GREENWOOD VILLAGE | The Eaglecrest football team had been in enough battles during the 2023 regular season that it didn’t panic down by three touchdowns Friday night in a Class 5A first round state playoff game.
Coach Mike Schmitt’s 16th-seeded, slow-starting Raptors worked their way back to within a touchdown in the third quarter, but 17th-seeded Legacy responded with a score of its own and went on to a 28-14 victory at Stutler Bowl.
Eaglecrest got a long touchdown pass from junior Joe Steiner to senior Cam Chapa and junior Josh Wiley rushed for a score, but couldn’t avoid a first round playoff loss for the second straight season. Legacy, meanwhile, got a big game from Omari Bursey on both sides of the ball to advance to a second round matchup against No. 1 Cherry Creek.
Full Class 5A state football playoff scoreboard and schedule, here
The Raptors finished 7-4 for a second straight season.
Eaglecrest had a difficult time contending with Bursey, who scored touchdowns via rush, reception and fumble return in addition to recording 14 tackles and two sacks.
Bursey had everything to do with the Raptors’ 21-point deficit at halftime. He forced a fumble that resulted in a 1-yard touchdown run by Tyler Anderson on fourth down in the first quarter, then in the second quarter he caught a screen pass from Devan Kirchhevel for a 14-yard touchdown and later scooped up a fumble and raced 69 yards up the left sideline to the end zone.
The Lightning came away with two interceptions of Steiner, who eventually got things going in the third quarter when he hit senior Shawn Otero-Tapia, who had split a pair of defenders up the middle of the field. The connection took the ball down to the 1-yard line, where Wiley took it into the end zone on the next play.
On the next possession, Steiner swung a short pass into the right flat to the electric Chapa, who hit another gear as he blew past the defense and raced up the right sideline to the end zone to make it a seven-point game.
Legacy got back into Eaglecrest territory on the ensuing possession and a defensive personal foul help the Lightning get into the red zone as the third quarter expired.
Bursey got a carry from 6-yard line and bounced it off the line and got into the end zone early in the fourth quarter for what turned out to be the last score of the game.
Only one of Aurora’s three team in action in the 5A first round earned victories, as No. 11 Grandview held off No. 22 Douglas County 28-21, while No. 19 Cherokee Trail fell to No. 14 Chatfield 42-7.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at email@example.com. Twitter/X: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports
2023 CLASS 5A STATE FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS (1ST ROUND)
Nov. 3 at Stutler Bowl
(17) LEGACY 28, (16) EAGLECREST 14
Score by quarters:
Legacy 7 14 0 7 — 28
Eaglecrest 0 0 14 0 — 14
Legacy — Tyler Anderson 1 yard run (Lucas Montera kick), 6:50
Legacy — Omari Bursey 14 yard pass from Devan Kirchhevel (Montera kick), 10:14
Legacy — Bursey 69 yard fumble return (Montera kick)
Eaglecrest — Josh Wiley 1 yard run (Trey Patton kick)
Eaglecrest — Cam Chapa 68 yard pass from Joe Steiner (Patton kick)
Legacy — Bursey 6 yard run (Montera kick), 11:25
Legacy: Tyler Anderson 39-193, Omari Bursey 6-21, Tyler Madden 1-13, Kylan Studebaker 1-(minus 1), Devan Kirchhevel 4-(minus 7)
Legacy: Kirchhevel 55 yards, 1 touchdown
Legacy: Bursey 3-33, Madden 2-10, Pierce Mykytyn 1-9, Studebaker 1-3