LONGMONT — Jose Medrano may as well have been wearing Superman's cape.
The Skyline junior was magnificent in the air all match long in the Falcons' Class 4A second round match-up, whether it was winning 50/50 balls or thwarting any sort of Demons offensive threat.
It was fitting that he was up in the air for the deciding moment on Tuesday afternoon against the Demons.
He went way up in the air on a ball sent in by Cooper Welsh and timed it just right against Durango keeper Trey Furnas — who had come some 20+ yards out of his goal to try and defend the play — and headed home the only goal in a 1-0 victory for Skyline.
"I looked up and I got a split second of seeing the goalie and I though he's coming out for me, he's definitely coming out," the diminutive Medrano said. "His attitude throughout the whole game was 'I'm going to get this ball'.
"If you go up, there is always a chance that one of us is going to get it no matter what and I wanted it more than he did and at the end of the day that's the goal that put us through."
It sends the No. 8 Falcons to the program's first ever quarterfinals on Saturday, where they will either travel to No. 1 Air Academy or host No. 16 Windsor. That match was scheduled for a 6 p.m. start at the Air Force Academy.
It was a first half dominated by Skyline in its offensive third, yet all the Falcons had to show for it was six lengthy shots on frame.
The best chance of the opening 40 minutes was Durango's in the final seconds when Max Wilson was sprung on a breakaway that was timed perfectly by Falcons' keeper Diego Chavez, who came out to send it away.
The Demons made the necessary adjustments at the half and in the early going of the second 40 minutes, had Skyline on its heels in the defensive third.
"Our chemistry just kicked in and I did shout out a few suggestions about regaining control," Skyline coach Luis Chavez said. "But as far as what they needed to do, they got it done and we were able to control the game a little bit more ... because they definitely found ways of just putting us under pressure and creating opportunities."
Even after Medrano's goal — one that was highly contested by Furnas, who was booked for arguing with the assistant referee that Medrano was offside — the Falcons kept the pressure up. Skyline got a huge burst of energy from junior Kevin Gutierrez, who was in the mix on both side of the field.
Things got very interesting with under three minute to play, when Durango was awarded an indirect free kick in the box for a Skyline pass back to the keeper that Diego Chavez handled instead of playing with his feet.
"It was nerve-wracking for sure, because in the last game we had the same thing," said Luis Chavez, whose son praised his mates for bailing him out in the post game huddle. "We reacted well and knew what we needed to do to take care of business."
The wall held up and send the would-be challenge away.
Hector Rubi nearly made it 2-0 on the counter from that play, but his shot deflected off the bar above Furnas' goal.
"I'm so proud of these guys and their ability to regain their composure," Luis Chavez said.
SKYLINE 1, DURANGO 0
At SkylineDurango (11-3-2) 0 0 — 0
Skyline (14-1-2)0 1 — 1
Goal (assist) — Skyline: Jose Medrano (Cooper Welsh), 63rd.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Durango: Trey Furnas (79-1-6), Caleb McGrath (1-0-0); Skyline: Diego Chavez (80-0-1).