Warren Easton has put up points in bunches over the past two weeks and the trend continued against Sophie B. Wright on Thursday night at Victory Field at Joe W. Brown Memorial Park.
The Eagles totaled 111 points against McMain and Belle Chasse in Weeks 3 and 4 and blanked Sophie B. Wright 45-0 for their third consecutive victory in a nondistrict matchup.
The Eagles have won their past three games by an average of 40.7 points, and coach Tony Hull was pleased with his team’s preparation heading into Thursday’s matchup.
“I was impressed with our week of preparation,” Hull said. “We were concerned coming off of a big victory but we’re focused on growing and I think we got better this week (as a whole).”
The better team was apparent from the opening kick as senior receiver Clyde Chriss dashed 76 yards through several Wright defenders for a touchdown but the extra point was no good.
Wright responded with some deception on its next drive as the Warriors converting a fourth-and-2 from their 49. Senior running back Larry Bridgewater took the snap from his upback position and powered ahead for a 2-yard run and a first down but the Easton defense held Wright to minus 2 yards for the rest of the drive.
The Easton offense wasted little time scoring again as senior quarterback Tyriek Starks took the Eagles on a six-play, 48-yard drive. He completed 2 of his 3 passes on the drive: a 26-yard first down to Yoheniz Tyler and a 15-yard touchdown to Sheldon Jones.
The ensuing snap on the extra point try was high, but Charven Morris corralled it in time to take off around the left side for the two-point conversion putting Easton up 14-0 with 6:27 to play in the first quarter.
The Eagles have undergone big changes with the departures of Texas A&M’s Deshawn Capers-Smith, LSU’s Tyron Johnson and others, but Hull said the offense in particular is beginning to find a rhythm.
“This is our first year together as a group,” Hull said. “It took a little time for them to gel, and we still have a lot of mistakes we need to correct but we’re getting better every week.”
“It’s tough losing those guys because they were great players,” added junior receiver Nick Bartholomew. “It’s hard filling those shoes, but we work hard everyday and try our best to continue the success from last year.”
Up 21-0, the Eagles defense then forced a three-and-out. The Eagles then added a score, this time after a seven-play, 53-yard drive. Four plays went for at least 10 yards on the possession, which was capped off by an 11-yard touchdown pass from Starks to Nick Bartholomew.
On Easton’s next drive, Bartholomew struck again with a sensational 44-yard catch and run for a commanding 28-0 lead early in the second period. The junior had just two catches but was the team’s leading receiver with 55 yards.
“I just followed my line, saw a crease in the field and I hit it,” said Bartholomew. “We go to practice, we work hard and come out with intensity everyday trying to get better and when it’s game time, we make it look easy.”
Easton added another touchdown just before halftime on a 9-yard scamper by Starks. In the third quarter, sophomore kicker Jose Herrara nailed a 22-yard field goal and sophomore running back Larry Barabino scored on a 3-yard run finishing off a seven-play, 59-yard drive.
The Eagles had good field position all night starting every drive from at least their 29-yard line. The defense held Wright to just three first downs through the first three quarters in a shutout effort.
“Anytime you can get a shutout, you’ve got to commend your defense,” Hull said. “The defensive coordinator and his staff did a great job and I’m just excited for the kids — they came out and executed today.”
Starks was 6-of-8 for 112 yards while rushing four times for 50 yards. Starting running back Joseph Boyd led Easton in rushing with 65 yards on 11 carries.
Wright quarterback Brandon Williams was 9-of-23 for 91 yards, DaiJon Landry had two catches for 29 yards and Bridgewater had 16 carries for 59 yards.
Wright will look to rebound from its homecoming loss next week against St. Charles while Easton hopes to carry its momentum into next week’s district matchup against Riverdale.