Legacy steamrolls Arvada West to open 5A playoffs


WESTMINSTER – Legacy High quarterback Kullen Lerma recently said the Lightning was hungry entering the Class 5A playoffs.

Hungry? How about ravenous?

Behind a ferocious performance by senior defensive end Ryan Bynarowicz, the wheels of sophomore running back Tyler Anderson and the multi-talents of Lerma, No. 12 Legacy steamrolled No. 21 Arvada West 41-0 Friday night at North Stadium.

“We came out here tonight and we wanted to eat,” Bynarowicz said. “We heard that A-West thought they were going to come in here and win this game. That really got on us, so we wanted to dominate on every play.”

The Lightning, 9-2 under new coach Jay Madden, extended its winning streak to a school-record nine games. Legacy, which won its first postseason game since 2018, advanced to the round of 16 and will face No. 5 Pine Creek (8-2) next week.

The Wildcats finished their season 4-7.

“We just played hard and played together and kept attacking,” Madden said. “They had some injuries and other stuff going on and they were frazzled there for a few minutes and we just jumped on them. And it kind of spiraled from there.”

That would be an understatement.

Legacy led 34-0 at halftime, having outgained the Wildcats 324-35 in total yardage and posting 15 first downs to A-West’s three.

In that first half alone, Lerma rushed for three first-half TDs and gained 146 yards on 13 carries. Anderson gained 89 yards on 11 rushes and scored twice. They weren’t needed in the second half.

Lerma sparked the Lightning on their first drive. Facing fourth down, the quarterback lined up deep in the backfield and it looked as if he might punt. Instead, he weaved his way through the Wildcats’ defense for a 47-yard touchdown run.

Bynarowicz made his own statement late in the first quarter. He flattened quarterback Ethan Cook, forcing a fumble, and Owen Westemeyer recovered, giving the Lightning a first down at the A-West 5-yard line. On the next play, Anderson ran up the middle for the TD and a 21-0 Legacy lead.

“Ryan is a great player and he’s been that way all year,” Madden said. “He’s undersized but he usually lines up at D-end and he plays so tough. They couldn’t handle it.”

Before Madden began inserting his backups in the third quarter, and before the running clock started, Legacy’s special teams joined the party. Junior wide receiver/cornerback Ky Studebaker returned a punt for a 68-yard touchdown and a 41-0 lead.

Now Legacy has to jump to another level and Madden knows it.

“The top eight in this state is another level that we are trying to get to and we are going to find out next week how close we are to it or if we are already there,” he said.

Bynarowicz has no doubts about what the Lightning can do.

“I feel great and I feel like we can take on anyone right now,” he said. “I’m ready to take on Pine Creek. That’s what we’re focused on now.”


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