AURORA | A capsule look at the 2019 Class 5A state football first round playoff matchup between No. 23 Legacy and No. 10 Eaglecrest:
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected]: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports
NO. 23 LEGACY (3-7) VS. NO. 10 EAGLECREST (7-3)
4 p.m., Nov. 8 at Legacy Stadium
BREAKDOWN Legacy and Eaglecrest meet in the postseason for the second time, with the last time coming back in 2014, when the Raptors posted a 49-24 victory in the opening round of the Class 5A playoffs in what was an upset in terms of seeding. The teams played in each of the past two regular seasons in non-league play with Eaglecrest sweeping both with a 33-14 win in 2018 and a 27-24 victory in this season’s matchup back on Sept. 20. …Eaglecrest is in the postseason for a fourth straight season and has advanced to at least the quarterfinals in each of the three previous trips, including a state championship game appearance in 2017. Legacy has made the playoffs in two straight seasons and five of the last six, but did not advanced past the second round in those trips.
LEGACY (3-7): The Lightning started the season 0-6, but finished the regular season with three wins in four games, including victories over Fossil Ridge (36-0) and Horizon (31-28) in Front Range League play to close out the regular season. Legacy is one of seven teams in the 24-team 5A playoff field with sub-.500 records. …Coach Corey Heinz’s team nearly knocked off Eaglecrest in the regular season meeting, as Legacy couldn’t hold a 10-point lead it took into halftime. Senior QB Brayden Harris threw touchdown passes to junior WR Jaiden Peterson and senior WR Jacob Duran, while sophomore RB Braelon Tate racked up 182 yards rushing and a touchdown. …Harris hasn’t played since Oct. 17, so Legacy has turned over the duties at QB to sophomore Adarius Edwards, who has threw for 1,084 yards and a 10 touchdowns (against three interceptions), including multiple touchdowns in his last three games. The Lightning have put the ball in the air frequently and have six players with double-digit catches, led by Peterson, who has 61 catches for 505 yards, while Duran has turned 47 receptions into 832 yards. Junior WR Cole Walker (289 yards, 2 touchdowns) and senior WR Isaac Mercurio (218 yards, 2 touchdowns). Senior RB Dakota Key has rushed for a team-high 815 yards and seven touchdowns, while Tate has 489 yards rushing and four scores, the same amount as Edwards. …Defensively, Legacy has allowed 307 points, which ties for the fifth-most in the classification and an average of 30.7 points per game. Senior LB Adam Lynch leads the way with 91 tackles, while senior DE Hunter O’Connor has racked up 13.5 sacks in addition to 60 tackles. …On special teams, senior PK John Hoyland has connected on 13 field goal attempts with a long of 48 yards.
EAGLECREST (7-3): In the first season under new coach Shawn Marsh, the Raptors got out of the gate with a perfect 5-0 record in non-league play, but finished 2-3 in the rugged Metro East, which included a three-point loss to Grandview Oct. 3 and a four-point loss to Cherokee Trail in the regular season finale Nov. 1. …Eaglecrest had to rally from a 10-point halftime deficit in the first meeting with Legacy for a 27-24 victory. Senior QB Max Marsh rushed for two touchdowns and threw for 247 yards and a score to junior WR Ty Robinson, who had 106 yards receiving. …In his first season at Eaglecrest — protected by a line that includes senior OL Reece Atteberry, a University of Michigan pledge, Max Marsh threw for 1,919 yards and 11 touchdowns (versus six interceptions), while he rushed for 703 yards (second on the team behind senior RB David Creal’s 766) and seven touchdowns. Creal has a team-best eight rushing touchdowns — including six in a game against Overland — while six passcatchers have more than 100 yards through the air for the Raptors. Robinson has just 21 catches, but they’ve gone for 479 yards (22.8 yards per catch), while senior WR Jalen Stewart has 437 yards receiving a team-best five touchdowns, while senior WR Eli Hurd (287 yards) and senior WR Mikelle Nash (249 yards). …Defensively, Eaglecrest was middle of the pack in 5A with 230 points allowed. Junior S Seyi Oladipo picked off two passes in the season opener against Highlands Ranch and is a force to be reckoned with in the defensive backfield. Junior DB Langston Williams has been a playmaker in all phases, especially on special teams with blocked punts and dynamic kick returns.
WINNER GETS: The Legacy-Eaglecrest winner moves on to the second round against No. 7 Grandview (8-2), one of eight teams to get a first-round bye. The Raptors lost to the Wolves 14-11 in Metro East play Oct. 3.