Legacy football coach Wayne Voorhees witnessed his Lightning last Thursday play a near flawless game against Boulder to open the Class 5A playoffs.
That hasn’t been the norm this season, but then again, character isn’t built by easing your way through the slate.
The Lightning are having their best season since 2008, sitting at 8-2 and ready to take on the Regis Jesuit Raiders in the second round Friday night. For Voorhees, one of the best aspects of the season is how LHS has come through in the clutch to pull out victories, particularly later on in the season.
“With this team, I really feel like if we have the ball last with an opportunity to win the game, we’re going to get it done,” Voorhees said Wednesday night.
Three times this year the Lightning scored in the final minutes to snatch victory from their opponents. The first time was in the season opener against Broomfield, and the past two times have come in a span of the last four games.
Legacy took second place in the Front Range League by ousting Fairview with the last score of the game in the waning minutes — two weeks after beating Fossil Ridge in dramatic fashion.
Confidence comes by different avenues, though. The Lightning have won six straight games overall, their longest win streak since that 2008 campaign in which they finished 9-2.
Matt Lynch has had a spectacular senior season, particularly his 19-to-3 touchdown to interception ratio. But, Legacy is a team that has gone about its business with some unheralded players like Evan Baugh and Derek Coleman.
Not many players around the state lead their team in rushing yards and tackles, but Baugh is doing just that with 692 yards from the tailback position and 71 tackles as a linebacker. Coleman also plays both sides of the ball, leading the team with 36 receptions and six TD’s while getting 34 tackles and three sacks as a defensive end.
“We’ve been reeling off a few wins and I think our kids are confident with where they are,” Voorhees said. “Evan is just one of many great players, but he does it for us everywhere. Special teams, he’s playing great defense in coverage and attacking the ball, and he’s running, catching and blocking on offense.
“Derek, both he and Logan (Paulson) provide a lot of matchup problems. They’re both 6-4, 6-5, and if we can get them on linebackers and defensive backs, we can get them the football.”
Legacy’s hopes against Regis (8-2) ride on everyone being on point, much like they were against Boulder. The Lightning scrimmaged Regis in the preseason, and Voorhees hopes that serves them well for the 7 p.m. kickoff at Regis.
“We competed against them this year, and we feel pretty good going up against them again,” Voorhees said.