There are athletes who are talented but need polishing with their technique and craft. Then there are those who are cerebral and can make up for what they lack in athleticism with their brainpower.

When you have Lake Dallas quarterback Brendan Sorsby, you have the best of both worlds.

Sorsby, a senior playing in his first game as the Falcons’ full-time starter, was a machine in Friday’s season opener against Denton, rushing for three touchdowns and showing off his raw athletic ability in a 34-28 win at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex.

The performance was huge given an equally big night by Denton running back Coco Brown, who rushed for 243 yards and a touchdown on 45 carries.

“What I saw out of [Sorsby] was him being a team player. Some throws didn’t go our way early,” interim Lake Dallas coach Spencer Leftwich said. “We decided to put the ball in his hands and running it. And he did a nice job.”

Leftwich stood in for first-year Lake Dallas coach Jason Young, who was not on the sideline for his first game at the helm due to COVID-19 protocols.

Sorsby did it all for Lake Dallas’ offense. He rushed for 94 yards and added 64 through the air — all while steering the Falcons to 20 points in the first half and another 14 in the second half.

Even with that, Denton led 21-20 midway through the third quarter. Lake Dallas pulled ahead on a 2-yard touchdown run by Sorsby, then got a huge play from its defense.

On that play, which came at the beginning of the fourth quarter with the Broncos threatening to score again, Lake Dallas defensive back Anthony Luna sacked quarterback Colton Adler on a fourth-down-and-6 play deep in Falcon territory.

Lake Dallas capitalized on the momentum, driving back down the field, and capping the drive with an 8-yard touchdown run by running back Drew McKinney.

That score gave Lake Dallas a 34-21 lead that put the game out of reach.

“That’s what turned the game. They had the momentum,” Leftwich said. “Great job by our defense stopping [Denton], and the offense went back and scored.”

Denton coach Billy Miller agreed, but said he saw a lot of fight in his team.

“I can’t ask for my quarterback to be more mentally tough than what he was tonight. What a performance from a kid that’s never started a varsity football game,” Miller said of Adler. “He came out and get shook early in the game. He throws an interception and then comes back and operates a comeback”

The offense was stale in the first half for Denton, as the Broncos could only land in the end zone one time and trailed 20-7 at the halfway point.

It was a different story to begin the second half for the Broncos though.

Adler threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Bryce Ashbaugh to cut the Lake Dallas lead to 20-14 before they capitalized on a botched Falcons punt and had Brown run it in for another touchdown to take the 21-20 lead.

In the fourth quarter, Adler put up another touchdown to give him two on the night along with an interception. But it was too little, too late.

As for what Sorsby’s performance means for Lake Dallas going forward, Leftwich said he showed tonight that he is more than capable of doing whatever his team needs of him to be successful.

“There’s going to be games where he’s going to throw the ball for 250, 300 yards. Tonight, it was best for us for him to be a ball carrier and run it and do what he did,” Leftwich said. “And he led the team, and it was really good.”

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