AURORA - Legacy's bubble burst. It exploded, actually, and there wasn't a whole bunch the Lightning did to prevent it.
In fact, the Lightning helped it along with a series of key errors, missed chances and an inability to keep its roll going.
On one of those Friday nights in early Colorado fall that double as a warning that it's probably only going to get colder, Legacy seemed frozen in its track late and fell 36-9 to Regis Jesuit at Lou Kellogg Stadium in a Mt. Antero League opener.
A second-half collapse spelled disappointing doom for the Lightning, now 4-2 overall - it had won its previous three games -- and head coach Wayne Voorhees has been around long enough to see a whipping as a character-builder when he sees one. The man, who's on the mend from a fractured skull following last month's tragic bus accident after a return trip from California, refused to provide excuses.
"It was ugly," Voorhees said. "Very much so. And humbling? I think it definitely is. A couple things and it's an avalanche all of a sudden."
And an effective one - Legacy got buried and shouldered much of the blame.
The odd thing, Voorhees agreed, was that the Lightning missed multiple opportunities, yet trailed only 22-9 midway through the third quarter. But then things started to happen. Quarterback Alec Lewis, who had been picked off earlier, sandwiched two more interceptions around a lost fumble and, in a flurry of about two minutes, the Raiders (5-1 overall) suddenly led 36-9.
The fumble was returned for a touchdown and Legacy failed to cover a short kickoff. Add that to Lewis having his first interception returned 95 yards for a TD and the sudden turnaround didn't seem so sudden.
Blame no one else, Lewis said, "I just made some irrational decisions, some bone-headed decisions. (The Raiders) were just sitting back in cover-4, they were doing the same thing all night."
Legacy probably is still kicking itself further as its missed chances began with the opening drive. Lewis completed his first five passes and marched the Lightning 77 yards before having to settle for a 28-yard field goal by Kyle Freeburg.
Plus, the Lightning defense, as noted by Lewis, had a strong first half as its offense sputtered, although Lewis led a drive that was capped by a strong catch in the left corner of the end zone by Ryan Lynch for a 9-7 halftime lead.
However, the Raiders grabbed the lead for good early in the third quarter and were helped by an encroachment penalty by the Lightning on fourth-and-4 at the Legacy 22-yard line. On the next play, Regis Jesuit ran it in for a 15-9 lead it never relinquished.
"We just didn't take advantage of the opportunities we had," said Voorhees, who gave his group a talking to afterward. "We misfired a bunch of times."
Lynch, Anthony Lyle and Ross Smith led Legacy's pitch-and-catch attack, but it wasn't enough.
"We told our guys that we'll come back from this and, hopefully, go 4-0," Voorhees said.
Next up for the Lightning - at Aurora Central in a week.
Said Lewis: "We have four games to go to make the playoffs and we have to come out strong."
Regis Jesuit 36, Legacy 9
At Lou Kellogg StadiumLegacy 3 6 0 0 — 9
Regis Jesuit 0 7 15 14 — 36
Legacy — Kyle Freeburg 28 field goal, 6:20.
Regis Jesuit — Alfred Jones 10 run (Jarred Worrick kick), 3:13.Legacy — Ryan Lynch 13 pass from Alec Lewis (kick blocked), 1:08.
Regis Jesuit — D.J. Jackson 17 run (Keegan Krahn pass from Cade Mendenhall), 7:14.Regis Jesuit — Patrick Roe 95 interception return (Jarred Worrick kick), 2:24.
Regis Jesuit — Jake Heimicher 28 fumble return (Jarred Worrick kick),9:26.Regis Jesuit — Kiahn Martinez 27 run (Worrick kick), 8:30.
RUSHING — Legacy: Ethan Simmons 12-51; Kenny Gonzales 5-17; Owen Weber 1-2; Lewis 2-0.
PASSING — Legacy: Lewis 27-41-3-238.
RECEIVING — Legacy: Lynch 9-67; Smith 6-58; Lyle 5-46; Braxton Hansen 4-34; Landon Sneyd 8-36; Simmons 1-minus-3.