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Faith Lutheran shuts down Legacy in playoff opener

Updated November 3, 2018 - 10:14 am

Legacy’s football program has long been known for its rushing attack.

So, when the Longhorns visited Faith Lutheran on Friday in the opening round of the Class 4A Mountain Region playoffs, Crusaders coach Vernon Fox knew the avenue to the second round was by forcing Legacy’s offense into a one-dimensional unit.

Faith Lutheran held the Longhorns to just 68 yards in the first half and cruised to a 41-20 victory.

“Our guys did a good job of getting off the field, putting the ball back in the offense’s hands,” Fox said. “I think we were a little slow (in the first quarter), converting points and taking advantage of opportunities on offense. But once it got it going, it rolled pretty well.”

Faith Lutheran (7-4) will visit Canyon Springs (7-3) in the region semifinals on Nov. 9.

Crusaders quarterback Sagan Gronauer led the offense with 10 completions for 245 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 47 yards on 10 carries, including one score.

Jayson Strimling and Kendall Lightfoot also had rushing touchdowns. Greg Oliver, Noah Vernon and Keegan Bunn each caught a TD pass for Faith Lutheran

Defensively, Nate Meredith led the way seven tackles and one sack. Hunter Kaupiko added six tackles and a sack, and Zeke Noma’aea was in on five tackles, including two for a loss. Connor Bourne and Sebastian Burke each had an interception.

“They have athletes on that team, and they’re fast,” Noma’aea said. “We just stuck with the game plan and just did our job and executed. We don’t like losing over here. We want to win, we just have that mindset to come out strong every game.”

Though the Longhorns finished with 223 yards of offense, 165 came on their final two drives after Fox had inserted many of his backups.

“Every opponent you face has a strong suit and you want to try to neutralize that,” Fox said. “I felt like they still did some things really well that we can go back on film and figure out how we can do better.”

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