Warren Easton's Clyde Chriss was ejected from last week’s game against Evangel, and his status for Friday night’s game was up in the air.
Chriss played … and did with a purpose
One of the premier receivers in the New Orleans Metro area, Chriss accounted for more than 300 all-purpose yards and scored four touchdowns as Warren Easton outlasted McMain, 62-20, in a non-district tilt Friday night at Pan American Stadium in City Park.
The Eagles (2-1), which entered the contest ranked ninth in The Advocate’s Super 10 prep football among large schools and eighth in the Class 4A state poll by the LSWA, flexed its offensive muscle to the tune of 511 yards total yards of offense. Easton scored a season-high 62 points, the most since the first round of Class 4A state playoffs a year ago, and did so with the intention of showing just how formidable this team can be.
“I was happy with my performance coming off a bad game last week,” said Chriss, who hauled in seven passes for 205 yards and three touchdowns.
“My team needed to know they could trust me as a leader and as a leader.”
“It was a total team effort,” added Easton coach Tony Hull. “It was a great bounce-back performance after the loss last week. Now we need to build on this and continue to get better.”
Easton entered its third game of the season having not scored via a passing touchdown. Little time was needed before that streak was snapped.
Easton scored four unanswered touchdowns to open the game to grab an early 28-0 advantage. Senior quarterback Tyriek Starks directed his offense to scoring drives in three of Easton’s first four possessions, throwing touchdown passes covering 63 and 27 yards to Chriss and Nick Bartholomew.
The Eagles’ fourth touchdown came on an interception by sophomore defensive back Damien Tate, who raced past a host of McMain players for a 105 return.
“Our offense, we knew we had a bad game last week so we had to come through,” Chriss said. “We’re a high-powered offense, but we just had to prove it to everyone. This week, we gave this a little taste of what we could do.”
The Mustangs (0-3) offense finally got on track midway through the second frame, which sparked a shootout between the two teams.
McMain senior quarterback Darnell Williams put his team on the board for the first time with a 5-yard touchdown to junior wideout Jamairyn Wallace. But on the ensuing kickoff, Chriss navigated 84 yards to pay dirt for the score.
On McMain’s first offensive play, Williams hit Wallace – this time for 75 yards – for the touchdown.
Likewise, Easton responded, needing just two plays before Starks connected with Chriss for a 58-yard touchdown.
McMain and Easton exchanged touchdowns once more before the half. Williams found fellow senior Kevin Edgerson for a 37-yard touchdown only to watch Starks throw a 23-yard touchdown to sophomore Yo’Heinz Tyler and give Easton a 49-20 lead at intermission.
The shootout would soon lean in one direction, as Easton put the finishing touches just six seconds into the third quarter.
Starks hit Chriss for a 56-yard touchdown on the Eagles’ opening play from scrimmage in the second half. Running back Joseph Boyd added another touchdown on an 8-yard run minutes later to up the lead to 42.
Starks finished the game 13-of-20 passing for 316 yards and his first five touchdown passes of the season, as well as 66 yards and a score on the ground. Boyd added 68 yards rushing on nine carries and a touchdown, while Chriss found the end zone four times on the night.
“He had such a hard time this offseason just gaining respect,” Hull said of Chriss. “I’m so proud of him for the way he performed tonight, and it’s kind of his coming out party so I’m happy for him.”
Equally as important, the defense regained its form in the second half.
Easton kept McMain off the scoreboard over the final two quarters thanks to a Chris Fortin interception in the red zone and a key stop as the Mustangs were driving near the end of the quarter.
“We gave up a couple of big plays in the first half, so our defensive staff made some good adjustments to help contain No. 1 (Williams), who’s a good quarterback,” Hull said.
Williams finished the game 16-of-36 passing with 292 yards passing and three touchdowns compared to two interceptions. He added 107 yards on 15 carries rushing.
Edgerson hauled in a team-high five receptions for 146 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and overall McMain totaled 399 yards of total offense.
Despite all of the offensive fireworks, McMain coach Kevin Roussell was unimpressed with wasted scoring opportunities and non-existent defense.
“Offensively, we left two or three touchdowns on the field in the first half. We moved the ball, but we killed ourselves,” Roussell said after his team’s third loss to open the season. That hasn’t occurred at McMain in at least six years.
“We can’t stop anyone on defense That’s a good football team over there, and we didn’t do a good job tackling. Defensively, we’ve got a lot of things to correct.”