Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016 | 12:30 a.m.
Las Vegas Sun sports editors Ray Brewer and Case Keefer discuss Liberty's momentous win over the top-ranked team in Texas, and give an ode to all the other great games high school football has produced so far.
As Legacy took the field Friday night, the Longhorns followed Marcellus McCoy out of the tunnel, the senior defensive back wielding a baseball bat in his right hand.
It was a sign of things to come, as the Longhorns battered Moapa Valley in a dominant 45-7 victory.
Legacy held last year’s state runner-up to its lowest offensive output since October 2011 and controlled the game throughout.
Longhorns coach John Isola knew it would take an aggressive game plan to take down Moapa Valley. Legacy started off the scoring when Marquell Evans took a reverse on a fourth-down conversion 26 yards for a touchdown.
The Longhorns were 2-for-2 on fourth-down conversions in the first quarter.
“I know we’re big up front and we can move some people, and Sam Turner can run the ball so he’s going to get us the yards that we need,” Isola said. “I trust our guys.”
Turner carried the Longhorns, running 16 times for 138 yards and three touchdowns.
“It starts with my line,” Turner said. “I love my line because they block for me and I can always trust them.”
The Longhorns jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the second quarter before the Pirates finally got on the board with a spectacular 71-yard touchdown run by Jacob Leavitt.
Moapa Valley’s other 22 carries combined for minus-10 yards, in part because of four sacks by Legacy’s relentless pass rush.
“This defense is tough,” Isola said. “It’s going to keep us in games, and if our offense can get going, then we will be all right.”
The Longhorns really broke the game open in the second quarter when Lamondrel Edmond stepped in front of a Daxton Longman pass, intercepting it and returning it 41 yards for a touchdown.
“It’s unbelievable,” Edmond said. “I didn’t even know I could get to the ball until it was in my hands, and I just took off running and scored the touchdown.”
The play stole the momentum for good and allowed the Longhorns to cruise to victory.
“Our defense did a great job with that pick-six in the beginning,” Isola said. “It’s been a long time coming. Here at Legacy we haven’t had pick-sixes even with a lot of opportunities but we finally got it.”
The Longhorns outgained Moapa Valley 234-14 in the second half, and forced a running clock when they took a 45-7 lead with eight minutes to play.
“That was my goal,” Isola said. “I love (Moapa Valley coach Brent Lewis) and that program does a great job. They scare the death out of me. I was there two years ago when they were in the state championship and there were seven minutes left and they were down 22 points and they beat Desert Pines. I told Brent that you have a great-coached team and your kids don’t quit, so we had to keep playing until the end.”