After giving up a 3-1 lead in the 4A boys soccer championship game Thursday morning, it seemed like Ridgeline High was at the end of its rope — but this wasn’t the first time the Riverhawks were in this position this season.

Ridgeline persevered and scored with 82 seconds left in regulation to take the 4-3 victory over Murray, claiming its third state title in seven years.

According to Ridgeline coach Richard Alexander, the championship journey started on April 18, where his team gave up three second-half goals and suffered a 4-3 loss against Logan.

Alexander said that loss changed the season for the Riverhawks.

“That was pivotal to lose to Logan in that game,” said Alexander. “It was a turning point for our season. For us to rally around that and say, ‘That’s not going to happen again. What do we need to do to not let that happen again?’ That’s the biggest thing and we’ve really grown from that. These guys have proved that they can continue to push even when things get hard.”

Murray took a quick 1-0 lead in the championship match with a goal in the 10th minute from Preston Lawson. After that first goal, Ridgeline found its fire.

The Riverhawks had multiple chances in the first half that were just shy of scoring, but Diego Vazquez broke through in the 33rd and 47th minutes.

The Riverhawks scored again in the 61st minute with a goal from Tate Hickman and with less than 20 minutes left in the game Ridgeline held a commanding 3-1 lead.

“I’m proud of my team because we’ve been working towards this,” said Vazquez. “It was a goal for us to come to Real Salt Lake and get a win. We talked as a team and we said that if we’re down, we know we need to keep going. It feels great to get a win here after that loss two years ago.”

Quickly after it gained the lead, the floodgates opened for Murray as Abdul Shaher and Bentley Heath each scored to knot the score at 3s.

Most teams might fall apart after giving up a two-goal lead, but Ridgeline had more than enough experience to fight through its woes.

With 82 seconds left in regulation, the Riverhawks’ Denaeyer Dean punched in a goal to retake the lead, a goal that proved to be the difference.

“It’s the greatest feeling,” Dean said. “It was a fight for the whole game, but we ended it on a win. When the team gets it going it’s really hype. I’m proud of the team. We put in the effort, we wanted it all season and we got there.”

“It really makes me feel like I did something, even though I play defense, but when I score I feel like I did something. The team effort is what really got it there”

It was a near identical win as Ridgeline had in the 4A semifinal, where it gave up an equalizer to Green Canyon but Tate Hickman scored in the final 90 seconds for the win.

Alexander said the experiences his team have had have taught them to find ways to win despite adversity.

“Honestly with what this group has gone through this year and losing these types of games, we’ve learned from it and got closer as a team,” Alexander said. “We got better from those experiences and it showed in this game and in the semifinal that we don’t quit.

“We don’t put our heads down because we got down. We push through and we persevere. This team is such a close knitted team that when we got that tie 3-3 the belief didn’t go away. We knew we could come out and have that late performance, I’m so proud of them.”