Highland Baptist has already eclipsed last season’s win total under first-year head coach Rick Hutson.
The Bears crushed Houma Christian, a Class 2A team that reached the Division IV playoffs last year, 50-6 at home in Week 1.
Junior quarterback Myles Liggans shined for the Bears, rushing for four touchdowns.
“It feels good to get started with a win, especially after a (winless) season like last year,” Liggans said. “It builds confidence. I’m just ready to rock and roll from here and get better each and every day.”
The Bears broke apart a close game with a barrage of second-half points vs. the Warriors.
“We came out and played harder than they did in the second half,” Liggans said. “We were conditioned better, in my opinion.”
Last year, Liggans was running for his life behind an overmatched offensive line.
That has changed under Hutson. Even better, the group upfront is comprised exclusively of freshmen and sophomores.”
“The offensive line did a very good job,” Liggans said. “They opened a bunch of holes for our running backs and gave me enough time to throw. Overall, they did a great job.”
Liggans said there’s a noticeably different vibe compared to the 2018 season.
“The chemistry with the team is different,” he said. “We’re all closer. And just the overall atmosphere of the whole football program and the school, period. It’s like we’re more excited. We want to get stuff done.”
The 5-foot-11, 165-pound signal-caller likes the variation of the spread offense that his coach has installed.
“Coach Hutson is setting us up for success,” Liggans said. “He’s putting us in position to win.”
In the preseason, Hutson praised his quarterback’s dedication to studying film from his sophomore campaign.
“I always want to be the most prepared person in the room,” Liggans said. “I watch film and learn as much as I can about my opponent.”
This week’s opponent, Hamilton Christian from Lake Charles, had an open date in Week 1.
“All we have to go on is what they did in their jamboree game,” Liggans said. “We know they’re extremely athletic, fast, and get to the ball quickly.”
With a junior-laden team that includes only a few seniors, Highland’s best football could be farther down the road next year, but Liggans said success could be imminent.
“I think we can be very good with an overall winning record,” he said. “We’re going to go as far as our attitude allows us to go.
“Our junior class is a great group of guys that have been together since seventh grade. We have very good chemistry, and we’re all in it together.”
Hutson was pleased with his star player’s Week 1 performance.
“Myles had a very, very good first game of the season,” the HBCS coach said. “Every mistake he did make was probably just seeing something different than what we had seen and prepared for in practice.
“He threw the ball very well and ran the ball even better. He was 11-of-15 for 163 yards.
“No passing touchdowns, but those throws set up touchdowns. He made all the right reads and made all the right decisions.”