On paper at least, Friday’s season opener in Brighton figured to be a competitive game.
St. Benedict played Munford to a very close game last year and plays in the largest private school classification. Brighton was missing its best offensive weapon.
It was not competitive.
Braxton Sharp broke a 75-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage and it was all Brighton the rest of the way in a 38-0 Cardinal win.
Brighton’s defense held St. Benedict to 172 yards and kept the Eagles off the scoreboard all night.
“I was really pleased with the way the defense played. I thought they took some big steps,” said Brighton head coach Mike David. “The offense did a great job, too. I think they executed really well.”
Starting quarterback Nick Harvell, last year’s Region 8-5A offensive MVP, did not play for undisclosed reasons, but the offense hummed along just fine without him.
Sharp was basically unstoppable. He finished with 232 yards on just eight carries, all in the first half. He ran back the second half kickoff 75 yards for his third touchdown of the game and sat the rest of the game.
His 45-yard touchdown run in the second quarter put the Cardinals ahead 14-0. Tyler Todd, who replaced Harvell at quarterback, scored on a 12-yard run late in the second quarter to push the lead to 22-0. Todd completed 6 of 8 passes for 42 yards.
Ty Stark, who finished with 37 yards, scored on a 10-yard run in the third quarter to round out the scoring. Michael Latimer added 26 yards rushing and Aiden Potter added 42. Brighton finished with 342 rushing yards and averaged a whopping 15.5 yards per carry.
David was coaching against Joey Magnifico, who is in his first year at St. Benedict. Magnifico, who was a standout tight end for the University of Memphis, played for St. Benedict when David coached there.
“He’s going to do a good job there,” David said. “Sometimes it just takes some time. He’s going to be a great coach.”