University High threw an interception for a touchdown on the second play of the game but still went on to dominate in all phases of the game in a 56-12 district matchup against Brusly.
University (6-0, 2-0 District 6-3A) trailed for the first time this season after Brusly's Harrison Boudreaux intercepted JohnGordon McKernan and returned it 11 yards for a touchdown. The PAT was blocked to keep the score 6-0.
“It was unfortunate the way we started, with the play to give them a score,” U-High coach Chad Mahaffey said. “Buy guys didn’t hang their heads about it and came back and played well. That part was really good.”
The Panthers’ lead did not last long as U-High came back with 55-yard, three-play drive to take a 7-6 lead on a 27-yard touchdown pass from McKernan to receiver Thomas Teepel.
From that point, U-High took complete control. The Cubs went six-for-seven on scoring drives in the first half with the final possession ending in a punt inside their own 10-yard line with just under two minutes left in the half. The ensuing punt, which went only 20 yards, would be the Panthers’ only possession in U-High territory until the final minutes of the game.
Junior running back Mike Hollins scored two touchdowns to bring his season total to 18, and senior Michael Martin returned two punts of 50 yards and 55 yards for touchdowns.
McKernan went 8 for 11 for 154 yards and three touchdowns.
U-High’s defense showed Brusly (2-4, 0-3) no mercy, either. The Panthers scored no touchdowns from the offensive side of the ball.
Brusly, despite an offsides penalty against U-High on the first series, and went three-and-out on its first four offensive possessions. The Panthers went on to punt eight times with only 123 total yards.
Brusly sophomore quarterback Nick Penell had more yards rushing (47) than passing (13).
The Panthers offense had a chance to score with 5:30 left in the game, but Penell fumbled on the 1-yard line before crossing the goal line.
Brusly’s defense stepped up again, forcing a fumble one play later. Brusly sophomore Marlon Wilson recovered in the end zone to score Brusly’s second defensive touchdown.
“Defensively, I think there were three times they start inside their own 20,” Brusly coach Hoff Schooler said. “And all three times, we had two defensive touchdowns and a three-and-out. So, when we had them backed up on their end of the field defensively, we did a good job.”
Despite the quick start provided by the defense and the second defensive score, Brusly’s 27 underclassmen were no match for a powerful and experienced U-High team.
“To get off to that 2-0 start in district is great, and it’s another positive step for our team as we move toward playoffs,” Mahaffey said.