Grandview second-half running game sinks Legacy

Adam Hothersall
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 11/15/18

After their impressive first-round playoff win Nov. 2 at Mullen, Legacy football (5-7) took on Grandview (10-1), hoping to pull the upset. Unfortunately for the Lightning, the powerful running game …

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Grandview second-half running game sinks Legacy

Posted

After their impressive first-round playoff win Nov. 2 at Mullen, Legacy football (5-7) took on Grandview (10-1), hoping to pull the upset. Unfortunately for the Lightning, the powerful running game of the Wolves wore down the Legacy defense in the 45-21 defeat Nov. 10.

The first two defensive drives for the road team resulted in three-and-outs against the high-powered Grandview squad that averages 41 points per game. However, after seven straight running plays, the play-action on the eighth play resulted in a touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Jacob Burr to senior receiver Dayne Prim. The 29-yard score with 1:49 left in the first quarter held, for a few minutes.

Legacy answered with a 13-play, four minute and 37-second drive of their own. Covering 65 yards, on six runs and seven passes, the possession concluded on a 4-yard TD pass from senior quarterback Nicholas McCarthy to senior Jack Smith.

Two straight scores from Grandview via a 24-yard TD reception by Primm and a 46-yard field goal by senior Cobi Wood put the Lighting deficit at 10 heading to halftime. Despite Burr’s efficient 6-for-7 passing with 111 yards in the first half, the Wolves attack completely flipped their approach in half No. 2.

Rushing in the second half proved the difference in this contest. Running for only 60 yards in the first half, Grandview exploded for 298 yards in the second with senior and sophomore running backs Jordan Billingsley and Noah Schmidt sprinting for 108 and 103 yards respectively.

“They have a great football team, and there’s a reason they are 10-1,” Legacy coach Corey Heinz said. “They leaned on us, and they are a dang good football team. They outplayed us on both sides of the ball, outplayed us up front, but I’m proud of my kids.”

Legacy, behind junior running back Dakota Key leans on the running game, but the banged-up back had just 17 yards on 15 carries due to the consistent push by the Grandview defensive line all afternoon. With 24 yards rushing yards total as a team, the offense couldn’t effectively play at the tempo they desire, becoming one-dimensional, and passing 41 times.

Defensively for Legacy, because of the short offensive drives from their offense and the constant ground-and-pound game of the Wolves, the Lightning front fatigued early on in the second half. With 19 straight running plays to end the game for Grandview, they stuck to what was working.

As Heinz wraps up his first season as the coach for the Lightning, his program looks to be heading in the right direction, earning a state playoff victory and making strides throughout the year. He thanks his seniors for buying into his philosophies and beginning potentially something special at Legacy.

“It’s incredible. I can’t believe it’s over, but I’m really proud of the kids in the way they have responded, it couldn’t have been easy for them. It was a complete culture change, and they (seniors) were just awesome. Very grateful to have the opportunity to coach them and very honored to be the head football coach here.”

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