WESTMINSTER – After weeks of pain, the Legacy Lightning found joy – and the end zone.
Alec Lewis passed for 251 yards and a school-record five touchdowns, three to Ryan Lynch, and the Lightning used a big second quarter to beat Horizon 38-21 on Friday night.
Lynch’s three touchdown catches were also a school record. He finished with eight catches for 66 yards to help the team and the school begin healing.
“These last two weeks have showed us they’re a good football team, top to bottom,” interim coach Matt Craddock said. “They play well in adversity, they’re scrappy and they played off each other. Horizon just couldn’t get that momentum going.”
The impressive win for Legacy (3-1) came four days after the funeral for bus driver Kari Chopper, who was killed transporting some of the players and coaches from Denver International Airport on Sept. 11.
Three coaches and 15 players suffered injuries in the crash. The healing began a week ago with Legacy’s win over Prairie View and continued with Friday’s convincing win of the Hawks (2-2).
“It’s amazing to see this community come together and support us,” said Lewis, who completed 21 of 35 passes. “This whole community has been super supportive and it’s nice to come out and play for our coaches.”
Lewis hooked up with Lynch on passes of 11, 19 and six yards to put the Lightning ahead 31-14 early in the fourth quarter. The offensive outburst came after the defense had a couple of stops on fourth down and forced two turnovers.
“Our defensive started making plays, giving our offense a chance to score and we took advantage of it,” Lynch said.
Horizon struck first on Cody Verkler’s 14-yard touchdown run set up by quarterback Amado Capetillo’s 60-yard run from deep in the Hawks’ end.
After two missed field goals by the Hawks, Lewis hit Anthony Lyle in stride for a 78-yard touchdown to tie it at 7-7.
The Lightning then took over with two scores at the end of the half. Lewis found Lynch in the back of the end zone with 1:06 left. On the ensuing Horizon possession Brandon Willis intercepted Capetillo and Lewis turned that into his second TD pass to Lynch, a 19-yarder with 8 seconds left before half.
The Lightning turned to the ground game in the third quarter. They ran the ball on seven straight snaps to move from their 34 to Horizon’s 25 and finished the drive with Lynch’s third TD catch.
Lewis made it 38-14 when he hit Ross Smith with a six-yard touchdown pass in the fourth.
It was a positive finish for a team and community looking to recover from a tough two weeks.
“From coaches, administrators, students, on down to the players, adversity has really brought us together,” Craddock said. “We’re getting to be a family. It’s fun to watch.”
Legacy 38, Horizon 21
At North Stadium
Horizon — Cade Verkler 14 run (Halle Underwood kick).
Legacy — Anthony Lyle 78 pass from Alec Lewis (Kyle Freeburg kick). Legacy — Ryan Lynch 11 pass from Lewis (Freeburg kick). Legacy — Lynch 19 pass from Lewis (Freeburg kick).
Horizon — Amado Capetillo 1 run (Underwood kick). Legacy — Lynch 6 pass from Lewis (Freeburg kick).
Legacy — Freeburg 35 FG.Legacy — Ross Smith 6 pass from Lewis (Freeburg kick).Horizon — Brant Killmon 19 pass from Capetillo (Underwood kick).
RUSHING — Legacy: Ethan Simmons 14-62, Kenny Gonzalez 9-44, Ross Smith 1-9, Alec Lewis 1-6, Anthony Lyle 1-4, Ryan Lynch 1-2. Horizon: Cade Verkler 38-208, Amado Capetillo 12-78, Brant Killmon 1-(-7).
PASSING — Legacy: Lewis 21-35-0-251. Horizon: Capetillo 3-13-2-60
RECEIVING — Legacy: Lyle 3-90, Lynch 8-66, Smith 5-65, Simmons 2-12, Landon Sneyd 3-18Horizon: Isaac Salazar 1-34, Killmon 1-19, Taylor Sayavong 1-7.