Knowing his team didn’t muster much on offense in the first half Friday night against Cimarron-Memorial, Legacy running back L.J. McMorris felt he needed to give his team a lift.
McMorris sat out the first two quarters, nursing several nagging injuries, including a sore right ankle.
But his effort in the third quarter gave his team a much-needed lift, and quarterback Jordan Pinkney did the rest as the Longhorns stunned No. 9 Cimarron, 20-14.
In the first half, the Longhorns (2-3, 2-2 Northwest) had just 106 total yards and trailed 7-0.
From McMorris’ first carry in the second half, it was a different Legacy ground attack. The junior back finished with 100 yards on nine carries.
“L.J. was resting, nursing some injuries,” Legacy coach David Snyder said. “He made plays in the second half, but did come off the field limping again. Jordan (Ireland) did a solid job as well. It’s great to have a pair of solid backs.”
With the game tied at 14, Legacy gambled on fourth-and-2 at the Cimarron 39 with 2:36 remaining.
The Longhorns first decided to punt, but changed course after Cimarron called timeout.
Pinkney found open space, rushing 39 yards for the go-ahead touchdown.
“The kids said, ‘Let’s go,’ and since we were moving the ball well in the second half, that’s what we did,” Snyder said. “This is a big win, especially against a quality program like Cimarron.”
Cimarron (2-3, 2-2) had one final chance, as the Spartans drove to the Legacy 33. But Gerard Martinez’s pass was picked off by Fred Washington and the Longhorns ran out the clock.
McMorris’ first carry gained 45 yards, and set up the first of three Pinkney touchdowns, a 12-yard run to tie the game, 7-7.
Cimarron, which had the ball for more than 17 minutes in the opening half, answered with a 16-yard TD run by Taz Taoipu, and the Spartans had the lead again at 14-7.
Pinkney tied the game once again with an 8-yard scoring run on Legacy’s next possession.
McMorris, Ireland and Pinkney combined for 268 yards rushing for Legacy.
Christian Brown had 112 yards on 28 carries for Cimarron.