off the crossbar with less than two minutes left.
"It means so much," Jodeh said of his game-winning goal. "This is my last year, our senior year, and we talked about having a good one. This is what it's all about. To come out and score for my teammates means a lot."
It was a game that Rampart saw slip through its hands for most of the contest — literally.
Senior goalkeeper Ammon Brown let a pair of first-half goals in that bounced off his mitts. One ricocheted directly in off the foot of sophomore Luke Depeppe, while the other was thumped in off a rebound by Cheyenne Mountain junior Eric Sung.
From the sideline, Brown's teammates and coaches yelled, encouraging him to keep his head up and build confidence moving forward. The halftime intermission allowed him to finally take a deep breath.
"We're a confident team, but little things like that can be deflating," coach Karl Anderson said. "Young minds and young men get emotionally wrapped up in it. I know he was getting into the next moment, rather than focusing on the save."
In the final 40 minutes, and subsequent overtimes, Brown didn't allow a goal. Anderson even suggested he fist the ball out, rather than catch it. The keeper stuck to his routine, albeit with increased focus.
The Rams also ratcheted up their own intensity in the final minutes. They were on their heels for much of the first half. Even when their strikers gained ground, outlet passes were being missed.
It was quickly fixed in the second half, but the focus then shifted to battling the Red-Tailed Hawks physicality.
After two periods, a pair of yellow cards had been doled out, with one going to each squad. CMHS senior John Arguello was assessed a second yellow card, and red card, in the second overtime — ending his day and suspending him for the team's next game.
Fatigued and beaten, the Rams fought through and refused to accept their second tie of season.
"They gritted it out," Anderson said. "They wanted the win just as much as we did. I think our hunger and fight to win is a mindset. They don't let things or other teams get in their way."
Rampart senior Kevin Williams also notched a pair of goals to bring his season total to a team-leading six.
The Rams record moved to 4-2-1 with Liberty, Fountain-Fort Carson and Discovery Canyon all awaiting matchups with the club next week.
For Cheyenne Mountain, the loss moved it to 4-3, and dropped the Red-Tailed Hawks below Rampart in the 5A/4A Pikes Peak League standings. They too will face Discovery Canyon next week before hosting Valor Christian.