Ahmyreon Culpepper knew he missed an interception in the third quarter. So when Coronado quarterback Landen Rowland looked in his direction again on the very next play, the Legacy senior was ready.
Culpepper jumped a quick route by the left sideline for a takeaway, giving his offense the ball at the Cougars 37-yard line. Three plays later the No. 9 Longhorns made it a 14-3 game and never looked back in a 27-10 victory at Coronado on Friday. The win gave Legacy its second 3-0 start in school history.
Culpepper credited the defense’s communication for its stellar performance, as it propped up the team’s sluggish offense in the first half and didn’t yield a first down until six seconds before halftime.
“We’re playing the best we could be,” Culpepper said. “We’re always working together.”
Legacy led only 7-3 at the break despite its defensive effort, thanks to an offense that kept pushing itself back. The Longhorns had five offensive penalties in the first half, most of them holds, which coach John Isola said came when some of the team’s two-way players got tired and stopped moving their feet.
“We practice hard and we should be in better shape and that’s what I told them at halftime,” Isola said. “(Being tired) is not an acceptable excuse.”
Culpepper’s interception got Legacy’s offense going, with Sam Turner carrying three times for 37 yards to get the touchdown. Coronado (1-2) then fumbled on the ensuing kickoff, and Turner scored again from 1-yard out to make it 20-3 towards the end of the third quarter.
Turner managed to wear down the Cougars defense in the second half, and finished with 27 carries for 124 yards. His first few runs were tough though, as Coronado’s defense proved stiff early.
The Longhorns’ first drive was successful, with quarterback Roberto Valenzuela scrambling to escape pressure and firing a 32-yard touchdown pass. After that Legacy struggled to move the ball before halftime, as its running game was largely bottled up.
The Cougars got the game’s first takeaway with junior Dillon Stewart tipping and interception a Valenzuela pass, which led to a Coronado field goal. Stewart then recovered a subsequent onside kick, and the Cougars had a chance to take control of the game.
They didn’t. The defense stopped Coronado on fourth down in Legacy territory, the first of two times that happened in the first half. The Cougars coaches were aggressive early, but they couldn’t find a weak point.
“Our athletes showed up, and there wasn’t a lot they could do. There really wasn’t,” Isola said. “I think the defense responded all day long.”
Cheyenne 22, Cimarron-Memorial 21 — At Cimarron-Memorial, Corwin Bush scored his third touchdown with 4:06 to play to give the Desert Shields (1-3) the win over the Spartans (1-2).
Cheyenne gained good field position on Cimarron’s 30-yard line after an interception by Anthony Walker, and Bush’s 4-yard TD carry came five plays later, followed by his go-ahead 2-point conversion run.
Cimarron had a chance to win, but Divito Mateo was wide left on a 24-yard FG attempt with eight seconds left in the game.
Bush had 114 receiving yards on seven catches, including a 57-yard score from quarterback Matthew LaBonte. Bush added a 3-yard TD run.
The Desert Shields held Cimarron scoreless in the second half, and limited Spartans’ quarterback George Tribble to zero completions on 14 attempts.
Cimarron opened the scoring when defensive tackle Cameron Anderson stripped the ball from Cheyenne’s Deriontae Green and raced 41 yards for the score to make it 6-0.
Trailing 14-6 after Bush’s first two touchdowns, Cimarron responded with three second-quarter scores to take the lead. Gunner Stevenson got a 9-yard TD run, Tyree Riley scored on a 4-yard plunge, and the Spartans recorded a safety to take a 21-14 halftime advantage.
LaBonte completed 12 of 25 passes for 158 yards with one interception for the Desert Shields.
Riley rushed for 166 yards on 29 carries for the Spartans.
Del Sol 48, Rancho 8 — At Del Sol, Maaliq Flowers threw for three touchdown passes as the Dragons routed the Rams.
Taariq Flowers ran 14 times for 113 yards and a touchdown, and Titan Williams added two second-half scoring runs when Del Sol (3-1) was pulling away from winless Rancho (0-3).
Maaliq Flowers, a freshman quarterback, was only 5 of 11 passing for 65 yards. However, he took advantage his his receivers’ height over the smaller Rancho defensive backs, particularly when the 6-foot-3-inch Jonathan Spearman outjumped a Rams defender on a jump ball for a 15-yard TD pass midway through the first period for the first score of the game.
Taariq Flowers made it 13-0 Del Sol late in the first quarter on a 7-yard TD run.
Rancho’s lone score game on a 14-yard TD pass from Noah Fuller to Jonathan Gunter with 10:10 left in the second quarter. Gunter caught five passes for 58 yards.
Angel Walker rushed 15 times for 70 yards for the Rams.
Maaliq Flowers hit Barry Williams on a slant route for a 7-yard TD pass with 32 seconds left in the second quarter for a 23-8 Dragons lead.
Maaliq Flowers’ third scoring pass a 32-yarder to Markell Turner midway through the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Dragons defensive back Eman Lawoye added a 60-yard interception TD return.
Pahrump Valley 28, Chaparral 21 — At Pahrump, the Trojans scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to come back and upset the Cowboys.
Pahrump (3-1) jumped out to an early lead just 2:36 into the game on a touchdown run by Aaron Fuentes, one of his two scores on the night. At halftime, Pahrump had the advantage, but Chaparral (2-2) took its first lead of the game in the third quarter on an interception return for a touchdown by Tyray Collins.
Then Pahrump returned a blocked punt for a score, and later scored on Fuentes’ second touchdown run to take the lead for good. Fuentes rushed 13 times for 53 yards.
Devin Gaddy had two touchdown receptions for Chaparral.
Virgin Valley 56, Western 14 — At Mesquite, Jayden Perkins had 19 carries for 158 yards and five total touchdowns to help the Bulldogs to a win over the Warriors.
Perkins scored on runs of 15, 6, 4 and 8 yards and caught a 6-yard TD pass for Virgin Valley (3-1), which led 42-8 at halftime.
Hogan Fowles threw a touchdown pass and scored on a 45-yard TD run for the Bulldogs.
Western’s Joseph Medley had a 6-yard TD run, and teammate Bishop Harris scored on a 30-yard fumble recovery.
Moapa Valley 34, Mojave 19 — At Overton, Jacob Leavitt rushed for 223 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries and as the Pirates defeated the Rattlers.
Quarterback Daxton Longman added two touchdown passes for the Pirates (2-2), which scored 14 points in the third quater to break a 13-13 halftime tie.
Leavitt also caught four passes for 60 yards and intercepted a pass on defense.
Taiwan Braden threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score for the Rattlers (0-4).
The Meadows 34, Lake Mead 14 — At Lake Mead, Jack Berkley rushed for 231 yards and four touchdowns, including three in the fourth quarter, as the Mustangs pulled away from the Eagles.
Berkley had TD runs of 16, 21 and 13 yards on The Meadows’ three fourth quarter possessions, turning a one-score game into a comfortable lead.
Antonio Gutierrez opened the scoring for the game with a 5-yard TD rush for The Meadows (2-1, 1-0 2A Southern) on its first drive. Following a recovery of a muffed punt on the ensuing drive, Lake Mead got a second chance and took the ball down to the Meadows 2, but the Eagles were stopped on fourth down just outside the end zone.
In the second quarter, Lake Mead (1-3, 0-1) got another short field after a fumbled punt snap. This time, the Eagles made good on the opportunity, with Joshua Thorell taking in a 5-yard touchdown run to give the Eagles a 7-6 lead.
The Meadows answered quickly, following a kickoff return near midfield and a 30-yard run by Gutierrez. That set up the first of Berkley’s touchdowns, this one from 15 yards.
The teams exchanged four-and-outs and turnovers in the third quarter, until Meadows began the 85-yard drive that culminated with a 16-yard Berkley score soon after the fourth quarter began.
Lake Mead’s Logan Sullivan scored from 3 yards out with 11 seconds left to close the scoring.
Lincoln County 36, Agassi Prep 0 — At Agassi Prep, Zachary Rowe rushed for 138 yards and a touchdown, and Derek Matthews added two more scores as the Lynx shut out the Stars.
Lincoln County scored touchdowns on its first two possessions to take early control of the game and never looked back.
Stars quarterback Micah Gayman who passed for 292 yards, was intercepted 3 times as Agassi Prep failed to generate any consistent offense. Landon Smith added 102 rushing yards and a touchdown for the Lynx, who had 406 rushing yards.
With Lincoln County (2-0, 1-0 2A Southern) leading 7-0, Matthews broke free for a 55-yard touchdown run to give the Lynx a 14-0 first quarter lead. After a turnover on downs, the Lynx quickly scored again on a 21-yard run by Rowe to take a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter. Lincoln quarterback Cody Thornock scored on a 2-yard run to make it 27-0 at the half.
Zeivaun Ned caught seven passes for 103 yards to lead the Stars (0-2, 0-1). Xavier Hewing who caught five passes for 75 yards for the Lynx.
Pahranagat Valley 54, Round Mountain 0 — At Round Mountain, Garrett Higbee had four sacks as the Panthers shut out the Knights.
Richard Lewis added two sacks for Pahranagat Valley, which recorded nine sacks.
Ike Taylor had a rushing touchdown and caught a touchdown pass, and Christian Higbee rushed for 92 yards and a TD for the Panthers (3-0, 1-0 1A Southern).
Tabor Maxwell completed 8 of 17 passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for 68 yards and a score for Pahranagat Valley.
Round Mountain fell to 0-3, 0-1 in the league.
Tonopah 61, Beaver Dam 6 — At Littlefield, Arizona, Tanner Otteson completed 10 of 14 passes for 143 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 105 yards on eight carries to lead the Muckers over the Diamondbacks.
Kade Bunker had eight carries for 127 yards and three TDs, and Brandon Scobee added three carries for 69 yards and two scores for Tonopah, which led 33-6 at halftime.
Vinny Bagarose caught four passes for 62 yards and two touchdowns for the Muckers (3-0, 1-0 Class 1A Southern).
Manny Villarreal threw a TD pass to Bryan Martinez for the lone score for Beaver Dam (2-1, 1-1).
Beatty 1, Indian Springs 0 — At Beatty, the Hornets (2-0, 1-0 1A Southern) defeated the Thunderbirds (0-2, 0-1) by forfeit.
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