GREENWOOD VILLAGE — You’ve heard it before, but speed really never does have an off day.
It is something that Legacy has always had to deal with in the first round of the playoffs for year. They draw a team — usually one of the now former Centennial League juggernauts — and have issues getting use to the quickness until it’s too little too late.
There is no scripting that during the week of practice.
“They are just athletic across the board,” Legacy coach Wayne Voorhees said. “They are very deep, which is a good thing for them and everybody else that we have played had some holes.
“They didn’t have any holes and the speed corrects any that they do have.”
Such was the case again on Friday night at the Stutler Bowl in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs against Grandview. The Wolves dictated play on the opening drive, a 13-play, 80-yard matriculation that ate up over six minutes, and never looked back.
Sixth-seeded Grandview coasted to a 37-7 victory over the No. 11 Lightning and advanced to the quarterfinals, where it will face Valor Christian next weekend. Legacy wraps up a roller coaster ride of a season 8-3.
In addition to the advantage in speed, the Wolves (10-1) were also able to dominate the line of scrimmage and that to was evident from the get-go. After the opening play of the game went for 38-yards through the air, Grandview opted to pound the ball with senior tailback Hayden Blubaugh.
He saw the ball five times in the opening drive, which ended with quarterback Gunnar Lamphere sneaking in from 1-yard out.
The score would stay that way until early in the second, when the Lightning lined up for a 51-yard Kyle Freeburg field goal to cut into the lead. Freeburg got under the kick, hit it a little fat if you will, and Blubaugh was able to field it at the 1-yard line.
He went 99-yards the other way for a score and he added the second of his three touchdowns moments later to make it a three score game.
“We just didn’t execute on all cylinders like we were hoping to do,” Voorhees said. “we made some mistakes and we know we can’t afford to make mistakes against this kind of a team. They are very good and very athletic and we knew that going in.”
Legacy would make things interesting before halftime when Alec Lewis hit Landon Sneyd on a 63-yard touchdown pass, but that would turn out to be the lone highlight for the Lightning.
Grandview’s defense did the rest and held the Lightning rushing attack to an astonishing minus-9 yards on 18 carries, including four sacks of Lewis.
“We were dropping like flies and we had a lot of inexperienced guys in at times,” said Voorhees, whose assistant Matt Kroupa took his first steps since the Sept. 11 bus accident without the use of crutches on Thursday. “We just have to be more confident.”
Voorhees was able to sum up one of the more bizarre seasons he has experienced in his long tenure at the school.
“We’ve had something every week it seems like,” he said. “And I’m proud of these kids and all the things they’ve done over the course of the season and to be 8-2 and going into this game, I told them they were 1 of 16 and had done a great job getting to that point.
“I wish we had done a little bit better, but I;m proud of the effort they put in.”