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Football: Legacy rallies against Pomona but falls short

Braelon Tate scores twice, rushes for 177 yards in loss

  • Tim Hurst

    The Legacy football team runs on the field before a game against Pomona on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, at Adams 12 North Stadium in Westminster, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Tim Hurst

    Legacy senior free safety (4) breaks up a long reception to Pomona senior receiver Steven Gartman (13) on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, at Adams 12 North Stadium in Westminster, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Legacy senior running back Braelon Tate (4) breaks through the arm tackle of Pomona senior lineman Jaden Barrientos (99) on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, at Adams 12 North Stadium in Westminster, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Pomona senior kicker Mike Sierra (28) gets an improbable punt off while being tackled by Legacy junior linebacker Ryan Bynarowicz (53) on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, at Adams 12 North Stadium in Westminster, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Legacy captains walk on the field before a game against Pomona on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, at Adams 12 North Stadium in Westminster, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Legacy junior quarterback Jadon Carter (1) attempts a run against Pomona on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, at Adams 12 North Stadium in Westminster, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Legacy sophomore receiver Kullen Lerma (15) celebrates a touchdown reception with a teammate during a game against Pomona on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, at Adams 12 North Stadium in Westminster, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Legacy junior kicker Thomas Nguyen (32) is tackled out of the back of the end zone by Pomona senior linebacker Izaiah Benitez-Castro (15) for a safety on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, at Adams 12 North Stadium in Westminster, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Legacy sophomore receiver Kullen Lerma (15) looks for a gap during a game against Pomona on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, at Adams 12 North Stadium in Westminster, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Legacy senior running back Braelon Tate (4) fumbles the ball late in the fourth quarter against Pomona on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, at Adams 12 North Stadium in Westminster, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • The Legacy student section holds up their phones during a game against Pomona on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, at Adams 12 North Stadium in Westminster, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Legacy and Pomona captains looks on during the coin toss before a game on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, at Adams 12 North Stadium in Westminster, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Legacy junior quarterback Jadon Carter (1) hands the ball off to senior running back Braelon Tate (4) during a game against Pomona on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, at Adams 12 North Stadium in Westminster, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Legacy sophomore receiver Kullen Lerma (15) turns upfield after a reception while Pomona sophomore cornerback Christian Mccombs (14) pursues on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, at Adams 12 North Stadium in Westminster, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Legacy senior running back Braelon Tate (4) looks for a gap during a game against Pomona on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, at Adams 12 North Stadium in Westminster, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Legacy junior kicker Thomas Nguyen (32) reacts after being tackled on a punt attempt against Pomona on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, at Adams 12 North Stadium in Westminster, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Legacy junior cornerback Trey Javorek (2) tries to intercept a pass intended for Pomona sophomore reciever Christian Mccombs (14) on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, at Adams 12 North Stadium in Westminster, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Pomona senior running back Deion Maes (17) stiff arms his way from a tackle in the backfield by Legacy sophomore linebacker Omari Bursey (7) on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, at Adams 12 North Stadium in Westminster, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Legacy junior quarterback Jadon Carter (1) attempts a pass against Pomona on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, at Adams 12 North Stadium in Westminster, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Legacy sophomore receiver Kullen Lerma (15) pulls down a touchdown reception against Pomona on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, at Adams 12 North Stadium in Westminster, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • The Legacy football team looks on during the “Star Spangled Banner” before a game against Pomona on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, at Adams 12 North Stadium in Westminster, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

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WESTMINSTER — Legacy’s fate dimmed with a series of early gaffes and miscues Thursday.

A pick-six the wrong way, two punts gone wayward, the hole the Lightning helped dig themselves was sinking under their feet. Too deep to ascend.

Three first-half turnovers led to a touchdown, safety and field goal, and Pomona used a strong running attack the rest of the way to hold off Legacy, 26-20, at Adams 12 North Stadium, sending the area school to 1-3 on the season.

It was the Lightning’s fifth straight loss to Pomona dating back to 2010. And it came in spite of a late rally made possible by a series of defensive stops.

Leading the way was stud running back Braelon Tate, who rushed for a season-high 177 yards and two second-half scores.

Signs of life down 26-6 late in the third quarter, Tate flew through the middle of the line on fourth-and-1 and sped to a 34-yard score.

Legacy’s next two drives stalled inside Pomona territory before Tate added a 3-yard TD to cut the deficit to 26-20 with 4:04 remaining.

Not enough. The Panthers closed on their next possession, needing eight plays, picking up two first downs, to drain the rest of the clock.

For Tate, it was his sixth career game over the century rushing mark. He came around five yards shy of setting his career high in rushing yards in a game.

Pomona (2-2), with a monster run attack of its own, had been led by a one-two combo of Marcus Talbert and Deion Maes. The pairing led a rush performance that amassed more than 250 yards. They traded off big runs to help propel a strong start.

Scoring a pair of touchdowns 1:18 apart in the first quarter, the Panthers rolled out to a 14-0 lead.

The first came on the back end of a four-play drive, fueled by an opening carry of 55 yards by Talbert, and later capped by an eight-yard scamper by Maes.

Three plays into the Lightning’s second drive, the Panthers added a second as linebacker Junior Gonzales picked off Legacy and went untouched 30 yards into the end zone with 4:21 left in the quarter.

In the half, Pomona also got safety on a muffed punt and was set up with a short field goal thanks to another special teams’ mishap before the break. Legacy had a touchdown pass from Jadon Carter to Kullen Lerma.

The Lightning will look to rebound next week on the road against the Far Northeast Warriors. The Denver school beat Boulder in the Class 5A spring championship game.