Eighteenth-seeded Mountain Vista High School of Highlands Ranch pulled out all the stops to upset No. 15 Legacy High of Broomfield in the opening round of the CHSAA Class 5A state football playoffs Nov. 6.
Mountain Vista’s Golden Eagles scored 21 unanswered points and forced five turnovers to upset the favored Lightning 42-17 at Five Star Stadium in Westminster.
The Golden Eagles now have the tough task of upsetting the defending state champions, No. 2-seeded Cherry Creek, which had a bye in the first round. At pres time, the game’s date had not been set.
“(Cherry Creek) is a great program. I’ve known (Creek coach Dave) Logan for a long time now,” Mountain Vista coach Garrett Looney said. “We have to play near perfect football and not make mistakes. I’m super proud of our kids and how they responded, but now we have to face the defending state champions.”
While the Golden Eagles didn’t play perfectly against Legacy, they showed enough resilience to take advantage of the mistake-prone Lightning.
Legacy’s mistakes gave Mountain Vista and their talented freshman quarterback, Austyn Modrzewski, too many opportunities. Modrzewski shredded Legacy’s stout defense for 317 yards and six touchdown passes in the contest, including a connection with fellow freshman Jakhai Mack on a 51-yard connection on the opening drive.
The Lightning cut the deficit to 7-3 after Chris Mcmillan connected on a 40-yard field goal to end the first half.
However, things took a turn for worst for the Lightning in the second half. Legacy turned the ball over three times in its own territory in the third quarter. And to make matters worse, starting quarterback Camdyn Johnston left the game with an injured shoulder early in the quarter.
A snap that sailed over the punter’s head early in the quarter gave Mountain Vista the ball at Legacy’s 13-yard line. One play later, Modrzewski found Chris Smith to advance the lead.
Next drive, Legacy fumbled the ball at the 30, and Modrzewski found Mack on the following play to push the lead to 18 points.
Modrzewski added another touchdown in the quarter with a screen pass to Elam Parises to give Mountain Vista a commanding 28-3 lead after three quarters.
Legacy finally saw some success late by running the wildcat formation late. Braelon Tate, who was battling an injured ankle in the contest, scored a 1-yard plunge to open the fourth. He then broke loose for a 54-yard run that set up his second touchdown in the contest.
But Modrzewski sealed the victory with a late touchdown pass to Tyrone Williams.
“(Legacy) was a good team, they had injuries which hurt, but our team showed great resolve,” Looney said. “We made a couple of adjustments in the second half and our kids played really well.”
Tate had 127 yards in the contest and finishes his career at Legacy by breaking the school’s record for points scored with 114.
On the defensive side of the ball, Jackson Smith, Kaiden Rivera and Carter Daniels all had interceptions for Mountain Vista, while Alex Gottschalk had a pair of sacks and a fumble recovery. Johnson had an interception for Legacy.
Legacy finished the season with a record of 6-5, 4-1 in the class 5A North League. Mountain Vista’s season record was 5-6, 1-4 in 5A Douglas County.
For more CHSAA 5A prep football playoff results, go online to tinyurl.com/5Afootballplayoffs
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