Highland Baptist dominates Covenant Christian

Highland Baptist quarterback Myles Liggans (3) hands the ball off during the Bears District 8-A game with Covenant Christian Thursday.

After a winless 2018 season, the Highland Baptist Bears evened their current record at 3-3 following an impressive 41-14 romp over Covenant Christian in the District 8-1A opener at home Thursday night. 
The Bears started fast, recovering a fumble on the opening kickoff to set up shop at the Covenant 33-yard line.  
Four plays later, quarterback Myles Liggans kept the football for a six-yard touchdown and the rout was on.
"We finally got a faux pas in the kicking game that went our way," said Highland head coach Rick Hutson, who is in his first year at the school.  
"We've had two kickoffs this year where we've turned the ball over.  To start this game off the other way was very nice, and then we went and scored right after.  For a young team, I think that gives you a little confidence."
Covenant went three-and-out on its next possession and following a punt, Liggans scored two plays later on a 79-yard scamper that put the Bears up 14-0 with 8:11 still remaining in the first quarter.  
"I was very pleased with the way we played offense in the first half," Hutson said.  "All in all, I thought we played pretty well on both sides of the ball."
Liggans accounted for six touchdowns - three rushing and three passing - and finished with a total of 329 yards.  
In the first half, the junior ran 13 times for 140 yards and three touchdowns as the Bears led 28-7 at intermission. 
"He touches the ball every play so he ought to have a hand in those touchdowns," quipped Hutson.  "He really hurt them with his legs in the first half. 
"Sometimes I'm just trying to get first downs, and he makes a cut-back that ends up a touchdown or a really long play.  He's a difference-maker for sure."
Another difference-maker was junior Tyreke Collins.
"We had to move one of our linebackers (Collins) to offensive line tonight," Hutson said.  "He played strong guard and blocked great.  
"That's one of the reasons many of our plays had success.  He was the difference.  I want to single him out because he does not want to play offensive line.  But he did and did it well."
Sadler Delahoussaye, Cade Boudreaux, Keelan Preston and Kylyn Jones hauled in the bulk of Liggans' 13 completions, which came via a mixture of downfield throws and an effective shovel pass that is one of Hutson's staple plays.
"We run that a whole lot," Hutson said of the shovel pass.  
In the first half, the Highland defense forced Covenant (2-3, 0-1) to turn the ball over on downs twice. 
Despite that success, Hutson said his defense needs to improve considerably with a road game at powerful Vermilion Catholic - the state's third-ranked team - up next. 
"Our tackling is still a big issue," he said.  "We missed a lot of tackles, either where we took bad angles or we just didn't wrap up.  
"I know where that comes from because we don't get real physical in our practices.  If we do, then we don't have the numbers.  Because we're not as physical as we'd like to be in practice, that's a by-product of what you see on game nights."
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