In its first taste of District 13-4A action, the Sealy Tiger defense continued its habitually stingy attitude toward opponents and barred the host Fulshear Chargers from the end zone until only 75 seconds remained in the game.
It was just the visitors' third touchdown allowed in the fourth full game, with all three coming through the air after Jackson Edge connected with Hayden Graham from 6 yards away to spoil Friday night's shut out.
Still, the defense came away with a statement win in the first game that matters toward the postseason standings.
"(Head Coach Shane) Mobley preached all week that points matter and that we had to at least win by 17," explained senior linebacker Hunter Clark. "Of course, last year we didn't get a shutout until the first week of playoffs and this year already having two, three if you count Waller, is huge. Now we're just going for as many as we can get."
Of course, the offense needs to put up points on the other side and Sealy has had no problem with that either, coming into the game averaging just shy of 40 points a game.
The running game got started off the bat, providing three of the four first-half touchdowns from Alvin Nunn (43 yards), Garrett Redden (1 yard) and Matthew Lord (11 yards) behind the big boys in front who offensive coordinator Chris Carruthers made sure to mention.
"I would never want to play this position but I tell them this all the time; the offensive line, they don't get any touchdowns, they don't get enough credit," he said. "Those guys work their butts off. They get coached harder by me than any other kid and they probably hate me somewhere deep down inside but they take it they get better.
"They do a really good job," Carruthers continued. "Coach (Giles) Montgomery and Coach (Jeremy) Pelz, they watch film, they're with them in the morning, at lunch, after school, during practice. And so it's not a fun job but those guys do a really good job and Pelz and Montgomery coach their tails off and the offensive linemen just respond and so it's fun to watch them and how much they've grown as well."
Lord, the senior tailback who scored the final touchdown of the first half, concurred that it starts and ends with the offensive line.
When asked what it was that that allowed him to have another big game, he said; "The O-Line, they were lights-out like always."
In the second half, Clark brought in a 4-yard score for his first two-touchdown performance since his freshman year in a similar statement-making effort from the Tiger offense.
"We wanted to come out and make a statement for the first district game because when district starts, points matter so we wanted to score as much as we could," he said of the offensive mentality. "And we really wanted to get the passing game going a little bit ... we haven't had a huge passing threat yet so we wanted to get that started."
Dai'Kwan Brown added a 1-yard touchdown rush to bookend the Sealy scoring and notch district win No. 1, an aspect Coach Mobley wasn't just brushing off.
"It's big, it's always good to get the first one out of the way and knowing what we're running into, we've got some big competition coming up I know there was some good football played this week in the district and so it's really good to get that first one," he said.
Moving into next week, the Brazosport Exporters will make a trip to Sealy fresh off a bye week ready to roll.
"Next week we know we got a big one, Brazosport was open this week and they're a very talented football team; they've got a really good running back and a big offensive line," Mobley said. "We're going to sit down, rest ourselves, relax a little bit, get everything back to normal and take care."
Alvin Nunn led the rushing category with 109 yards on 7 carries with his touchdown run of 43 yards serving as his longest carry of the evening with two more runs of 15-plus yards.
Matthew Lord was next with 12 carries for 98 yards with a 39-yard run standing as his longest of the evening.
Draper Parker led the receiving corps with four catches for 49 yards and Ja'Marris Cotton was next with his lone catch covering 39 yards.
Hunter Clark made the most of his three catches with two of them going for touchdowns and the other going for 14 yards.
Keen Brown set up Redden's touchdown with his 17-yard catch, Jakobe Davis hauled in a reception for 15 yards himself, Connor Krenek pulled down one for 9 yards and Lord caught a screen pass for 6 yards for 155 yards through the air for Carter Cryan.
On defense, Lane Holley led the Tigers with seven tackles and Clayton Prazak (6) and Cotton (5) were right behind him to help shut down the Fulshear attack.
Sealy also intercepted two passes and recovered a fumble.
Q1: Alvin Nunn 43-yard rush, Ricky Avila kick 6:08 left
Garrett Redden 1-yard rush, Avila kick 0:25
Q2: Carter Cryan to Hunter Clark 2-yard pass, pass fail 10:26
Matthew Lord 11-yard rush, Avila kick 2:49
Q3: Cryan to Clark 4-yard pass, Avila kick 2:58
Q4: Dai'Kwan Brown 1-yard rush, Avila kick 6:52
Jackson Edge to Hayden Graham 6-yard pass, Cole Burke kick 1:15