As if the Northwestern Trojans need another weapon in the passing game ...
Meet Brandon Lewis.
The senior receiver finished with six catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns in the Trojans' 42-20 nationally-televised victory against rival South Pointe. For his efforts, Lewis shared Offensive Player of the Game honors with quarterback Justin Worley.
Lewis, who stands at 5-foot-10, 145 pounds, streaked past Stallions' defenders on crossing routes, fades and the good-old go route throughout Northwestern's 35-point third-quarter eruption.
Worley, who tossed five touchdowns in the third quarter, showed more than a little faith in Lewis. It came at the right time, as South Pointe rolled their coverage toward Northwestern's Robert Joseph, who compiled a state-record 150 catches in 2009.
"Our offensive staff did a great job of spreading the ball to our receivers," Northwestern coach Jimmy Wallace said. "Obviously, (Robert) Joseph is going to draw a lot of double coverage. ... Brandon did a good job of getting open."
The Trojans trailed 20-7 with 6:53 remaining in the third quarter, but Worley and Lewis kick-started the outburst with a 47-yard connection on a crossing route. Lewis hauled in the pass and streaked down the left sideline to the South Pointe 18-yard line. Northwestern scored two plays later.
Worley and Lewis connected on another crossing route for 26 yards on the next possession, which set up another touchdown.
"They were playing a safety over the top," Worley said. "They would either cheat to Brandon or Joseph's side. We had to pick and choose where to throw."
Lewis graduated from facilitator to playmaker on his next two catches. After another South Pointe turnover, Worley decided to take a shot at the end zone on first down from the 24-yard line. Worley lofted a corner fade to Lewis, who ripped a jump-ball away from a South Pointe defensive back for a touchdown and a 28-20 lead.
"I used an inside technique to tease the defender," Lewis said. "From there I just beat him with speed to the outside."
Lewis added the proverbial dagger when he beat coverage down the right sideline two possessions later. Worley zipped the ball to a wide-open Lewis in stride, who did the rest for a 57-yard touchdown and a 42-20 lead.
Add it all up and Lewis had four catches for 164 yards in the third quarter alone.
"We just hang out a lot, and we're good friends," Lewis said of his relationship with Worley. "We have a special bond, and it shows up in practice and in games."
Joseph added the other touchdown to close out the scoring. Now Worley will have two deep-threat receivers to work with. That's just fine with the University of Tennessee commitment.
"Brandon definitely adds another go-to receiver to our offense," Worley said. "Joseph had a good year last year, and he's going to do good things this season. If Brandon can do the same next to him, it's going to make us hard to play against."