LAKEWOOD — Junior Tyler Read was Dakota Ridge’s savior Friday tonight at Jeffco Stadium.

The No. 8-seeded Eagles trailed league rival No. 9 Evergreen 8-5 with less than eight minutes remaining in the Class 4A boys lacrosse second-round playoff game. Dakota Ridge went on a 4-0 run in the final 7-plus minutes to pull off a remarkable 9-8 victory.

“We knew we could beat (Evergreen). We just started off slow,” Read said of the Eagles (11-6 record) trailing by three goals after Evergreen sophomore Brody Reece scored with 10:28 remaining in the final quarter to put the Cougars up 8-5. “We made some adjustment and in the fourth quarter it really clicked for us.”

Sophomore Jack Offerdahl got the rally going with a goal with 7:08 left in the fourth quarter. The first goal of the second half by the Eagles ended a 3-0 run by the Cougars (10-6).

It was all Read in the final four minutes. He scored with 3:39, 1:02 and 15.7 seconds left to give Dakota Ridge a 9-8 win.

Photo by Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Public Schools

“I just kind of got a flow toward the end,” Read said of his three rocketed shots into the back of the net in the final 4 minutes. “I was dry at the beginning of the game. Then I just started ripping it. They started going in.”

Read finished with a game-high four goals. He has 49 goals on the season, just behind senior teammate Sam Lyall’s 53 goals.

“Going into the fourth quarter, we just told him to, ‘start pepper, jam, selling.’ Pepper it on the goal. Jam it down there throat and we’ll celebrate in the end,” Dakota Ridge coach Dak Riecke said. “‘Pepper, jam, selling’ is our motto. I told him to just shoot the rock and we’ll do it.”

Dakota Ridge grabbed an early 3-1 lead in the first quarter, but Evergreen got it going offensively with Reece, along with seniors Leo Kailus, Hudson Murphy and junior Jackson Garrett scoring to get the game tied 5-5 at halftime.

Kailus, who scored a trio of goals in the loss, had back-to-back goals in the third quarter to give Evergreen a 7-5 lead going to the fourth quarter. Evergreen senior goalie Logan Gwaltney didn’t allow a goal for more than 20 minutes of play.

“This team thrives on competition,” Riecke said. “They get to a point where they are like, ‘We’ve got to play now.’ That is their comfort zone, I don’t know why. They thrive in those uncomfortable, adverse situations.”

A couple of costly Evergreen turnovers in the fourth quarter helped Dakota Ridge’s successful comeback. Sophomore Landon Kalsbeck — 4A Foothills League MVP — and Dakota Ridge junior goalie Zach Hearn came up big in the fourth quarter.

Kalsbeck won some key face-offs in the final quarter, including one final face-off after Read’s go-ahead goal in the closing seconds.

“Landon is always a key component in our victories,” Riecke said of the Eagles’ face-off specialist. “

Next up for the Eagles, No. 1-seeded Erie. The Tigers (12-3) dispatched No. 16 Middle Park 17-1 on Friday night in another second-round game.

“I know we are underdogs going in to it, but I’m not going to go into it not preparing,” Riecke said of the task of facing top-seeded Erie that defeated Dakota Ridge 15-8 early this season. “We are going in the attitude that we can win. I think our entire team is sick of losing to Erie. We are ready to win.”

The Tigers defeated the Eagles twice last year, including ending Dakota Ridge’s season in the 4A semifinals.

Riecke said that he feels the Dakota Ridge versus Erie could have been the 4A championship game if they were on opposite sides of the state tournament break. It will only be a quarterfinal game with he winner needing to more victories to win a state title.

“We told them this week, we are the 1980 U.S.A. Olympic hockey team,” Riecke said. “We are going to go in and beat Russia (Erie), but we still have to beat Sweden afterward (to get to the title game).”

The quarterfinal game at Erie High School will be played Tuesday, May 14.