LONGMONT — The Lyons football team rolled Friday night. Now the Lions will spend Saturday rooting for rival Estes Park — and maybe even campaigning a little bit.
LHS quarterback Logan Watson threw for three touchdowns and ran for another as the Lions topped Denver Christian 34-14 at Mead High School to end the regular season.
The victory put Lyons in a third-place tie with Front Range Christian in the Class 1A Metro League. Only the top two teams in league play earn automatic playoff berths. League champ Platte Canyon has clinched a berth. But second-place Jefferson, which was forced to forfeit all of its 2013 contests this week, is a 2A program that no longer is a postseason consideration.
Both Lyons (6-2) and Front Range Christian (4-4) are 4-2 in league play. Front Range Christian closes its season at Estes Park at 1 p.m. Saturday. Because of the September flooding Lyons’ game against Estes Park earlier this season was canceled.
So an Estes Park upset win over FRC gives Lyons the edge over FRC in the standings and the second playoff berth. But an FRC win puts it ahead of Lyons.
If the latter happens, a vote of league athletic directors will decide who gets the second playoff berth given that Lyons beat Front Range Christian during the regular season and was shorted a game but FRC would have one more league win.
If FRC were granted the second playoff berth, Lyons would still have a shot at one of four wild card berths into the 16-team field. The playoff bracket comes out Sunday, with a committee selecting the wildcard teams.
Everybody got it?
“I’m trying to stay out of it,” second-year Lyons coach Brandon Wilkes said. “You can only control what you can control.
“All I know, with what these boys have been through and what they’ve accomplished, they deserve to be a playoff team no matter what anyone says.”
Suiting up only 16 players Friday, the Lions cruised after the teams traded early touchdowns on long first-quarter drives.
Lyons scored 21 unanswered points in the second quarter before Denver Christian (1-7, 1-5) answered just before halftime.
Watson hit Trent Poulsen down the left sideline for a 72-yard touchdown pass that made it 28-7. He’d earlier connected with Austin Myers from 21 yards out and Zach Christiansen 23 yards out.
Watson, who entered the game with 694 yards passing on the season, finished the first half with 209 and had 226 for the game. He rushed in from 6 yards out in the second quarter to make it 20-7.
“They were trying to spy the QB keeper and the run more,” Watson said. “It helped that they loaded the box. As soon as we started seeing that we exploited it.”
Watson’s rushing score was set up by a Myers interception that gave the Lions possession at the Denver Christian 8. A short field in the second half after a botched Denver Christian punt led to a Christiansen rushing touchdown from 14 yards out to seal things early in the fourth quarter.
Denver Christian quarterback Tate Kastens threw a pair of touchdown passes including a 58-yarder just before halftime. But Lyons’ defense never gave an inch in the second half.
The Lions seniors entered the game on senior night knowing it could potentially be their last, even with a win. And they played like it. Poulsen had 94 yards receiving on five catches, including the score. And he rushed for 56 yards to help complement classmate Watson.
“We just tried to come out tonight and give it our best effort,” Poulsen said. “Going through all the adversity we had this year, it was just special to play on senior night.”
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Lyons 34, Denver Christian 14
At Sandstone Ranch
Denver Christian (1-7, 1-5) 7 7 0 0 — 14
Lyons (6-2, 4-2) 7 21 0 6 — 34
Lyons — Zach Christiansen 23 pass from Logan Watson (Trent Poulsen kick).
Denver Christian — Reed VandenBroeke 9 pass from Tate Kastens (Kyler Schmitt kick).
Lyons — Austin Myers 21 pass from Watson (Poulsen kick).
Lyons — Watson 6 run (kick failed).
Lyons — Poulsen 72 pass from Watson (Watson run).
Denver Christian — Josh Van Eps 58 pass from Kastens (Schmitt kick).
Lyons — Christiansen 14 run (kick failed).
RUSHING — Denver Christian: Lujan 18-39, Kastens 12-72, Piper 3-13, Hayes 2-4, Van Eps 1-2; Lyons: Poulsen 17-56, Watson 13-54, Christiansen 2-18.
PASSING (comp-att-int-yards) — Denver Christian: Kastens 7-24-2-120; Lyons: Watson 12-22-1-226.
RECEIVING — Denver Christian: Van Eps 4-77, VandenBroeke 2-20, Kortenhoeven 1-23; Lyons: Poulsen 5-94, Christiansen 2-82, Myers 2-26, Herman 2-19, Medina 1-5.