It’s no problem if Zachary can’t find its “on” switch right away. The Broncos have a lot of them.
After falling behind 13-0, Zachary roared back to crush Denham Springs 62-20 behind the play of star quarterback Keilon Brown and a host of talented players.
Brown accounted for 447 yards and six touchdowns as the Broncos improved to 5-2 and stayed in a tie for first place in District 4-5A with Central at 3-0. But it was Sean Burrell who got the Broncos rolling.
After the Yellow Jackets made it 13-0 on a 17-yard pass from Luke Lunsford to Kaleb Drummer, Burrell went 97 yards untouched with the ensuing kickoff to start a run that led to a 35-13 halftime lead.
“That’s where it started,” said Brown, who threw five TD passes and ran 31 yards for another. “It sparked up the energy for us. The offense started slow and (Denham Springs) scored (13) points in 5 minutes. We had to answer, and we did that.”
Brown threw three touchdown passes to Chris Hilton and one each to Chandler Whitfield and Buddy Davis, while completing 13 of 18 passes for 275 yards. Brown rushed for 172 yards on 13 carries. Hilton caught four balls for 121 yards and Whitfield four for 112.
After Burrell’s kickoff return, the Broncos needed only two plays on a 63-yard drive to take a 14-13 lead, and Brown provided all of it on keepers of 32 and 31 yards.
“That was big,” Zachary coach David Brewerton said of the kick return. “We stress change-of-momentum plays and that was one of them. We came out flat, the fans were flat, the whole stadium was flat. It usually is when we come here, I don’t know why. It took us a little while to get cranked up. We never looked back after that.”
After that, the passing lanes opened up and Brown threw three scoring passes to make it 35-13 at halftime. Hilton faked a curl route and was wide open for a 33-yard TD pass, Whitfield caught a pass over the middle and went 81 yards down the sideline, and Brown found Hilton wide on a 58-yard scoring reception.
The Zachary defense shut down Denham Springs after the first five minutes and sacked Lunsford six times while allowing only 42 yards rushing.
Lunsford threw 44 passes for Denham Springs (4-3, 1-2) and completed 20 for 246 yards and two scores. Kaleb Drummer caught eight for 100 yards and a touchdown.
“The game plan was good; everything we wanted to run schematically was there," Denham Springs coach Bill Conides said. "It was making mistakes, and they beat us pretty good up front. Our guys don’t quit. We were very positive at halftime. The defense goes and makes a stop out of halftime. What really hurt was when we didn’t score in the red zone coming out in the second half.”
The Jackets defense forced a three-and-out to start the second half and then drove to the Zachary 12, but Lunsford threw incomplete on fourth down. Zachary then drove 88 yards to score on a 20-yard pass from Brown to Hilton to make it 42-13.
Denham Springs jumped ahead when wide receiver Hunter Bond got behind the Zachary secondary on the game’s first snap and Lunsford hit him with a perfect throw for a 58-yard gain to the Zachary 4. Two plays later, Tre Muse plowed over the goal line for a 6-0 lead. After the Drummer TD, it was all Zachary.