There were some unbelievable, and possibly historic, statistics that emerged from Friday night’s Northpoint Christian-Brighton game in Brighton.
The teams combined for nearly 1,400 all-purpose yards, including an astounding 658 rushing yards for Brighton, and 143 points. There were 19 touchdowns scored and, incredibly, zero turnovers.
And perhaps the most surprising stat of all? Northpoint returned three kick-offs for touchdowns, recovered three onside kicks (two of which led to touchdowns) and still lost.
When Braxton Sharp broke a 48-yard touchdown run with 1:01 left to give Brighton a 74-61 lead, the game wildness seemed to done. It was not.
Josh Flores naturally returned the ensuing kickoff 70 yards for a TD and Northpoint promptly recovered an onside kick for the third time. Northpoint got just inside the Brighton 30, but time finally ran out and Brighton was the owner of a 74-69 win few in attendance are likely to forget.
“It reminds me of when I used to coach basketball,” Brighton head coach Mike David said with a laugh, referring to the hoops-like score. “I’m proud of our team. We had some special teams breakdowns that we’ll take care of, but the defense, when we needed a stop they came through.”
For the second week in a row, Brighton’s rushing attack was just about unstoppable.
Brighton (2-0) scored touchdowns on all six of its first half possessions and found the end zone on 10 of its 12 possessions in the game.
Braxton Sharp, a week after rushing for 232 yards on eight carries, torched his second defense in a row. Just like like last week against St. Benedict, the junior scored on Brighton’s first play from scrimmage, this time on a 64-yarder. Despite sitting out some with cramps, he finished with 284 yards and six touchdowns on 21 carries.
Brighton quarterback Nick Harvell was just as dominant. He racked up 267 yards and four touchdowns on 25 carries and also completed 4 of 6 passes for 66 yards. His final touchdown was a 41-yarder with 3:06 left in the game that put Brighton ahead 66-61.
Cardinal sophomore Ty Stark also had a nice game with 107 yards on 12 carries.
As for Northpoint, quarterback Jack Patterson and wideout Darius Naylor did most of the damage. Naylor caught 10 balls for three touchdowns and 171 yards and Patterson completed 31 of 46 passes for 341 yards and four touchdowns. Jackson Thomason caught 12 passes for 134 yards and a score.
In the end, though, Brighton’s offense was more potent. Take away the three kick off returns and onside kick recoveries and the game probably would not have been close. Brighton led 16-0 less than three minutes into the game until special teams miscues quickly got Northpoint back in the game.
When the nearly three-and-half-hour game was finally over, everybody looked exhausted.
“Long,” Sharp said when asked to describe the game, “and definitely high-scoring … I just know the defense stepped up at the end. I’m just happy we got the W.”
“Fight,” Harvell said when asked for one word to sum up the game. “One of the wildest games I’ve been in for sure. It’s really about that fight, that drive. You know you’re tired, but if you don’t score they’re going to win. It’s that simple. You’ve got to keep going.”