Kell secures top seed with rout of Sprayberry
by Matt Nascone
MDJ Sports Correspondent
October 26, 2013 02:28 AM | 2763 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kell’s Julian Burris, right, eludes Sprayberry’s Rakeem Myricks and turns upfield Friday in the Longhorns’ 55-7 win over the Yellow Jackets. Kell secured the No. 1 seed in Region 7AAAAA (B).
Kell’s Julian Burris, right, eludes Sprayberry’s Rakeem Myricks and turns upfield Friday in the Longhorns’ 55-7 win over the Yellow Jackets. Kell secured the No. 1 seed in Region 7AAAAA (B).
MARIETTA — Julian Burris put Kell fans at ease when he returned a kickoff 99 yards for a go-ahead touchdown Friday night in the Longhorns’ 55-7 rout of Sprayberry in the Stockyard.

Burris’ touchdown gave Kell a 10-7 lead late in the first quarter on the first play after the Yellow Jackets took a 7-3 lead. The Longhorns (8-0, 3-0 Region 7AAAAA (B)) poured on 31 points in the second quarter and held Sprayberry (1-7, 0-3) scoreless the rest of the way.

The blowout win capped what has been an unblemished home schedule for the Kell seniors since they took the field in elementary school. The victory also secured the No. 1 seed in the subregion for the Longhorns. Kell head coach Derek Cook said it was a special night for his seniors.

“This senior class has never lost a regular-season home game here, going all the way back to fifth grade. That team was undefeated in middle school and we have not lost a home game in the regular season since they have been here,” Cook said. “They will graduate having never lost a regular-season home game. That is an amazing accomplishment.”

Darian Harris led the charge for the Longhorns. Harris rushed twice for 156 yards and two touchdowns. He had an 83-yard score on his first carry halfway through the second quarter and sprinted 71 yards for another touchdown on the final play of the first half.

“He has been dinged up a little with his hip, and maybe his ankle and his shoulder, but it seems like the off week really got him fresh,” Cook said. “He had a burst tonight I have not seen in a while. I am excited about that heading into the stretch run of the season.

“If he can provide those fresh legs like that and come out of the other end of the pile in the end zone, that is another good asset to have.”

Harris also got in on the passing game with a 36-yard touchdown pass to Burris early in the second quarter on a double pass from quarterback Matthew McGuigan. Harris said he was happy to run that play in the game.

“We had been practicing it all week and Coach Cook was like, ‘I can tell you really want this one, so we are going to run it in the game.’ It just felt amazing when I threw it,” Harris said. “I was feeling real good and real pumped.”

On the Longhorns’ final drive of the first half, McGuigan went down on a pass play and came up favoring his ankle. Cook said backup Cameron Rosendahl played the rest of the game as a precaution. McGuigan was on crutches in the second half, but Cook said he is day-to-day.

“It looks like he rolled his ankle a little bit. We were already up 41-7 when that happened, so we got him out of the game,” Cook said. “We just want to make sure Cameron is ready to go in the event that Matt is out for a game or so. Matt is not a runner, so that will not be a deciding factor since it is an ankle injury.”

Kell put up 560 yards of total offense with 343 on the ground and 217 through the air. Senior Jay Moxey rushed 14 times for 119 yards. McGuigan was 7-for-9 with 161 yards and a 51-yard touchdown to Bryson Armstrong. Burris had 100 yards receiving on three catches. Senior Dyllen Reed scored on a 1-yard touchdown run in the waning seconds of the game.

Sprayberry’s Andrew Pierra connected with Jonathan Palmer through the air for a 62-yard touchdown late in the second quarter to give the Yellow Jackets a 7-3 lead, but Sprayberry held that lead for all of 15 seconds until Burris scored on the ensuing kickoff.

The Yellow Jackets managed a mere 102 yards of total offense not counting the 62-yard touchdown, including only 29 yards in the second half.

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