WESTMINSTER — Legacy head coach Wayne Voorhees knew prior to a Week 10 matchup against Westminster on Thursday night that the Mt. Antero League championship was not up for grabs.
At the same time, the Lightning entered the final week of the regular season with the wins and the RPI rating to be in the mix for a first-round home playoff game next week.
Only one non-champion from the seven Class 5A leagues will earn that right, and Legacy (No. 8 RPI) at least played like it wanted that spot in a 44-13 romp over the Wolves to wrap up an 8-2 regular season.
Alec Lewis, who has come on to break all the single-season passing records for LHS as a junior, threw five touchdown passes — three of them to senior Braxton Hansen on a night the Class of 2017 was honored — and the Lightning took advantage of some short-field opportunities to improve to 4-1 in league.
"I really like the way we came out as a team and joined together after all the adversity we had, and especially in the last three weeks (after losing to Regis Jesuit)," said Hansen, who had four receptions for 97 yards as his team obliterated the Westy defensive backfield. "It's really nice to have had this opportunity to come out, finish 8-2 and have a great chance to get somewhere good in the playoffs. We came out with a mindset to play hard, fast and physical to get a W and put us the best place we could be."
"The only thing we can do is play the games on the schedule and keep winning, and we let the rest take care of itself," Voorhees said. "We stubbed our toe with Regis, but we know we're a good football team. And we're growing as a team, too."
Lewis was masterful on this night, hitting Ryan Lynch for two touchdowns, as well as he went for 195 yards on just 18 attempts with 13 completions. When it looked early on like the Legacy running game was having trouble moving, he was patient while at the same time able to extend some plays.
In fact, Hansen's first TD catch was a 40-yarder in which Lewis rolled out to the right sideline before letting the ball go — he got hit pretty hard on the play, as well. That was Lewis's third TD of the night, making it 20-7 in the second quarter.
Lewis found Hansen again with 1:34 left before half to extend it to 27-7, and although Westminster (1-9, 1-4) made it a 14-point affair right before the break again, Legacy pitched a shutout over the final 24 minutes.
Lynch ended up with six receptions for 61 yards, and Legacy had 291 yards of offense in all.
"I really felt a mismatch against their outside linebacker, and I'm kind of that person for man-on-man," Hansen said. "I gave it all I had."
"Alec's been great all year, and he just makes great decisions with the football," Voorhees added. "The good news is we've got guys that are doing a great job catching it, too. Our receiving corps is probably the best, top-to-bottom, that we've ever had and so we knew we had a good matchup tonight."
The Lightning will have to await their fate until Sunday, and with the RPI rewarding teams for losing just as much as winning, there's plenty of uncertainty about where they will land.
But the message post-game was they did everything they needed to do on Friday night.
Legacy 44, Westminster 13
At North StadiumWestminster (1-9, 1-4) 7 6 0 0 — 13 Legacy (8-2, 4-1) 7 20 7 10 — 44
Westminster — Noah Silva 1 run (Jerel Cummins kick). Legacy — Ryan Lynch 20 pass from Alec Lewis (Kyle Freeburg kick).
Legacy — Lynch 11 pass from Lewis (kick failed). Legacy — Braxton Hansen 40 pass from Lewis (Freeburg kick). Legacy — Hansen 25 pass from Lewis (Freeburg kick). Westminster — Jerel Cummins 32 pass from Nick Lopez (kick failed).
Legacy — Ethan Simmons 7 run(Freeburg kick).
Legacy — Hansen 28 pass from Lewis (Freeburg kick). Legacy — Freeburg 37 field goal.
RUSHING — Westminster: Tristan Giron 13-72, Tanner Sisco 13-43, Nick Lopez 12-57, Noah Silva 6-22, Miguel Villalobos 7-39, Jesus Perez 1-12. Legacy: Ethan Simmons 8-69, Dom Hernandez 5-5, Brandon Wills 2-19, Kenny Gonzales 2-9, Alec Lewis (3-(minus-6).
PASSING — Westminster: Lopez 4-10-0-81. Legacy: Lewis 13-18-0-195.
RECEIVING — Westminster: Giron 2-35, Jerel Cummins 2-46. Legacy: Ryan Lynch 6-61, Braxton Hansen 4-97, Anthony Lyle 1-32, Dylan Anderson 1-2, Simmons 1-3.