James Thurman gathered his team around for a postgame meeting, and the first thing Las Vegas High’s football coach did was point to his throat.
More specifically, the jugular vein.
“We didn’t finish,” Thurman said. “We made some mistakes. We gave some points away, maybe.”
Trevor Swenson threw four touchdowns, but the No. 5 Wildcats missed multiple opportunities to run away from host Legacy in the first half and settled for a 28-6 victory on Friday.
Elias Miller rushed for 81 yards on 19 carries and added a 15-yard touchdown on the final play of the first quarter to put the Wildcats (2-0) on top 20-0. Miller, who had seven receptions for 34 yards, played only one snap in the fourth quarter due to cramps.
Las Vegas forced six turnovers, including three in the first quarter, and also blocked a Longhorns punt. Kode Mwirigi had three of the Wildcats’ four interceptions.
Legacy (0-2) was held to 60 yards rushing and was outgained by the Wildcats, 333-102.
“Overall, I feel we did pretty good,” Mwirgi said. “We’re taking it week by week. Defensively, we were OK. We need to be perfect, though.”
The Wildcats capitalized on Legacy’s first fumble to score on a 3-yard pass from Swenson to Sam Blackburn, and the two hooked up for a 19-yard score on fourth-and-10 after a fumble recovery by Jacob Littlefield.
Zachary Loveland’s interception led to Miller’s touchdown reception at the end of the first quarter, but the Wildcats committed three first-half turnovers and couldn’t pull away until the second half.
Romello Pritchett had two interceptions for Legacy.
“We didn’t do a very good job of protecting the ball there on offense,” Thurman said. “We’ve got room to get better. The kids played hard. I’m not taking anything away from the kids; we’ve just got to be able to capitalize on those mistakes when we get them.”
The Wildcats put together a 10-play drive to open the third quarter. Raul Perez had a 27-yard catch and run to set up Swenson’s 15-yard touchdown pass to freshman Elijah Hicks. Swenson found Perez for the 2-point conversion to put Las Vegas on top 28-0 with 7:31 remaining in the third quarter.
Las Vegas ran 29 plays in the third quarter to only five for the Longhorns. But the Wildcats only had the eight points to show for it and had two straight three-and-outs in the fourth quarter.
Legacy running back DeMichael Walker was held to 58 yards on 18 carries as Littlefield led the Wildcats’ defensive charge from his linebacker spot.
The Longhorns’ lone score came on a 2-yard run by Tanoa Alapati midway through the fourth quarter. The key play on the drive was a 42-yard pass from Alapati to D’Angelo Lindsey.
“(Walker) is a very good running back; they’re a good offensive team,” Thurman said. “We did a good job of shutting him down, and the kids found the ball.”
Contact reporter David Schoen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5203. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidSchoenLVRJ.