In the kind of back-and-forth game that ultimately included eight ties and eight lead changes, the opportunity existed for Quaker Valley or Indiana to take control and leave Highmark Stadium Friday night with a WPIAL Division 2 boys lacrosse championship.
In a flash, the Quakers did just that.
With three goals in a 40-second span in the fourth quarter of what had been a tie game, Quaker Valley put away Indiana, 13-10, to cap off a perfect season one year after falling short on the same stage.
"We're really happy for our kids," Quakers coach Bill Marcotte said. "A WPIAL championship is what we set our sights on at the beginning of the season. We had unfinished business and we accomplished it today."
Two of those three goals came from Jared Vescio, who finished with three goals. Jake Trovato, Jimmy Perkins and Mike Clark also scored three times.
After falling behind 3-1 in the second quarter, the Indians (11-5) did not trail by more than a single goal before the offensive outburst in the fourth quarter that helped decide the game.
Vescio began that spurt with a goal with 7:35 remaining that broke an 8-8 deadlock. Thirty seconds later, he again found the back of the net, and by the time Tyler Smith added a goal with 6:55 remaining, the game's complexion had changed for good.
The championship appearance was Indiana's first, and for a program that had previously never made it past the WPIAL quarterfinals, there was a measure of pride that came with the disappointment of falling short.
"They played excellent and we told every player to keep their head up," Indiana coach Allen Affolter said. "They were in a dog fight and they played well. These guys have nothing to be ashamed of."
Junior Ryan Watters led Indiana with three goals, helping provide some offensive balance to what was a strong performance from junior goalie Max Kittelmann.
The game Friday marked the end of the season for both teams, as there is no state playoff in their division. For Quaker Valley, that means it will go out not only with a championship, but also an undefeated record, something that was a point of pride throughout the season.
"A lot of guys could have worn that as an albatross and kept a little bit of concern over it," Marcotte said. "Instead, these kids just rallied behind it and said, 'We're undefeated, that's what we want to do, that's the season we're going to have. We're going to go 18-0 and make it all the way to the big one.' And they did."
Craig Meyer: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @CraigMeyerPG.