If UCLA comes knocking on your door with a football scholarship in hand, there must be something to your game.
Legacy quarterback MattLynch has all the physical tools of a top-tier quarterback, but it was his composure and moxie that shined brightest Thursday night.
The UCLA-bound quarterback broke Fossil Ridge hearts, scoring a game-winning touchdown with two seconds left to send Legacy past the SaberCats 31-24.
“It was difficult to contain him, but I believe we could have done a much better job than we did,” Fossil Ridge defensive end BradyRussell said. “We didn’t perform the way we could’ve today.”
Fossil Ridge (4-3, 3-2 Front Range League) was so close to a key conference victory. The SaberCats were up 10-0 after the first quarter after CalvinMarley’s spectacular 9-yard touchdown reception from Griffin Roberts.
And Fossil Ridge’s defense, one of the best in Class 5A, was stifling Legacy (5-2, 4-1 FRL) early. Lynch couldn’t get anything going, Russell had a sack and fumble recovery early and things were going Fossil Ridge’s way.
Then seemingly out of nowhere Legacy erupted. Lynch hit JackRuscher on a 48-yard catch and a couple plays later the two connected on a short touchdown pass. A Fossil Ridge fumble allowed Legacy to tie the game going to half.
Then the Lynch-led offense erupted in the second half. The UCLA-bound quarterback engineered touchdown drives of 79 and 80 yards to put Legacy on top.
“They did very well scouting us because everything we did, it seemed like they had covered,” Lynch said. “Once we got that big play it was like ‘OK, we’ve got this covered.’ Then we rolled from there.”
Lynch was originally committed to Colorado State University and his parents graduated from CSU. He still watches the Rams, but de-committed after Jim McElwain left for Florida. He ended up with 114 pass yards and 92 on the ground and accounted for three touchdowns.
Despite the second-half surge, the SaberCats were still in it late after a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns from BrandonSpraberry. It was Spraberry’s first carries since the opening game of the season where he suffered a collar bone injury.
He ran in from 2 yards then 41 to tie it late. Legacy then went on the winning drive. With 10 seconds left Lynch scrambled as Fossil Ridge covered his receivers and dove for the pylon and the winning score.
Fossil Ridge, in its special military appreciation uniforms, threw a deep pass on the final play but didn’t threaten to score. Tanner Hoke played the fourth quarter at quarterback after Griffin hurt his shoulder on a long drive to set up a score at the end of the third.
The SaberCats now have two games left to try and secure a playoff berth. Next up is a road game Oct. 23 at top-10 Fairview.
“We just need to keep high energy and we need to keep pushing like we have all season,” Russell said. “We have all the fight in the world, we just need to put things together.”
Follow sports reporter Kevin Lytle at twitter.com/Kevin_Lytle and at facebook.com/KevinSLytle.
Legacy 31, Fossil Ridge 24
FR — Calvin Marley 9 catch from Griffin Roberts (Evan Bergerson kick), 1:44.
FR — Bergerson 39 kick, 8:31.
L — Jack Ruscher 5 catch from Matt Lynch (Kyle Freeburg kick), 1:48.
L — Freeburg 32 kick, 00:18.
L — Evan Baugh 3 run (Freeburg kick), 1:21.
FR — Brandon Spraberry 2 run (Bergerson kick), 11:56.
L — Ross Smith 17 catch from Lynch (Freeburg kick), 7:14.
FR — Spraberry 41 run (Bergerson kick), 5:29.
L — Lynch 5 run (Freeburg kick), 00:02.