BUENA VISTA – With only 55 seconds left on the clock and Colorado Springs Christian School suddenly facing a three-point deficit, the unmistakable chant from the visiting crowd could be heard echoing off the collegiate peaks.

We believe.

It wasn’t a feigned sense of belief. It was a genuine sense that this game was still in play and the No. 13 Lions stood a legitimate chance of advancing to the second round of the Class 1A state playoffs. Together, Jace Velasquez and Casey Orawiec rewarded that belief.

A long pass completion (that was deflected by a Buena Vista defender) set up the game-winning pass from Velasquez to Orawiec. CSCS toppled No. 4 Buena Vista 21-18 and will advance to the quarterfinals of the 1A tournament.

“There was a lot of belief,” Velasquez said. “A lot of our games, our wins, were all close and we had to come back.”

If anyone had told them that they’d have to come back when there was three minutes left in the game, the Lions (7-3 overall) would’ve been very confused. Ashton Lofton’s two touchdown runs had given them a 15-3 lead early and the only way the Demons (7-3) found the end zone was on a trick play with Jacob Phelps hitting Caleb Camp for a touchdown pass.

But with under two minutes remaining, Haden Camp found Tam Flowers on a deep ball down to the CSCS 1-yard line. Even crazier was that it was on 4th down that the Demons went for the deep strike. Haden Camp ran in for a touchdown on the next play to put the Demons ahead for just the second time all game.

(Dan Mohrmann/ColoradoPreps.com)

They had a 3-0 lead after a Flowers 42-yard field goal attempt.

Suddenly down 18-15, CSCS coach Amos Velasquez never doubted his guys for a second.

“These kids are incredible,” he said. “This is the most talented receiving corps. (Offensive coordinator Ben) Lofton does such a great job with these guys.”

And it showed when Orawiec kept his composure and caught the deflected pass that put the Demons inside the 10-yard line. On the next play, Velasquez rolled to his left and initially started looking for room to run for the touchdown.

“I honestly was going to run it,” he said. “But then I saw (Orawiec) there. And on a jump ball I know Casey is getting it.”

He got it and made sure both feet, not just one, were in bounds when he came down. The feeling of that win will reverberate for the entire drive home on Highway 24.

Although Orawiec claims basketball is his favorite sport, he has never played in a more thrilling competition and understands that he’ll have fond memories of football for the rest of his life.

“I don’t think I ever have (played in a better game),” Orawiec said. “It’s playoffs. We haven’t been here in a while. It’s great to get a playoff win here for CSCS.”