AMARILLO – In the second straight year of taking on a pair of Amarillo ISD schools to open the season, the Legacy Rebels made sure they had a nicer trip back home, if it wasn’t an easy one.
Legacy opened the season Friday night against Amarillo High at Dick Bivins Stadium, and while the Rebels were never seriously threatened, it took a while for them to get comfortable. They overcame some early self-inflicted wounds to take over the game in the second quarter, and from there coasted to a 35-7 victory.
It left a far better taste in Legacy’s mouth than the trip to the Panhandle last year to face Amarillo Tascosa in a game Legacy lost 48-27. Legacy hosts Tascosa next week and knows exactly what needs to get done.
Coach Clint Hartman will certainly address his team’s 11 penalties for 120 yards, seven of which gave Amarillo High’s struggling offense first downs.
“Some of them were self-inflicted and some of them were a bunch of horse (bleep),” Hartman said of the abundance of yellow flags thrown against the Rebels. “It’s a typical first game with sloppy play. You’ve got to give (Amarillo High) credit. We came in here and they stopped the run early and got us into a bunch of third and longs.”
The first half was a mixed bag execution-wise for the Rebels, but not results-wise, as the Rebels scored on their final two possessions of the half to take a 21-7 halftime lead.
Legacy took advantage of ideal field position after a short Amarillo High punt on the first offensive possession of the game. The Rebels went 46 yards for a score and Gilbert Hernandez scored on a 5-yard run to take a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
Amarillo would take advantage of a short field to tie the game 25 seconds into the second quarter on a 15-yard scoring run by Pius Vokes to make it 7-7. That was about the lone offensive highlight of the night for the Sandies, as Legacy held them to 190 yards of total offense.
Legacy bent but didn’t break defensively in the first half in establishing the lead. The Sandies twice drove deep into Legacy territory but the Rebels blocked two field goals to only further discourage Amarillo.
“Our kids are resilient and that showed in blocking two field goals,” Hartman said. “If we can keep giving up seven points, we’re going to win a lot of football games.”
Legacy found some form offensively in the first half as Marcos Davila and sophomore Caden Ellis hooked up for a pair of scoring passes in the final six minutes. Davila, who has committed to play for Purdue, hit Ellis on a 39-yard score on a fourth-and-three to give the Rebels the lead, and they concluded the scoring on a 4-yard connection with 44 seconds left in the half for the intermission margin.
“We believe that we’re going to throw the ball as good as anybody in the country with (Davila) and our receivers,” Hartman said. “Caden Ellis is a sophomore who has a great future so we have guys who can do it.”
Davila had the sort of game one would expect from a quarterback committed to a Power 5 conference, as he completed 16-of-27 for 209 yards and three touchdowns, including a 37-yarder to Aiden Serrano early in the third quarter to make it 28-7 and pretty much end the competitive phase of the game.
But the Rebels were hardly one-dimensional. They ran for 235 yards to complete a well-rounded night of 444 yards of total offense. Tommy Johnson ran for a game-high 128 yards on 16 carries, including 125 in the second half as Legacy ground down the Sandies in protecting their lead.
That might be the kind of game Legacy can expect next week when they entertain Tascosa in looking for some payback from last year in a matchup of Rebels.
“We’ve played (Tascosa) for eight years and we’ve played (Amarillo) for six, so we get it,” Hartman said. “We know that every one of them is a dogfight. I respect their staffs and how hard those kids play. We say when the Rebels get together, someone’s going to get better, and every year win or lose you come out of that game better. They’re going to teach you some things you’ve got to get working on.”
LEGACY 35, AMARILLO HIGH 7
Legacy 7 14 14 0 – 35
Amarillo High 0 7 0 0 --7
L – Gilbert Hernandez 5 run (Jason Maltos kick), 6:01
AHS – Pius Vokes 15 run (Adam Burlison kick), 11:35
L – Caden Ellis 39 pass from Marcos Davila (Maltos kick), 5:43
L – Ellis 4 pass from Davila (Maltos kick), 0:44
L – Aiden Serrano 37 pass from Davila (Maltos kick), 7:11
L – Damien Johnson 9 run (Maltos kick), 0:20
Legacy Amarillo High
First Downs 18 15
Rushing 235 161
Passing 209 29
Total yards 444 190
Comp.-Att.-Int. 16-27-0 6-19-1
Punts.-Avg. 5-34.6 6-34.3
Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-1
Penalties-yards 11-120 5-35
RUSHING – Legacy, Tommy Johnson 16-128, Madden Milloy 9-40, D. Johnson 8-74, Hernandez 1-5, Davila 2-(-12). Amarillo High, Eddy Mpela 6-19,... Click here to read full article