A fumble on Brighton’s first possession Friday night at home against Kingsbury (0-2, 0-6) put the Cardinals in a quick 6-0 hole.
It was all Brighton after that, though, as the Cardinals scored nine unanswered touchdowns in a 63-6 Region 8-5A win. It was the first league win of the season for Brighton (2-4 overall, 1-2 region), broke a four-game losing streak and kept the Cardinals in the hunt for a playoff berth.
“It feels good to get a win in region play,” said Brighton wide receiver Tyler Burnett, who caught touchdown passes of 60 and 25 yards to account for his team’s first two scores. “We needed that because things are going to be hard down the road. We’re just focusing on our next game. We’ve been saying that since last season. We’re going to finish strong.”
“It’s good to get some confidence under our belts going into the later part of the schedule,” said senior Brighton quarterback Nick Johnson, who threw two touchdown passes and completed 7 of 11 passes for 153 yards before sitting out the second half with Brighton holding a comfortable lead. “Our schedule is very top-heavy with the teams we’ve played, not to take away from the teams we’re about to play. After a tough loss to Munford last week it’s good to get a win.”
Following Burnett’s touchdowns, Emmanuel Thurman broke a 12-yard touchdown run to push the lead to 21-6. Nick Harvell (four carries, 88 yards) scored on a 39-yard run with 4:09 left in the first half. A pair of interceptions by Darrien Lewis late in the second quarter led to touchdown runs by Joe Williamson and Wesley Ervin to give Brighton a 42-6 halftime lead.
Lewis led the team with 12 tackles. Sam Dunlap and Josh Fleming each had eight tackles and a sack.
Brighton’s second-teamers took over in the second half with the clock running and kept putting up points. Harvell scored on an 18-yard run and Thurman and Braxton Sharp also rushed for touchdowns.
The Cardinals are in fifth place in the region standings, a half game behind Kirby for the fourth and final playoff spot. Brighton hosts Arlington in a non-region game Friday before finishing the regular season with region games against Southwind, Ridgeway and Overton. Brighton will probably need to win two of those three league games to have a shot at making the postseason.
Brighton head coach Mike David said Friday’s win against Kingsbury was a sign his team has not given up on the season despite a rough start.
“We definitely needed this one because we’ve had some tough games. Last week we came out here and played real hard but came up short. I’m real happy for our seniors to get a homecoming win … We’ve got great character on this team. It’s real easy to be 1-4 and just ride out the season, but these kids made a decision not to do that. We’re going to come out and do everything we can to go as far as we can.”
In other action:
Munford took care of business Friday night at home with a 34-6 Region 8-5A homecoming win against Overton.
With the win, the Cougars (4-2 overall, 2-1 region) moved into a second-place tie in the region standings with Southwind. The Cougars are half game behind first place Ridgeway, which the Cougars this Friday night on the road.
Munford quarterback Jaxon O’Neal, who scored three times, capped off a nine-play, 57-yard drive on the Cougars’ opening possession with a 10-yard touchdown run to give Munford a lead it would not lose.
The Cougars used a very balanced rushing attack to roll up 306 rushing yards on Overton (1-2, 1-5).
Traveon Hawkins led the way with 67 yards on eight carries. Dalton Allen added 61 yards and a TD on 10 carries and Ben Cerniglia ran six times for 49 yards. Jesse Savage had just one carry but made it count with a 20-yard touchdown run. Auvic White (11 carries, 36 yards) and Kelton Mason (two carries, 23 yards) also added to the rushing total.