Top-ranked University High School showed that it has the moxie of a championship team on Friday night. Facing a severe first-quarter push from Denham Springs, the Cubs absorbed the early blow and seemingly got stronger as the game went on, knocking off the Yellow Jackets 56-21.
“While you don’t want to see the other team do well, I was pleased with how our guys didn’t panic,” University coach Chad Mahaffey said. “We knew what the plan was and executed well.”
U-High senior running back Nick Brossette had 18 carries and turned it into 108 yards and five touchdowns while also adding another score through the air.
“I have to give credit to my offensive line for opening up the holes for me,” Brossette said. “A game like this gives me confidence, but everybody knows that you have to stay humble.”
With Brossette leading the way, the U-High rushing attack averaged more than five yards a carry, which opened up the passing game for Manny Miles.
Despite an early interception, the senior quarterback was still efficient, completing 16 of his 22 passes for 291 yards and three touchdowns.
“He had a shaky start, but came back,” Mahaffey said of Miles. “He didn’t let the turnover bother him, and he just went back out there and did what he can do.”
Denham Springs scored on the first play from scrimmage. However, coach Dru Nettles’ squad couldn’t match U-High’s high-powered offense.
“They’ve got a good team,” Nettles said of U-High. “Our guys came out and responded early, but we’re still learning. We didn’t want to be in a track meet.”
DSHS freshman Tyre Golmond took a handoff and ran over a couple of U-High defenders for a 65-yard touchdown run to put the Yellow Jackets on the board.
After Miles connected with wide receiver Will Keller to make it 7-7, Golmond, who finished with 95 yards rushing, put Denham Springs back ahead with a 2-yard plunge a couple of plays after senior B.J. Armstrong returned the kickoff to the Cubs’ 13-yard line.
The Cubs tied in the first quarter on a 6-yard run by Brossette that was set up by a 59-yard completion to Tre Jackson on third-and-13.
After an interception by U-High defensive tackle Sam Wharton, the Cubs took their first lead of the night on a 21-yard touchdown catch-and-run by Brossette.
The senior hauled in a swing pass from Miles, evaded a couple of DSHS defenders, stiff-armed another and dove for the pylon.
“I just try to show everything that I can do,” Brossette said of his touchdown reception. “I want to leave everything on the field.”
Brossette added another second-quarter touchdown on U-High’s next drive with a 13-yard run up the middle.
The Yellow Jackets ended the Cubs’ run at the 3:11 mark in the third quarter on a 7-yard touchdown reception by senior Kyandre Brooks to cut the deficit to 28-21. However, two U-High touchdowns — including one from Brossette after a turnover — in the final minute before halftime gave the Cubs a commanding 42-21 lead at the break.
Brossette put an exclamation point on his and the Cubs’ performance with two more rushing touchdowns in the third quarter.