Legacy coach John Isola has vivid memories about how good Moapa Valley can be, especially when trailing.
He watched the Pirates overcome a 22-point fourth quarter deficit to beat Desert Pines by six to win the 2014 state championship. Isola also was on the opposite sideline last season, when the Pirates erased a two-point halftime deficit to defeat his Longhorns by 11.
They’re memories he was not ready to relive at his team’s expense Friday night in the Longhorns’ home opener. Legacy dominated on both sides of the ball wire-to-wire, and cruised to a 45-7 victory over the Pirates.
“I love (Moapa coach) Brent (Lewis), and they do a hell of a job. They scare the death out of me,” Isola said. “I just told Brent that: ‘I was there. You scare me, you’re a great coached team, your kids don’t quit.’
“And so we had to keep playing to the end. My goal for the game was, ‘If we can get it to a running clock, we’ll win this game.’ And that’s what we did. I’m happy. I’m very happy.”
Legacy’s imposing offensive line simply wore the Pirates down, while Sam Turner dashed through gaping holes en route to a 139-yard, three-touchdown performance. One of Turner’s 16 carries took him untouched on a 73-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter, giving the Longhorns a 31-7 lead.
Turner, who came into the game with 114 yards rushing on 21 carries, turned all compliments over to his linemen.
“It all starts with our line,” Turner said. “We all just have to execute.”
Turner wasn’t the only one benefitting from the line’s work, as Isaiah Whitehead added 76 yards on just three carries, the last of which he rumbled a rugged 22 yards, breaking five tackles along the way to put the game out of reach with the game’s final touchdown.
Legacy’s stop unit also drew praise, as Moapa Valley managed to cross midfield just two times in nine possessions.
The Longhorns (2-0) outgained Moapa Valley, 314-137. The Pirates gained just 13 yards in the second half.
Leavitt tallied 78 yards on 10 carries to lead the Pirates (1-2). His 71-yard touchdown run provided Moapa Valley its only score of the night.
“All week we made sure we remembered to focus on each play,” senior safety Ahmyreon Culpepper said. “Each play matters. And if we mess up, just get back up and get it back. We have a mentality that we can be the best defense in the state, and we have to make sure we prove it.”