WATSON — Denham Springs running back Tyree Golmond raced for a 60-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage against Live Oak.
Turned out the freshman was just getting warm.
Golmond scored two more times in the first half to pace the Yellow Jackets to a 64-20 win over Live Oak in the District 4-5A opener for both teams here Friday night.
Golmond gained a game-high 185 yards and three touchdowns on 11 rushing attempts to lead the Yellow Jackets (2-2, 1-0) to victory.
The elusive freshman slipped numerous tackles throughout the night and proved difficult to bring down for the Live Oak (1-3, 0-1) defense.
Junior quarterback Torez Kinchen added another two touchdowns through the air for the Jackets. Kinchen was 11-of-19 passing with 127 yards and no interceptions. Senior Kyandre Brooks had six receptions for 43 yards.
Denham Springs coach Dru Nettles said Golmond’s big play to start the game set the tone for the visitors against their intra-parish rivals.
“He’s just a great kid, very humble, a great team player,” Nettles said. “I thought we did some really good things offensively in the first half.”
The Yellow Jackets put a damper on Live Oak’s Alumni Night celebration by charging to a 35-13 halftime lead.
Live Oak closed the gap to 8 points with a pair of touchdowns in the second period, but Denham Springs responded by revving up its offensive machine even more.
“We just needed a few more stops on defense and a few more first downs on offense to get the momentum in our favor,” Live Oak coach Tut Musemeche said. “But, congratulations to them. They had a good plan and their players made some plays. We had some things we thought we could do, but we didn’t use the momentum to our advantage.”
Golmond shocked the home crowd when he took the first snap of the game and sprinted 60 yards for a touchdown. He grabbed the handoff and started toward right tackle, then reversed direction, found a seam and raced through the heart of Live Oak’s defensive secondary to give the visitors an early lead.
Denham scored again on its next possession, driving 61 yards on six plays. The Jackets converted a key third-and-9 situation when Kinchen hit Brooks over the middle for an 11-yard gain. Golmond reeled off a 34-yard run to set up Kinchen’s 11-yard TD pass to D’Juante Edwards. The junior receiver created a wide gap of separation behind the left cornerback and easily pulled in Kinchen’s pass for the score.
Freshman Hunter Scott put DSHS back in prime scoring position when he returned an Eagle punt 28 yards deep into Live Oak territory. Golmond scored on the next play from 17 yards away for his second TD of the night.
But Live Oak wasn’t going away quietly. Assisted by a personal foul call against the Jackets, Live Oak got on the scoreboard early in the second period. Quarterback Michael Claverie tossed a long spiral to Will Higginbotham that gained 41 yards and gave the hosts first-and-goal at the 1. Higginbotham scored on the next play and Nathan Holiday’s conversion made the score 21-7.
Moments later, Jules Laird recovered a Yellow Jacket fumble at Denham’s 29-yard line and Claverie scored four plays later on a 3-yard run. Holiday’s conversion failed as the Eagles narrowed the gap to 21-13.
Denham wasn’t done scoring, however. The visitors were set back by 13 penalties in the first half, but the offense maintained its intensity.
Denham answered Live Oak’s TD with a six-play scoring drive highlighted by a 41-yard run by Golmond and capped by a 3-yard run by junior Robert Thomas.
Denham kept up the pace late in the second half, scoring on a 37-yard pass from Kinchen to J’Duante Edwards with two minutes to play in the third.
Both teams return to District 4-5A play next week. Denham will host Broadmoor, while Live Oak will travel to Zachary.