Melissa opened the 2019 season with 47-14 rout of Liberty Christian at Argyle on Friday. Cardinals quarterback Brendon Lewis threw for 235 yards and four touchdowns while running back Xylon Posey posted touchdown runs of 66 and 50 yards enroute to over 160 yards rushing.
Tyler Burton nabbed two TD passes — one for 46 yards, one for 1 — and AntjuanTurner hauled in a 64-yard scoring strike and Chase Mapps added one for 35.
Melissa led, 41-7, at halftime.
“Coach [Jason] Russell and the rest of the offensive coaches had a great, great game plan going in and the kids executed,” Melissa head coach Matt Nally said by phone Saturday morning.
Lewis hit on 11 of 15 pass attempts with no interceptions and also notched a 2-yard touchdown run.
“You’re always expecting Brendon to play well,” Nally said. “And he’s throwing the ball like I’ve never seen him throw the ball before. He threw two balls that no one I’ve seen in 17 years of coaching - no one in America could make the throws he threw. Both of them were touchdowns, both of them were long passes. But he was so flawless and it was so effortless. The ball just popped out of his hands. … And [the Warriors] were bringing heat.”
Nally added, “I told the kids, ‘I don’t care what the scoreboard looks like. That is not my concern because … in the grand scheme of things this game means nothing. I just want us to be physical.’ We were physical in all three phases of the game. The kids imposed their will. … It was fun to be a part of.
“Xylon did an unbelievable job of seeing the crease on both of his long runs. On his 66-yard run, he didn’t get touched until the 2-yard-line. … He’s really, really explosive. That’s the only way I can define him.”
Posey’s performance was “a huge deal for the offensive line, obviously,” Nally said, adding, “When you’re an offensive lineman, it’s not just about physicality - it’s about being nasty. You’re in the trenches. It’s a different world in that trench.”
Nally also praised defensive coordinator Nate Hemsley and his staff for devising a plan to stifle the Warriors’ high-powered offense, noting that they scored nearly 40 points a game last year.
Liberty Christian quarterback Daniel Greek threw 48 times for 230 yards on Friday, connecting only 50-percent of the time as Melissa defenders held the damage to two touchdowns. “But our front just would not allow them to run the ball,” Nally said.
On special teams, the Cards blocked a field goal, repeatedly covered a dangerous return man and got another solid placekicking performance from Luke Hansen.
Veteran Cards running back Ja’Bray Young was held out of the game to further nurse an ankle injury. With Young back, Nally said, the plan is for him and Posey to be a “two-headed monster” in the Cards’ backfield. “We’re kind of hoping Ja’Bray can be ‘thunder’ and Xylon can be ‘lightning.’”
On the injury front, Melissa’s Chanse Holiday was carted from the field with a leg injury and did not return.
The Cards were flagged for nine penalties. “That’s probably four too many,” Nally said. “That’s the only thing I’d like to really clean up.”
Melissa faces Class 5A Frisco at home on Friday.
Melissa 47, Liberty Christian 14
Melissa 14 27 6 0 - 47
Liberty Christian 0 7 7 0 - 14
M - Xylon Posey 66 run (Luke Hansen kick)
M - Tyler Burton 46 pass from Brendon Lewis (Luke Hansen)
L - Jalen McCoslin 64 pass from Daniel Greek (David Kvistad kick)
M - Brendon Lewis 2 run (run failed)
M - Xylon Posey 50 run (Luke Hansen kick)
M - Antjuan Turner 65 pass from Brendon Lewis (Luke Hansen kick)
M - Tyler Burton 1 pass from Brendon Lewis (Luke Hansen kick)
M - Chase Mapps 35 pass from Brendon Lewis (kick failed)
L – Bryson Werntz 9 pass from Daniel Greek (David Kvistad)