It was close in the first quarter. Then, Ron Brown found his groove.
The University Prep quarterback threw for three touchdowns in the second quarter and the defense added a fourth to break the game open for a 51-6 win against Brashear Thursday night at Cupples Stadium to improve to 4-0. Brashear fell to 1-3.
Brown finished with 343 passing yards, five touchdowns and an interception in a 28-for-39 performance -- his lowest yardage total thus far in a wildly productive season. Through three games, Brown averaged 445.7 passing yards, including a 525-yard performance last week in a 52-21 win against Carrick.
Overall, Brown has thrown for 1,680 yards, 23 touchdowns and 2 interceptions this season.
But University Prep coach Lou Berry had a long talk with his team after the game.
"Kids are starting to get a little spoiled, like they're 'supposed' to come down here and win games," Berry said of the talk.
""I wasn't too happy with the first quarter.
"We had nine drops in the first half. Not being arrogant about things --we respect our opponent -- but it's just about us. We have to execute when we have the chance to make plays.
"We're starting to get spoiled as if this type of performance happens every day."
University Prep's offense couldn't find its rhythm in the first 12 minutes, hindered both by drops and passes off the mark. Brown's first pass was intercepted, and he completed only 6 of 13 first-quarter passes for 40 yards.
But the first-quarter buzzer seemed to serve as a wake-up call for University Prep, and Brown connected with Nicholas Stallworth for a 65-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the second quarter.
Brown's other touchdowns went to Clay Moorefield (7 yards), Stephon Hawthorne (44) and Marcus Johnson (20 and 30). Stallworth also returned an interception 36 yards for a touchdown.
"Their scheme is good," Brashear coach Rick Murphy said. "We tried some different coverages early on, and I thought we had some success and then we just had a couple breakdowns. They capitalized on all our mistakes."
University Prep got the ball after halftime but mishandled the kickoff, giving Brashear the ball on the 20. Facing a fourth-and-1, quarterback Angelo Reed ran 11 yards for Brashear's only touchdown.
Nick Veronica: email@example.com and Twitter @NickVeronica.