Seemingly trying to mimic the weather, disaster and misfortune conspired coldly against Bayfield soccer last Friday afternoon, but the fellows fought back with a vengeance the following morning and earned a needed morale boost in the name of a sidelined teammate.
Evocative of the nastier injuries witnessed inside Wolverine Country Stadium in recent years, junior defender Jack Ferguson took a forward tumble in an eighth-minute challenge for possession during the Friday match and could not get up due to a savagely broken lower leg just above the ankle.
BHS regrouped mentally to fight through two scoreless halves while nearly matching Ridgway in total shots taken, but the Demons abruptly prevailed in overtime via senior Gannon Rikkers' header of junior Colin Kraft's 89th-minute corner kick.
Frustration on the team bench was visible, but not so much rooted in the fact that Ridgway had followed up their 3-0 win earlier this season and taken the season series. It was because yet again the Wolverines had played well enough to win, even in the wake of something truly awful.
"My goal for the season was to get them to believe in themselves," head coach Chris Zoltowski said.
"And when I see them now if we take a loss, and I see them upset, it makes me know they're hungry and want more.
"That was tough with Jack, you know," he continued. "I was proud of the boys; they really stepped up."
And then they emphatically moved forward the following morning, avenging a season-opening draw at Telluride by downing the visiting Miners 3-1.
"I think we were able to figure out their style of play," Zoltowski said.
"Right now as a first-year coach, my biggest weakness is not knowing what to expect from the other team. But we'd played them once, and now I'm able to plan for them, and set up a formation or tactic that can counter their style to benefit us.
"Having back-to-back games is such a tough challenge for any high-school athlete. And I was concerned, you know, with the way it happened last time; we were really flat with our second game. But the boys really impressed me on Saturday."
Having led 1-0 at intermission, Bayfield got goals from senior Finlay Marshall - who'd post-marked a 77th-minute shot against Ridgway, nearly winning the battle in regulation time - and juniors Tilden Berriman and Marcus Isiordia (via penalty) to support senior goalkeeper Austin Bushnell, who made a reported eight saves after totaling nine against the Demons.
Coming via penalty, Isiordia's was ironic in that he'd received a 57th-minute yellow card the previous day.
"Marcus got his first PK, so that was pretty cool," Zoltowski said.
"The thing about Marcus is he opens up so many different opportunities for me as a coach; I can play the quick counter-attack, or I can play the slow buildup with Finlay and Tilden on top. He's the kind of kid you can put in any sport and he'll succeed."
Now 3-4-2 overall, 2-4-1 in the 3A Intermountain, Bayfield will take a pause from competition before hosting Montezuma-Cortez at 4 p.m. on Oct. 4 for Homecoming.
Alamosa then comes to town Oct. 8 for an 11 a.m. start.