Although it jumped out to an early lead, Denham Springs battled with a resilient McKinley team for nearly four quarters Friday night, but the Yellow Jackets seemed to always have an answer.

Denham Springs sophomore running back Tyre Golmond tallied three total touchdowns to lead the Yellow Jackets to a 38-27 win over the Panthers at McKinley High School.

“It’s a great win,” Denham Springs coach Dru Nettles said. “Our guys really battled. McKinley gave great effort. Those guys really battled at home tonight.”

After a punt on its opening possession, Denham Springs settled in, notching a 25-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Torez Kinchen to Golmond. Golmond slipped into the the secondary untouched and jogged into the end zone for the first touchdown of the game.

The play was set up by a botched punt attempt by McKinley, allowing the Yellow Jackets to score in three plays.

Later in the quarter, Denham Springs (3-1) started with good field position again, recording four first downs before Golmond snuck into the end zone from a yard out to cap a 50-yard drive.

But McKinley (2-2) didn’t fade easily, getting its first points of the evening on the following possession. The Panthers finished a seven-play drive with a bruising, 9-yard touchdown run from junior running back Marcus Hill.

McKinley lined up for an extra point, but senior wide receiver Rea’quan Powell, who was the holder, took the snap and raced into the the corner of the end zone for the two-point conversion.

Denham Springs responded three possessions later, once again benefitting from favorable field position.

Another miscue on a McKinley punt attempt allowed the Yellow Jackets to take over from the Panthers’ 6-yard line, where Golmond recorded his final touchdown on the next play.

“We made too many mistakes,” McKinley coach Robert Signater said. “Bad snaps on punts. Give them the ball with a short field. Needing to make a stop on drives and don’t. All those little things add up to big things.”

Hill delivered for McKinley again with a 3-yard score on the following possession, but Denham Springs senior kicker Cade Murry booted a 34-yard field goal just before halftime.

From there, the Panthers closed the lead to 31-27 before the third quarter came to a close, but Kinchen hit senior wide receiver De’Juante Edwards on a short pass near the beginning of the fourth quarter, and Edward took it 62 yards for the score.