The past two spread offenses Kell faced hung 103 points on the Longhorns. On Saturday morning at the Georgia Dome, the Kell defense changed that narrative.

The Longhorns held Chattahoochee’s multiple-look spread under 200 yards passing, sacked Cougars quarterback Tasleem “Taz” Wilson four times, and gave up one touchdown — on a running play — en route to a 26-16 win in Game 1 of the Corky Kell Classic on Saturday at the Georgia Dome.

It was the second consecutive victory for Kell (1-0) over Chattahoochee (0-1) in the Kell Classic, as the Longhorns won 19-8 last season. Three weeks after that win, Lassiter and quarterback Freddie Printz (now at Missouri) blasted Kell 42-13. Then after Kell reeled off eight consecutive wins, eventual Class AAAAA champion Gainesville and AJC Super 11 quarterback Deshaun Watson defeated the Longhorns 61-42 in the second round of the state playoffs.

“(The Lassiter game) was so long ago, and honestly we didn’t prepare our team as well as we should have for that game,” Kell coach Derek Cook said after Saturday’s win. “And Gainesville was such a great team, but obviously we didn’t do a good job of defending those spread teams. We learned a lot of different things and our kids worked hard over the summer.”

On offense Saturday, Kell rode the big-play ability of Julian Burris. A senior wide receiver/defensive back who was injured for most of last season, Burris had 231 total yards and two touchdowns. He also was part of a secondary that held the Cougars’ dynamic receiving trio of Avery Ward, Kieron Ashley and Colin Lisa to combined 13 catches for 152 yards.

“We learned to keep our man in front of us and not give up big plays,” Burris said of the defensive effort. “I was hurt last year and so I knew with this being my senior year I was going to come out and have big games.”

“It’s great to see that,” Cook said of Burris’ effort. “He’s been in our program since sixth grade, and he’s been overlooked a little bit. But he’s a great player, and I’m glad people were able to see that today.”

Burris’ first big play answered Chattahoochee’s first drive of the season. The Cougars looked in midseason form as Wilson led the offense on a 16-play, 80-yard march that consumed seven minutes of clock. Ashley darted in from 5 yards out to give Chattahoochee an early 7-0 lead after Adam Abdellaoui’s extra-point kick.

But on Kell’s first possession of the season, Burris took a sideline hitch from senior quarterback Matt McGuigan, sidestepped a tackler and danced down the sideline 80 yards for a score. The Longhorns missed the PAT and trailed 7-6 midway through the first quarter.