DENHAM SPRINGS — Denham Springs went scoreless on three of its four trips inside the red zone during Friday night’s first half, failing to convert field goal tries on all three missed opportunities.
Unfortunately for Tara, the Yellow Jackets were unstoppable from long range.
Three one-play scoring drives, a pair of two-play scoring drives, and a 32-yard punt return for a touchdown helped Denham to a big early lead in its 50-0 victory over the Trojans at Yellow Jacket Stadium.
The Yellow Jackets led 43-0 at the half.
“We’ve got some guys that can run and make those kind of plays,” Denham Springs coach Dru Nettles said. “It’s great to have those guys that can score any time they touch it.”
The long strikes on offense combined with the second shutout by Denham’s defense in as many games to turn this nondistrict contest with Tara into a one-sided affair that saw the Yellow Jackets empty their bench.
Denham Springs (2-0) led 16-0 just four minutes in after Tyre Golmond broke loose for a 27-yard TD run, a punt attempt by Tara resulted in a safety, and wide receiver Hunter Scott connected with De’Juante Edwards for a 37-yard score on a double pass.
Other first-half highlights for the Yellow Jackets included Golmond’s 63-yard TD run in the second quarter, a 46-yard TD run by Robert Thomas, and Scott’s second straight game with a punt return for a score.
Torez Kinchen’s 17-yard strike to Edwards following a fumble recovery by Justin Gaffney provided Denham’s only red-zone score.
The other three times the Yellow Jackets set up shop inside the Tara 20, the young Trojans (0-2) held their ground and forced field goal tries.
“We do a little better job when the field is a little shorter,” Tara coach Cooter Mansur said. “Our kids are not quite as explosive as (Denham’s) are, so when we’re in open space and there’s a lot of one-on-one stuff, we didn’t make the plays we needed to make. We had guys that were in position to make it, but we’ve got freshmen and sophomores playing. That’s the difference.”
Golmond had two carries for 90 yards and the two scores, and added one catch for 40 yards, before joining most of the Denham starters on the sideline for the second half.
The Yellow Jackets averaged 17 yards per play during their first eight offensive possessions.
Meanwhile, the Denham defense allowed Tara only two first downs in the opening two quarters as the Trojans failed to cross midfield.
That performance followed a 23-0 blanking of East Ascension in the opener.
Tara finished with 7 yards rushing and 6 passing. It punted eight times.
“Any time you can put together two games like that with a zero on the board, I’m proud of our guys and our defensive staff,” Nettles said. “It’s something we can hold on to and build on and see where it takes us.”