And the beat goes on for the Kirby Cougars. With star QB Jaden Johnson now at the University of Southern Mississippi, some were expecting a big drop off in the Cougar program. Johnson had a record-breaking season last year and put up video game numbers in games.
But despite losing Johnson, Kirby Head Coach Chester Flowers expects big things. And the first step was a district game against the Brighton Cardinals at Kirby Stadium. Brighton was no match for the Kirby Cougars who won easily, 35-0.
“It was our first league game and we did not want to drop our first one coming out of the gate,” Flowers said. “We wanted to come out and dominate on offense, defense and special teams.
“We did that, but the scary thing about it is we think we can be so much better,” he said.
The Cougars were led by junior running back Charles Thomas. Playing in his first game of the season, Thomas had a debut like no other, scoring four – FOUR – touchdowns on the night. He had runs of 65, 77 and 10 yards. Thomas caught a 16 yard touchdown as well. Thomas had 220 rushing yards and 31 receiving yards in the rout. Flowers thinks he could be even better once his conditioning improves.
“He start cramping up during the game,” Flowers said. “We wanted to play him more, but we couldn’t. He has to get himself into game shape.”
The Cougars improves to 3-0 (1-0 in district play). The Cougars may be more well-rounded this season. Senior QB Draylen Ellis learned how to play in Flowers’ offense last season backing up Johnson. And he saw game action so he was not new to running the offense.
Ellis took what the defense gave him, throwing for 99 yards and rushing for another 31. And Kirby’s defense kept Brighton from finding any kind of rhythm. The Cardinals were held to 94 total yards.
This is the third straight shutout for Kirby this season. The Cougars have outscored their opponents 117-0.
“We have just got to keep improving. No one is harder on us than ourselves,” Flowers said. “We don’t settle for average. Mediocrity is not in our vocabulary. We are always looking for areas to get better. We are a 3A populated school, but we choose to play 5A. We have navigated our way through this league. We don’t want to go down. We want to play with the big boy.”
Kirby will have a little extra time to enjoy this win. Their next game is on Sept. 20 against neighborhood rival Southwind. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Kirby Stadium.