Monday, Nov. 20, 2023 | 1:18 p.m.
Zach Monticelli grew up attending schools and playing football in North Las Vegas. Now, he’s coaching the best high school football team in the city.
The Legacy Longhorns won the first state championship by a North Las Vegas school since 1988 on Saturday with a 21-14 victory over Galena of Reno for the Class 5A-Division III title. Rancho, with many kids from North Las Vegas, was the last school to win.
“This is my alma mater. I love this place and this community,” said Monticelli, a 2010 graduate of Legacy. “I know North Las Vegas sometimes gets a bad rap, but we have some of the most talented and best all-around kids.”
Aidan Crawford’s 50-yard touchdown pass to Keandre Ramsey with about two minutes remaining broke a 14-all tie and gave the Longhorns the winning points. Ramsey sealed the victory with a sack in the final seconds.
“He really stepped up for us,” Monticelli said of Ramsey, who had two receiving touchdowns. Jayson Schmidt also caught a touchdown.
Phoenix Jennings rushed for about 125 yards on 30 carries, but the Legacy offense was limited because of constant rain in Northern Nevada, Monticelli said. The game was played at UNR.
Legacy returns many key contributors next season, including Crawford at quarterback, and is planning to make another playoff run. The Longhorns will be elevated to Class 5A-Division II — and Monticelli thinks they will continue to be a winning team.
“We are excited to step up and see the next challenge,” he said. “We like our chances, no matter who we play. We put a standard in place this season.”
The Class 3A state title was won by Truckee for the second straight season on Saturday at UNR in a 35-14 victory over SLAM Nevada.
Four more state champions will be crowned on Tuesday at Allegiant Stadium.