WESTMINSTER – Fairview quarterback Aidan Atkinson threw for 340 yards and seven touchdowns to lead the Knights (5-1, 1-0) to a 49-31 win over the Legacy Lightning (0-6, 0-1) on Friday night.
Atkinson became the fifth quarterback in Colorado high school history with 100 career touchdown passes, according to Ryan Casey of the Colorado High School Activities Association.
But the touchdown mark is not the main goal for the senior quarterback this year.
“We have to win a state championship,” Atkinson said. “Touchdown passes are great, but if you don’t have a ring on your finger it doesn’t mean anything. That’s the bottom line.”
Fairview could be even more dangerous moving forward with the return of wide receiver Henry Blackburn, who played for the Knights after sitting out the first five games of the season.
“It felt so good,” Blackburn said on his return. “I love this team so much. I just wanted to give it my all out there with the boys tonight.”
Blackburn and Atkinson connected on the opening drive for three receptions and drove 80 yards for a score in just 64 seconds. The two would connect 12 times for 218 yards and four touchdowns in the win.
“This has been building up since like sixth grade,” Blackburn said. “We’ve been playing youth football together growing up, and now that it’s senior year we’re really on key with everything.”
Three touchdown passes from Atkinson to Blackburn helped Fairview jump out to a 28-3 lead in the first half.
Even though Legacy got off to a slow start, they were able to put together some lengthy offensive drives and had its best moment of the night to start the third quarter. The Lightning went 80 yards in 12 plays on the first drive of the quarter and finished with Dakota Key running for a 5-yard score. On the ensuing kickoff, Legacy attempted a surprise onside kick and recovered it. They would then drive 46 yards in eight plays and had sophomore Adarius Edwards punched it in with a quarterback sneak to cut the lead down to 28-17.
“We had it planned out,” Legacy coach Corey Heinz said. “We knew we were going to have to score with (Fairview)…. We executed pretty well there.”
In the end, it was too much firepower from Atkinson and the Fairview offense. Blackburn was the go-to receiver, but there was still big games from the younger guys who have played all year, including big Grant Page finishing with five receptions for 106 yards and three touchdowns.
“They all provide a great compliment to what Henry does on the field,” Atkinson said of his younger receivers.
Legacy would also see a career mark set by Key. He had more than 200 yards, helping him reach the 3,000-yard mark for his career.
“It was awesome to have (Dakota) back tonight,” Heinz said. “Dakota is a special kid and I’m proud of him.”