MELISSA — Ja’Bray Young rushed for 167 yards and three touchdowns to boost Melissa past Bonham, 52-25, on Friday, Oct. 13, in the District 5-4A Div. II-opener for both teams at Cardinal Stadium. Melissa (5-1, 1-0) erupted for three unanswered touchdowns in the third quarter to take control of a game it led, 15-6, at halftime.
“It was a good win — anytime you start district 1-0,” Melissa head coach Seth Stinton said. “That’s our goal. It was a good second half, let’s put it that way. We kind of got off to a little bit of a rocky start in the first half. I thought our kids did a great job of executing what we called in the second half. I was real proud of them.
“[Bonham] did some stuff to us in that first half and I thought we started behind the sticks a little bit. We had a couple of penalties and that kind of changes what you call,” he said.
The potent Cards are now averaging 52 points per game during their current five-game win streak with a 25-point average margin of victory.
Adding to Young’s big night, quarterback Brendon Lewis rushed for 108 yards and a touchdown, threw a touchdown pass and completed two 2-point-conversion throws to Tate Whittington. Kennedy Lewis had a team-high three catches for 32 yards and Chase Mapps nabbed two for 40 yards.
Bonham quarterback Tyler Rodriguez led Warrior rushers with 123 yards and two touchdowns, and he posted a 9-yard scoring toss to Trevor Hartwell in the first quarter. Hartwell finished with a team-high four catches for 43 yards and Noah Shellman added three for 67.
Melissa piled up 424 yards on the ground, as four Cardinal rushers got loose for a run of 40-plus yards. The first was by Jason Baker, as Melissa held a precarious 7-6 lead midway through the second quarter. Baker sprinted through a gaping hole up the middle for 52 yards to the Bonham 20 and two plays later Brendon Lewis scored from 12 yards out after a nice fake to Young. Whittington’s 2-point-conversion run gave the Cards’ their 15-6 halftime edge.
“I just knew our team was down and we needed that little spark,” Baker said. “I knew I needed to be the one to do that. That’s my reputation and I wanted to keep it. … It was an amazing hole. That run all goes to the O-line.”
Melissa kept the momentum after the break with an 80-yard, eight-play drive featuring two 19-yard runs by Young and Breelyn Armstrong’s 23-yard touchdown scamper. After a Bonham three-and-out, Brendon Lewis roamed 43 yards deep into Warrior territory and two plays later Young scored on a 7-yard run. Both scores were capped by Whittington 2-point- conversion catches.
Bonham mishandled the ensuing kickoff and Melissa’s BJ Lewis pounced on the ball at the Warriors’ 40. Brendon Lewis soon found Marvin Jordan open for 9-yard scoring strike to give Melissa a 38-6 lead.
Extracurricular activity on the following kickoff resulted in offsetting personal foul penalties and a Bonham player being ejected from the game.
Rodriguez answered the Cards’ scoring flurry with a 5-yard touchdown run, but Young’s subsequent 64-yard scoring dash pushed Melissa’s advantage to 45-13 as the third quarter ended. “I saw the ‘A’ gap open, cut back and just ran,” Young said. “The dude caught me but I broke a tackle and scored.”
In the fourth stanza, Warren Mason broke free for 39 yards and a Warriors touchdown and Rodriguez found the end zone from 12 yards out on the game’s final play. Sandwiched between those scores was a 41-yard touchdown run by Melissa’s Chance Mapps.
All told, Bonham was hounded by four turnovers, including Cole McCraw’s second-quarter fumble recovery at the Melissa 15, Chance Mapps’ interception at the Cards’ goal line before halftime and Cody Garner’s fourth-quarter pick near midfield.
Young opened the night’s scoring with a 36-yard touchdown run on Melissa’s second possession. After starting up the middle, he broke right and to the end zone behind a timely block from Kennedy Lewis. “Our outside receiver, if he didn’t block I would’ve been tackled,” Young said. “So I’m happy about that. He saved my life.”
Bonham thwarted the Cards’ first drive with a big stop on 4th-and-1 from its own 2.
The Cards continue district play at Caddo Mills on Friday, Oct. 20. The Foxes (3-3, 0-1) fell to Celina, 34-28, in their district-opener.
M - Ja’Bray Young 36 run (Grayson Hurst kick), 5:20
B - Trevor Hartwell 9 pass from Tyler Rodriguez (run failed), 0:12
M - Brendon Lewis 12 run (Tate Whittington run), 5:28
M - Breelyn Armstrong 23 run (Tate Whittington pass from Brendon Lewis), 9:13
M - Ja’Bray Young 7 run (Tate Whittington pass from Brendon Lewis), 6:25
M - Marvin Jordan 9 pass from Brendon Lewis (Grayson Hurst kick), 5:04
B - Tyler Rodriguez 5 run (Nick Rhinehart kick), 0:41
M - Ja’Bray Young 64 run (Grayson Hurst kick), 0:00
B - Warren Mason 39 run (run failed), 8:28
M - Chance Mapps 41 run (Grayson Hurst kick), 7:55
B - Tyler Rodriguez 11 run (run failed), 0:00
Stats Bonham Melissa
First downs 17 19
Rushes yards 44-236 38-424
Passing yards 141 105
C-A-I 10-25-2 10-17-0
Punts-avg. 3-26 4-29
Penalties 7-65 6-65
Fumbles-lost 5-1 1-0
Rushing – Bonham: Tyler Rodriguez 18-123, Hayden Stevenson 19-62, Warren Mason 6-39, Noah Shellman 1-12. Melissa: Ja’Bray Young 13-167, Brendon Lewis 11-108, Breelyn Armstrong 6-44, Jason Baker 4-53, Chance Mapps 1-41, Javier Collins 1-9, Marvin Jordan 1-5, Tanner Sandoval 1-(-3).
Passing - Bonham: Tyler Rodriguez 10-25-2-141. Melissa: Brendon Lewis 9-16-0-71, Javier Collins 1-1-0-34.
Receiving - Bonham: Trevor Hartwell 4-43, Noah Shellman 3-67, Izaiah Epps 1-18, Cameron Reed 1-8, Sadarrion Ball 1-5. Melissa: Kennedy Lewis 3-32, Chase Mapps 2-40, Cole McCraw 2-19, Marvin Jordan 1-9, Tate Whittington 1-5.