EASTLAND — The Early Longhorns were unable to hand the No. 9 Eastland Mavericks their first loss of the season Friday night, as District 3-3A Division I action began with a 59-23 defeat for head coach Blake Sandford's squad.
Eastland (6-0, 1-0) generated 609 yards of total offense — 385 passing and 224 rushing — as the Mavericks led Early (3-3, 0-1) by a 22-0 count after one quarter, 42-9 at halftime and 52-16 through three frames.
The Longhorns finished with 257 total yards — 147 on the ground and 110 through the air — with the game's only turnover. Early also punted eight times.
Eastland junior quarterback Behren Morton, who has received numerous NCAA Division I scholarship offers, completed 16 of 28 passes for 329 yards and with four touchdowns, while adding 11 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
Leading receivers included Dylan Wilson with four grabs for 88 yards and two touchdowns, Grayson Forbus with a pair of receptions covering 32 yards with a trip to the end zone, and Mark Zarate and Chris Hicks with scoring grabs of 10 and 5 yards, respectfully.
Seven Mavericks carried the ball, led by Brandon Fielding with a team-high 76 yards. Anthony Bonila rushed for 12 yards and two scores and Alex Gonzales added 20 yards and scored once.
For Early, quarterback Brent Grooms connected on 12 of 25 passes for 117 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, and he also rushed for 44 yards and a score.
Timmy Smithson caught six passes for 82 yards with a touchdown, Rylie Hill added two receptions for 12 yards, Jesson Tarrant grabbed two passes covering 9 yards, Tre Beam made a 10-yard reception and Carlos Moreno scored on a 4-yard catch.
Cale Wade led the ground game with 75 yards followed by Grooms, then Alex Jacobs with 20 yards.
The Longhorns will attempt to bounce back next week at home against Clyde (4-2, 0-1), which is coming off a 35-0 loss to Wall in its district opener.