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Football: Lyons takes down Justice on festive Friday night

Lions’ game recognized as Denver Broncos’ Game of the Week

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LYONS — It was appropriate that former Denver Broncos player and NFL Hall of Famer Steve Atwater was in the house for Lyons’ homecoming game on Friday.

The “Smiling Assassin” played the sport with a joyful intensity during his 10-year hall of fame career, and that same attitude was on display for the Class 1A 8-man Lions in their 54-6 win over Justice. Fun does come easier, of course, when things are going well. Lyons improved to 6-0 (2-0 A-8 League 5) — the program’s most wins since 2013.

“These guys have been working hard,” Lyons head coach Jason Yantzer said. “We’ve had our trials and tribulations and now we’re off to a great start for the season and being 6-0, it’s nice to celebrate all that hard work we’ve done.”

The Phoenix, meanwhile, dropped to 1-5 (0-2 A-8 League 5) and will look for their first league win on Oct. 15 at Front Range Christian.

Atwater’s presence was in conjunction with Lyons-Justice being the Denver Broncos High School Game of the Week. Several Broncos cheerleaders performed on the field pregame, and the Lombardi Trophy from the Broncos’ Super Bowl 50 win was on display for fans to view.

“It was a beautiful visit,” Atwater said. “I got a chance to talk to both teams briefly and love the future of these young men. All the students here in the school were so respectful, so kind and welcoming.”

With the NFL’s ultimate prize on campus, the Lions proved once again why they’re legitimate contenders for a state championship. Lyons has now outscored its opponents 266-58 and is ranked No. 6 by CHSAANow.com.

Both Lyons’ offense and defense contributed to the scoring effort. Offensively, senior quarterback Miles Dumbauld rushed for a 63-yard touchdown and connected with junior Maregu Sullivan for an 11-yard score. The defense also returned a fumble for a touchdown, recorded a safety and junior Finn Oetting logged a pick-six.

“We had a lot of guys make some plays, which is good,” Yantzer said. “I loved how our kids approached the game. I loved their attitude and I love their effort when we came into the game because homecoming week is pretty distracting. They had a lot of good focus, so I was proud of them.”

Justice’s lone score of the night came in the fourth quarter when junior quarterback Clayton Hobbs rushed one home.

Atwater, a two-time Super Bowl champion, offered some advice to the Lions as they continue an increasingly special season.

“Don’t let the (6-0) go to your head,” Atwater said. “You got to continue to work like you did when you were 0-0 and just keep that mentality throughout the season one game at a time and amazing things can happen.”

Lyons continues its league slate on Oct. 15 at Gilpin County.

“It’s fantastic being 6-0,” Dumbauld said. “Moving forward, we’re really wanting that undefeated record and we’re hoping to host playoffs. We’re just having so much fun out here.”