State 5A football playoffs: Legacy rolls past Arvada West

Lightning face Pine Creek in round 2

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WESTMINSTER – The Legacy High School football team is on a mission this season.

The No. 12 Lightning dominated every aspect of the Nov. 4 Class 5A state playoff match against No. 21 Arvada West as they rolled to a 41-0 victory at North Stadium.

It was the first postseason victory for Legacy, which will now face No. 5 Pine Creek (8-2). Game time is 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, at District 20 Stadium at LIberty High School. The Lightning improved to 9-2 on the season and extended its winning streak to a school-record nine games, and new coach Jay Madden gave all the credit to his team.

“We have a very special group,” Madden said. “They are the reason we are winning. They are working hard and playing as one. It is fun to watch.”

The Lightning got things started with a trick play on the opening drive. Junior quarterback Kullen Lerma lined up to punt the ball but instead broke loose for a 47-yard touchdown run to get Legacy on the board early in the contest.

“That fake punt set the tone,” the coach said.

On the other side of the ball, A-West couldn’t contain Legacy’s aggressive defense. Senior defensive end Ryan Bynarowicz forced a fumble that set up Legacy at the 4-yard line and two plays later, Tyler Anderson raced into the end zone for another score.

Next drive, the Wildcats gave the ball right back to the Lightning after being stopped on fourth down at their own 30 and, once again, Anderson capped the drive with a touchdown.

Lerma added two more touchdowns for Legacy to give the Lightning a 34-0 advantage at halftime.

Kylan Studebaker took the opening punt of the second half 47 yards to paydirt to seal the victory for Legacy. It was Studebaker’s second punt returned for a touchdown on the season.

“We played as a team,” Lerma said. “Our mindset was to go and win every single play, and I think we did a fantastic job.”

A-West had zero answers for Legacy on either side of the ball, and it didn’t help that the Wildcats were dealing with injuries throughout the contest.

“They had guys going out injured, and we took advantage,” Madden said. “Our kids played sharp, and executed, we just have to limit the penalties.”

Lerma had a game-high 146 rushing yards, while Anderson added 89. Bynarowicz anchored the defense with two tackles for a loss and a sack. Marcus Romero had an interception, while Jack Boemecke and Owen Westemeyer each recovered fumbles.

The road won’t get easier for the Lightning, but they have been a force to be reckoned with over the past nine contests. They have averaged 38.9 points a game, while outscoring their opponents 350-100.

“We just trust each other,” Lerma said. “We believe in each other and feel like we can play with anybody right now. We have our work cut out for us, but we will be ready.”

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