THORNTON — Two weeks ago, the Legacy football season was on the brink of fading to irrelevance. After the Boulder sweep, the season is right back on track.
A week after upending Fairview, the Lightning blasted Boulder 42-21 Thursday night at Five Star Stadium in a Class 5A North Metro League game.
“It’s awesome. I’m really proud of our team and we just turned it around,” Legacy running back Phydell Paris said. “We took it upon ourselves to change our season and decided we want to play for a league championship.”
Paris rushed for 190 yards on 28 carries as the Lightning (4-4, 3-1) utilized him most after they established a lead against the Panthers. Paris surpassed the 1,000-yard plateau (he’s at 1,070) and vaulted into sixth place on Legacy’s all-time rushing list.
Boulder, meanwhile, has dropped six straight and allowed at least 42 points in each outing. The Panthers (2-6, 0-4) showed spunk early, exiting the first quarter tied 14-14 after two T.J. Patterson touchdown passes to River Addison.
But the offense didn’t score again until a Patterson pass to Emerson McKee in the final minutes against the Legacy reserves.
“They started putting good pressure on our quarterback and their corners were making plays,” Addison said.
Patterson, facing constant pressure, completed just 19 of 48 attempts for 264 yards. He had three interceptions — two by Legacy linebacker Jake Bublitz — to go with his three TDs.
After torching the Lightning for 10 first downs in the opening quarter, Legacy buckled down.
“I would say we just calmed down,” Bublitz said. “At the beginning we were all riled up and probably doing a little too much. We just had to step back, do our assignments and get it done.”
Legacy’s Drew Hebel had a 73-yard punt return to open the scoring and also had two return TDs nullified by late penalties. Lightning quarterback Steven Yoshihara was steady and solid, completing 13 of 21 passes for 141 yards and three touchdowns. Yoshihara was not picked off, although the Lightning lost four fumbles.
Aaron Edwards, Mikey Straface and Mitch McCall all caught touchdowns for the Lightning, which will take on Ralston Valley next week in what will amount to a league title game.
“We’re so much more confident right now,” Bublitz said. “We’re hitting our stride at the right time.”
After the 14-14 first quarter, Legacy scored 28 unanswered points. And after establishing the lead, it was a steady diet of Paris.
“Our offensive line just picked it up,” he said. “It was nice to get a few carries in a row to get rolling.”
Boulder will face rival Fairview next week, hoping to end the regular season on a high note. Despite the struggles, the Panthers haven’t folded. They are just hoping a few breaks eventually go their way.
“It’s never hard to keep your head up,” Addison said. “I love this group of guys. I know everybody on this field is going to come to compete every week.”
Follow Paul on Twitter: @PaulWillis21
LEGACY 42, BOULDER 21
At Five Star Stadium
Boulder (2-6, 0-4) 14 0 0 7 — 21
Legacy (4-4, 3-1) 14 14 7 7 — 42
Legacy — Drew Hebel 73 punt return (Travis Baum kick).
Boulder — River Addison 9 pass from T.J. Patterson (Patrick Sherman kick).
Legacy — Phydell Paris 37 run (Baum kick).
Boulder — Addison 8 pass from Patterson (Sherman kick).
Legacy — Mikey Straface 14 pass from Steven Yoshihara (Baum kick).
Legacy — Aaron Edwards 12 pass from Yoshihara (Baum kick).
Legacy — Mitch McCall 26 pass from Yoshihara (Baum kick).
Legacy — Jake Bublitz 5 run (Baum kick).
Boulder — Emerson McKee 15 pass from Patterson (Simpson-Johnson kick).
First downs 20 18
Rushes-yards 15-23 42-191
Passing yards 264 141
Comp-Att-Int 19-48-3 13-21-0
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 4-4
Penalties-Yards 7-62 11-105
RUSHING — Boulder: Kennedy 8-41, Guegan 1-10, McKee 2-(-7), Patterson 4-(-21); Legacy: Paris 28-190, Bublitz 3-12, Petersian 2-17, Rope 3-(-6), Johnson 3-(-5), Yoshihara 5-(-17).
PASSING (comp-att-int-yards) — Boulder: Patterson 19-48-3, 264 yards; Legacy: Yoshihara 13-21-0, 141 yards.
RECEIVING — Boulder: Addison 8-109, McKee 4-88, Guegan 2-24, Kennedy 2-14, Escobar 2-14, Heimbach 1-15; Legacy: McCall 6-82, Straface 3-33, Bublitz 2-16, Matthews 1-7, Paris 1-2.