BROOMFIELD — Both Broomfield and Legacy had Friday night’s Week 1 showdown at Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium circled in red permanent marker on the calendars.
For Legacy it meant validation for a summer’s worth of hard work and improvement. For the host Eagles, they wanted a little revenge for what Legacy did to them last year in the annual Mayor’s Cup battle.
In the end, the Lightning looked impressive in all phases of the game — offense, defense and special teams — in a 21-6 victory over Broomfield and for the second straight year hoisted the trophy from Mayor Randy Ahrens.
“Both of our lines played pretty well tonight and that was the big thing going in because we knew they had those big linemen,” Legacy coach Wayne Voorhees said. “We knew a lot of them were going to be going both ways and we needed to wear them down as much as we could and I’m proud of our guys.”
On offense the Lightning ran the ball effectively with Connor Connolly. The senior, who was a vital cog in the Lightning’s 7-on-7 championship this summer that resulted in a trip to Indianapolis for the national tournament, finished with 109 yards and opened the scoring with an 8-yard run in the second quarter.
That culminated an 85-yard drive after Evan Baugh blocked Bryan Tanagawa’s 27-yard field goal attempt.
“We were physical and we played hard every down,” said Connolly, whose line mates also helped Baugh go for 81 yards on 13 carries when he gave Connolly breathers. “Every guy did their job and every guy wanted it.”
On the very next possession after Broomfield punter Noah Dohm bobbled the snap and was forced down deep in Lightning territory, Legacy quarterback Matt Lynch tossed his first touchdown pass to Jack Rusher from 11 yards out.
Broomfield was never able to find any sort of rhythm on offense with first-year starter Logan McCormick after the initial drive that got them into field goal range. It didn’t help that he lost a crucial part of his weaponry in Jordan Xiong — thought to be done with an MCL injury — and star wideout Dante Panicucci was held without a reception until the third quarter.
“It really comes down to preparation and that is on me,” Broomfield coach Gary Davies said. “We were not ready. I mean, we had 10 guys on the field numerous times and that’s all me.
“I’ve got to get better and the kids will get better if I get better.”
Legacy capitalized on a short field late in the third, going 23 yards in four plays capped by Connolly’s second scoring run, this one from three yards out.
“This was a game for us to define what kind of team we are going to be this year, especially against a huge rival,” Connolly said. “I feel like we have a lot of momentum going into the season.”
Broomfield did get on the board in the fourth quarter. The Eagles sent an all-out rush at the Legacy punter and junior Brock Abeyta blocked the punt. It trickled all the way back to the goalline, where sophomore Cal Lively picked it up for the easy score.
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Legacy 21, Broomfield 6
At Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium
Legacy (1-0) 0 14 0 7 — 21
Broomfield (0-1) 0 0 0 6 — 6
Legacy — Connor Connolly 8 run (Hunter Rainwater kick).
Legacy — Jack Ruscher 11 pass from Matt Lynch (Rainwater kick).
Legacy — Connolly 3 run (Rainwater kick).
Broomfield — Cal Lively blocked punt recovery in end zone (kick failed).
RUSHING — Legacy: Connor Connolly 19-104, Evan Baugh 13-81; Matt Lynch 8-21, KJ Robinson 6-15; Broomfield: Jalon Torres 18-85, Logan McCormick 5-46, Nate Knowles 1-20, Jordan Xiong 1-2.
PASSING — Legacy: Lynch 11–16-159-1; Broomfield: McCormick 7-19-77-1, Jack Burgesser 0-3-0-1
RECEIVING — Legacy: Dalton Royer 5-72, Logan Paulson 3-62, Jack Ruscher 2-21, Tyler Kimbrough 1-4; Broomfield: Tudor Arvinte 1-24, Noah Dohm 1-16, Payton Holloway 1-13, Dante Panicucci 1-11, Dalton Ill 1-5, Garrett Betty 1-5, Xiong 1-3.