The expectations for the Legend football team will change during the upcoming week.
Legend was expected to beat Brighton on Nov. 3 in a first round Class 5A state playoff game and the Titans did just that, whipping the Bulldogs 51-14, in a game played at Echo Park Stadium.
The Titans (8-3) advanced into a second round contest on Nov. 10 at Valor Christian.
Legend is 0-9 all-time against Valor (6-4) and the Eagles are a team that has been in five of the past seven state championship games and have won eight state football titles.
“Nobody expects us to win,” said Legend’s senior middle linebacker Nate Sandy. “I like being an underdog. When you are the underdog, you can’t lose anything. You can win and shock the whole world.”
There was nothing shocking about Legend’s performance against Brighton as the Titans dominated the game as it took the Titans only four offensive plays to score.
Legend rolled to a 37-0 lead and when Jeff Baca returned the second half kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown to push the Titans ahead 51-6, it got the running clock working for the remainder of the game.
“We had a fantastic week of practice and there was nothing else to it,” said Sandy. “We came out and executed well.”
Legend didn’t put up big offensive numbers as the Titans finished with 274 yards of total offense but except for two long passes the Titans defense was strong.
“It was such a good feeling that we could trust everybody on the defense,” added Sandy whose older brother Luke is a redshirt freshman center at the University of Wyoming.“Everybody did their job. There’s nothing else we can do to match that.”
Sandy led the Legend defense with 12 tackles including seven solo stops.Peyton Aukland and Carson Flowers had interceptions.
Junior running back Jaden Lawrence finished with 74 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Brian Doyle and Noah Archuleta each caught a touchdown pass for the Titans.
“We played a very solid first half on offense, defense and special teams,” said Legend head coach Monte Thelen. “Our next round will be against Valor, so we know it will be a major step up in competition. We are looking for another very good week of practice.”
In other first round games on Nov. 3, Castle View downed Fossil Ridge, 35-16, Denver Eastbeat Mullen, 23-7, Fountain Fort Carson toppled Fairview, 42-14, Chatfield got past Cherokee Trail, 42-7, Legacy topped Eaglecrest, 280-14 and Grandview edged Douglas County, 28-21.
Second round Class 5A games on Nov. 10 will have Legacy playing Cherry Creek, Castle View testing Mountain Vista, Denver East going to Pine Creek, Rock Canyon taking on Ralston Valley, Fountain Fort Carson meeting Columbine, Chatfield up against Arapahoe and Grandview facing Regis Jesuit.