HUMBLE - They were hit with the typical opening season bugaboos.
That being said, the Shadow Creek Sharks still picked right back up where they left a historic inaugural gridiron campaign last December.
The Sharks started their second season off by exploding for 23 first-quarter points and ended with 41 unanswered tallies in a convincing 64-14 triumph over Summer Creek Saturday night at Turner Stadium.
Kyron Drones (13 completions in 21 attempts) passed for 249 yards and four touchdowns in his varsity starting debut under center, while Seth Jones (six receptions for 136 yards) grabbed a pair of scoring receptions from the junior signal caller.
However, it was the Sharks’ defense making the biggest statement on this humid evening by accounting for 23 points with two C.J. Brown interception returns for TD’s and a long fumble return by end Alec Bryant.
The Sharks also sacked Bryan Bush four times with Bryant trapping the Bulldogs’ junior QB in the end zone for a first period safety.
“You always have a little bit of jitters in the first ball game and not knowing exactly how the guys will respond,” Shadow Creek head coach Brad Butler said following the game. “We got a nucleus of guys back, but we also have some new faces and you could see that at times tonight.
“I’m proud of the way we started. The heat got after both teams a bit. The speed we play with on defense is hard to handle, especially when the guys are flying around like they are. We will clean some stuff up offensively and see where we will go from here.”
Butler’s crew wasted little time getting on the scoreboard after holding Summer Creek to a three-and-out on the game’s opening series. Drones hooked up with Jones on the Sharks’ first play from scrimmage and the senior turned a short pass route into a 34-yard run-and-catch ramble to the end zone with 10:11 left in the first period.
Matt Allison booted the extra point through the uprights for a 7-0 Sharks’ lead.
Bryant sandwiched his end zone sack and a 40-yard fumble return around Drones’ 10-yard fling to Greg Hancock, paving the way for the 23-0 SC cushion following the initial 12 minutes.
After being held to negative yardage during the opening period, the Bulldogs finally showed signs of life in the second with Vital Joseph turning a short bubble screen toss from Bush into a 69-yard scoring play and Joseph also found Jamichael Burton from 10 yards out to cut the gap to 23-14 with 5:20 remaining.
The Bulldogs then received a golden opportunity to cut more into the deficit following an interception by Koby Sebasyen King at the SC 31-yard line. Shadow Creek held the Bulldogs on downs, though, and Drones lofted a 55-yard bomb to Jones four plays later to make it 30-14.
Summer Creek’s efforts to go back to the bubble screen were thwarted on the ensuing series, as well, as Bryant tipped a Bush pass at the line and Brown carried the deflection 29 yards to regain the 23-point cushion for the Sharks at 37-14 into the break.
The Sharks opened the second half with C.J. Guidry’s 35-yard reception setting up Drones’ 16-yard TD pass to Jared Jackson to cap a four-play, 55-yard drive. Brown then motored 28 yards with his second interception return on the next possession, while Jay’Veon Bell’s one-yard run capped the scoring early in the fourth.
Shadow Creek next hosts Magnolia for their home opener on Sept. 6 at AISD’s Freedom Field at 7 p.m.