THORNTON – It was bittersweet revenge Sept. 15 for Legacy High School football team.
The Lightning had their season cut short last season after falling to the Mountain Vista Golden Eagles 42-17 in the opening round of the Class 5A state playoffs, and the Legacy players didn’t forget.
The Lightning ran off 24 consecutive points to guide Legacy to a 41-28 victory and gave No. 10 Mountain Vista its first loss of the season.
“The kids are really excited about this win,” Legacy coach Jay Madden said. “(Mountain Vista) is a good football team, and they have great players. But we stepped up and made the plays today.”
The Lightning dominated all facets of the game, getting timely plays from the defense and showing off its explosive offense is by scoring three touchdowns in the first half. But it was the play of the special teams that decided the game.
Junior Kylan Studebaker returned the opening kickoff of the second half for a touchdown and then returned the ensuing point for another score. He became the fifth Legacy player to return both a kickoff and punt for a touchdown – but the first to do it in one game.
“It was huge,” Studebaker said. “We needed a big play coming out of halftime, and I was ready. My teammates made some great blocks, and I found the hole. We were ready for this game.”
Studebaker also made his presence made on defense, intercepting Mountain Vista’s sophomore sensation Austyn Modrzewski twice in the contest. His interception in the second quarter not only kept the Golden Eagles out of the end zone, it set up a Legacy touchdown.
While Studebaker was making plays on defense and special teams, junior quarterback Kullen Lerma was making plays on the offense side for the Lightning. Lerma connected with Marcus Romero on 28- and 30-yard touchdown passes and found Omari Bursey for a 13-yard score for the Lightning’s first score.
Junior Lucas Montero also kicked a pair of field goals for the Lightning.
Legacy (2-2 overall) led 41-14 going into the fourth, but Mountain Vista’s explosive offense answered quickly. Modrzewski found Sean Conway for a 33-yard score and then added a 49-yard touchdown pass to Kyler Kruck to cut the lead to 41-28 with six minutes left in the contest. The Golden Eagles were threatening to score again, but Owen Westemeyer recovered a fumble to seal the victory.
“We have been shooting ourselves in the foot all year, so it was good to go out and get this victory,” Madden said.
In the showdown between the two stud quarterbacks, Modrzewski threw for 437 yards and three touchdowns, while Lerma threw for 274 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 106 yards on the ground. Will Thurston led all Legacy receivers with six receptions for 90 yards.
Next up for Legacy is a road contest at Legend at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23. Mountain Vista will travel to Orlando, Fla. to face the University Cougars Thursday, Sept. 22.
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