Legacy overcomes 18-point deficit to defeat Horizon

Adam Hothersall
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 11/5/19

Despite dropping their first six games of the 2019 season, Legacy football has ended strongly — taking three of their last four, including a 31-28 comeback win against conference foe, Horizon. …

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Legacy overcomes 18-point deficit to defeat Horizon

Posted

Despite dropping their first six games of the 2019 season, Legacy football has ended strongly — taking three of their last four, including a 31-28 comeback win against conference foe, Horizon.

Overcoming a 21-3 deficit at halftime, Legacy — behind sophomore quarterback Adarius Edwards and senior running back Dakota Key — snapped the 2-game winning streak of the Hawks.

“We had to settle down,” Legacy coach Corey Heinz said of the slow start. “Just like them (Horizon), no team practices this week, so we made a lot of mental errors, and we just didn’t finish drives. We got it together, came in and regrouped at halftime and credit to the kids for doing so.”

The struggles for the Lighting started on their first two drives — despite moving the ball well — only tallying three points with 104 yards combined on the possessions. Both quests stalled inside of the 5-yard line in part to the Horizon defense standing tall.

Taking advantage of the missed opportunities, the Hawks converted with 21 unanswered points on two touchdown passes and one run before halftime. The first score came from 24 yards out on the pass from sophomore quarterback Xavier Harris to junior Aidan Moody with 9:37 left in the second quarter. Less than six minutes later, a 4-yard touchdown run by junior Zachary Yoder placed the lead at 10, followed by a 72-yard pass to junior Liam Francis with 1:21 left before the intermission.

Legacy, however, looked like a different team — particularly offensively — in the new half.

Scoring touchdowns in their first four possessions of the half, Edwards and Key found their rhythm in the Lightning backfield. Capping a 59-yard drive with a 14-yard sprint from Edwards, the lead narrowed to 11. A stop from the defense — the following possession — handed the ball to the Legacy offense at the Horizon 46, and one play later, it was a 4-point contest. On a perfect throw down the right sideline, Edwards connected with senior Isaac Mercurio to keep momentum on the home team’s sideline.

However, Horizon wasn’t going to go away. Responding with an 8-play, 80-yard drive, the Hawks tallied six on the rush by sophomore Michael Bedwell from three yards out to regain an 11-point margin.

It only took three plays after the significant return from sophomore Braelon Tate for Legacy to respond with another touchdown. On three plays, a 32-yard TD scamper from Key put the Horizon lead once again at four.

After a 3-and-out from the Legacy defense — ending on a senior Hunter O’Connor sack — a bad punt placed Legacy with fantastic field position for Legacy to take their first lead since the 8:22 mark in the first quarter. Two opening plays of 15 yards to junior Jaiden Peterson (pass) and Key (run) set up a 4-yard score on the throw to Peterson ­— who ended the season with the most receptions in Legacy single-season history. The Lightning defense then took over.

The Horizon offense put a scare in Legacy on their final drive of the night — recording a 15-play drive, spanning 53 yards — but a stop on fourth down on the 22-yard line turned the ball over on downs with 53 seconds left to seal the deal.

Ending the evening with 172 yards on 17-of-25 passing and 35 rushing yards, Edwards showcased the ability as a dual-threat option for Heinz’s offense moving forward after the coach said, “he’s a stud, and he’s going to be a stud here for a long time. He was awesome. His composure is great, and he doesn’t play like a sophomore.” Key also recorded 146 all-purpose yards to lead the team in his final contest. Leaving their mark on the other side of the ball, senior Adam Lynch and O’Connor went out with a bang recording 13 and seven solo tackles, respectively.

As Key, Lynch, O’Connor and 17 other seniors vacate the program, Hines — a second-year coach — appreciates this group and knows they have contributed in laying the foundation for the future of Legacy football.

“They mean a ton. They have accepted me and I’m really, really grateful to them. I owe them a lot. I owe them a lot more than they owe to me, and it’s a cool feeling to finish this game the way they did tonight. I’m very proud of them all.”

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