Southwest sets tone in first meeting with Legacy
Now that the first Southwest-Southwest Legacy game is in the books, fans can look forward to future games with enthusiasm.
Although Southwest (4-1, 1-0) dominated the first Fire & Armor Bowl, as expected, with a 42-0 victory over Legacy (0-5, 0-1), the stands at Titan Stadium revealed the fledgling rivalry’s potential for intensity.
Pete Wagner, Southwest ISD athletic director, estimated the overflow crowd at between 11,000 and 12,000.
“There were a lot of people here, which was great,” Southwest coach Matt Elliott said. “(Legacy coach John) Tarvin has done a great job with those guys.
“He’s a good friend and a good coach. This is going to be a little tougher in future years. There were some battles on the subvarsity level last night.”
Southwest fielded a veteran team that has the earmarks of a legitimate District 14-5A Division I title contender. Although the Titans had 24 seniors, none had varsity experience five games earlier.
“It’s great having a rivalry,” Southwest senior Will Herrera said. “And it’s great to get a win over a rival and in our district. It was a really good game.”
The Dragons scored on their second offensive play when fullback Leif Griffin ran 23 yards for a touchdown. Rosendo Olague added another rushing touchdown with 2:55 left in the opening quarter.
Then the teams settled into a stalemate for nearly a quarter.
The Titans had a chance to cut into the Dragons’ lead early in the second quarter when Raymond Wilcox recovered a fumble at the Legacy 36. However, Southwest’s Ruben Renteria produced an interception at the Dragons 14 with 5:32 remaining in the half.
“I’ve never seen a crowd like this at a high school game, except in the playoffs,” said Tarvin, a former Southwest assistant who coached some Dragons seniors three years earlier. “Our kids were up at 5:45 this morning because of all the activities, but that’s going to be part of this game forever.”
Legacy put together a promising drive to the Southwest 32 in the third quarter, highlighted by a 21-yard pass from Adrian Rangel to Jikarius Gartmond. However, the Dragons led 35-0 with 2:15 left in the quarter.
“The loss to Laredo LBJ was really tough,” Tarvin said. “We were leading until the last 40 seconds. But we used it to fuel us. We needed a game like this to see the speed Southwest plays with.”
Senior quarterback Damian Lopez, whose brother Pete was a key player for the Titans, ran 9 yards for a touchdown with 4:13 until halftime. At the 1:04 mark, Dragons senior Jesus Garcia blocked a punt that Herrera covered in the end zone for a 28-point advantage.
“I was down on the ground when I saw (the ball),” Herrera said. “I had tried to block it. I saw the ball and just jumped on it.”
Off the second-half kickoff, Herrera ran for 83 yards on four consecutive carries, culminating in a 33-yard touchdown. Herrera paused at about the Titans 14 waiting for a block from Ricardo Coronado that sprung him.
Southwest added a final touchdown on Johnathon Garcia’s 3-yard run with 7:57 left. The clock ran out on the Titans’ final possession at the Southwest 10 with an incomplete pass in the end zone.