Freshman Xylohn Posey was asked to spell his first name to make certain the spelling is correct.
“X-Y-L-O-H-N,” Posey said.
Lots of fans who follow Texas high school football — and major college recruiting as well — should be learning that name over the next three-plus years.
With the starters sequestered to the sideline for much of the night, the stage was cleared Friday night for a coming-out party for Sherman's X-Man.
Posey made sure Denton Braswell had a pocketful of him as he rushed 24 times for 150 yards and two touchdowns in a cathartic 42-7 laugher over the expansion Bengals at Bearcat Stadium that was well in hand before halftime.
“I feel great,” Posey said. “I feel really confident in myself and I'm just going to keep on. I'm going to make every rep count.”
Sherman head coach J.D. Martinez was reluctant to ride his freshman that hard, but before the game he had noted Sherman's lack of depth at running back and the potential for the game to turn into a rout.
Posey did cramp up in the second half, but returned to the field and showed no ill effects in the dying embers of the game.
“We night need to get another back here,” Martinez said. “Posey ran the ball hard, but you don't want to run him into the ground late in the game like that.”
The Bearcats' first district victory in almost exactly two years snapped a three-game losing streak and keeps them on track for a season-ending 5-5A showdown with Denison that will decide their eventual postseason fate.
“You want to come out and take care of business,” Martinez said. “When you're going up against a team that is brand new … you just want to come out and do exactly what the Bearcats did tonight. Start fast and be strong. If you're stronger than your opponent, that's what you're supposed to do.”
The Bearcats never punted once and scored on their first six possessions before letting up on the accelerator at the half.
If Posey was the lightning, junior lead tailback Nathaniel Omayebu was the thunder for the Bearcats.
Omayebu had 121 yards and two touchdowns on only a dozen carries in the first 18 minutes of the game before watching from the sideline the rest of the night.
“It feels great to win,” Omayebu said. “It's my first district win and we hope to win more in October.”
The game was an opportunity to get others some touches, and they capitalized. Brent Wilson added 43 yards and a touchdown and Daishawn Nelson notched his first rushing TD on a 9-yard buck sweep.
Ben Cross added a first-down run from his H-back position and Ladarren Sewell did his best Ezekiel Elliott impersonation with a couple of hurdles on his two totes.
“The one thing you always want to build is some quality depth,” Martinez said.
The Bearcats' defense shined as well, holding Braswell to 78 net yards, all on the ground. The Bengals tried only one additional pass after Cross' interception of a Jaeden Johnson aerial set up Sherman's first marker of the night.
Jalyn Cotton and junior-varsity callup Preston Moreno scooped fumbles, and senior Anthony Horn had two sacks and a caused fumble. Justin Nichols, back on defense after a couple of weeks nursing an ankle injury, had a sack and sophomore Isaiah Jones made a couple of backfield plays.
The only blemish on the evening came on special teams, where Braswell junior Quinton Draine fielded a kickoff at the 11, made a couple of moves and broke free for a return touchdown, putting the Bengals on the scoreboard for only the fourth time this season.
Content to keep it on the ground and melt clock, the Bearcats took the initial lead on Omayebu's 12-yard run, capping a five-play drive following the Cross interception at the Braswell 48-yard line. The first of six perfect PATs by Pedro Salvador made it 7-0.
Sherman followed that with a 60-yard, four-play jaunt with Omayebu toting the mail again. From that point on, it was a mix of players contributing as the Cats crossed the goal line four times in the second period — Posey twice, Wilson and Nelson once each.
“We never want to be stagnant,” Martinez said. “We always need to be improving and add a few tweaks here and there.”
Next up is No. 3 Denton Ryan, who had the bye Friday and will have two weeks to prepare for the Bearcats at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex.
“We're going to put on our shoulder pads and helmets, put our pants on, buckle up, tie our shoes and get up and line up and play, whoever it is,” Martinez said. “Denton Ryan's a great team. Every district has a giant. You can't avoid the giant. You've just got to go in there, pick up a stick and swing it.”
Sherman 42, Denton Braswell 7
Braswell 0 7 0 0 — 7
Sherman 14 28 0 0 — 42
S — Nathaniel Omayebu 12 run (Pedro Salvador kick), 9:34
S — Omayebu 22 run (Salvador kick), 6:12
S — Xylohn Posey 4 run (Salvador kick), 10:16
S — Brent Wilson 4 run (Salvador kick), 8:04
S — Daishawn Nelson 9 run (Salvador kick), 6:42
B — Quinton Draine 89 kickoff return (Simon Restrepo kick), 6:23
S — Posey 4 run (Salvador kick), 4:33
Stats Braswell Sherman
First downs 6 23
Rushes-yards 32-78 54-353
Passing yards 0 61
C-A-I 0-2-1 7-9-0
Punts-average 4-41.3 0-0.0
Penalties-yards 4-50 7-75
Fumbles-lost 3-2 2-0
Rushing — Braswell: Ki'Andre Jackson 11-42, Jaylen Dennis 5-28, Omari Ross 5-8, Jaeden Johnson 6-2, Quinton Draine 1-(-2); Sherman: Xylohn Posey 24-150, Nathaniel Omayebu 12-121, Brent Wilson 10-43, Ben Cross 1-18, David Bedgood 2-12, Daishawn Nelson 1-9, Ladarren Sewell 2-4, Blaine Bethel 2-(-4).
Passing — Braswell: Jaeden Johnson 0-2-1 0; Sherman: David Bedgood 4-5-0 31, Blaine Bethel 3-4-0 30.
Receiving — Braswell: None; Sherman: Tylor Jones 2-22, Daishawn Nelson 2-25, Nathaniel Omayebu 1-10, Connor Hughes 1-4, Gage Smith 1-0.