Hughes, big plays power Longhorns past Pirates

D’Andre Hughes said he simply saw daylight.

Ninety-eight yards later, Legacy’s football team had the lead for good.

Hughes burst up the middle and ran for a 98-yard touchdown on the final play of the third quarter, and the Longhorns held on for a 33-30 home win over Class 3A Moapa Valley on Thursday night.

Hughes’ 98-yarder was one of four Longhorn touchdowns on plays of 74 yards or more.

“I just saw daylight. Daylight,” Hughes said of the 98-yarder. “It was open and I hit the hole hard, and my team blocked for me.”

Julian Castro’s extra point after Hughes’ 98-yard TD gave Legacy (3-3) a 20-16 lead, and the Longhorns did just enough to lead the rest of the way.

Hughes rushed for 259 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries. The senior scored on runs of 74, 98 and 15 yards.

Legacy benefited from two turnovers by Moapa Valley (5-2), including a costly lost fumble with Pirates in the red zone.

Moapa Valley appeared to have all the momentum while driving with a 16-13 lead late in the third quarter when quarterback Dakota Watters hit receiver Shane Terril with a 32-yard pass.

But Terril cut back from the right sideline toward the middle of the field and lost a fumble at Legacy’s 4-yard line. After a penalty pushed the Longhorns back to their own 2-yard line, Hughes took off for his go-ahead touchdown run.

L.J. McMorris added an 81-yard punt return for a TD to extend Legacy’s lead to 26-16 with 10:11 remaining.

“They really came in handy for us,” McMorris said of Legacy’s big plays. “My punt return, D’Andre Hughes running; what I can say is we couldn’t do without our line. Those linemen were working so hard this week hitting the sled. They really put out for us tonight.”

Legacy’s Jordan Ireland ran for 163 yards on seven carries, including an 88-yard TD on the first play from scrimmage.

Legacy rolled up 430 rushing yards, averaging 13.9 yards per carry.

“I think our running game is coming in handy, and our blocking has been good,” McMorris said. “D’Andre is doing an excellent job hitting the hole hard, and he’s producing for us this season.”

Conner Mortensen rushed for 157 yards and a TD on 29 carries for Moapa Valley, which entered 4-0 against 4A teams.

Moapa Valley’s Watters passed for 217 yards and two touchdowns. He hit Jake Rebman for a 9-yard TD in the first quarter and Sean McConnell on a 46-yarder over the middle with 1:12 to play.

But Legacy recovered the ensuing onside kick to run out the clock.

Terril caught four passes for 118 yards for Moapa Valley, and McConnell had four receptions for 90 yards.