BONHAM — The Howe Bulldogs jumped out to an early lead behind the combination of Austin Haley and Jalen Thornton for a 66-28 victory in the District 5-3A (I) opener at Warrior Stadium.


It was the first district victory for Howe (2-3, 0-1) since 2017 after the Bulldogs went winless against 5-3A (I) opponents a year ago and they started district play with a win for the first time since 2015.


The outburst was one of the biggest in school history, tying for the sixth-most points in a game and the most since Howe set the school record for points with 77 against Tom Bean in 2015.


Thornton finished with 216 yards and four touchdowns on 17 carries while Haley completed 10-of-17 passes for 301 yards and three touchdowns.


Bonham (1-4, 0-1) had trouble slowing down the Bulldogs, who finished with 594 yards.


Howe went ahead, 28-0, in the first quarter and held a 35-7 half-time lead.


Thornton scored twice on runs near the goal line before Haley’s touchdown passes, two in the first quarter, accounted for the rest of the scoring in the first half.


That 28-point margin quickly grew when Thornton scored for the third time.


The Warriors put together a pair of touchdown drives before Thornton broke free for a 60-yard touchdown run and a 49-21 lead for the Bulldogs heading to the fourth quarter.


Kevin Flores kicked a 30-yard field goal to go with his nine extra points, Brandon Williams had a rushing TD and then once the Warriors notched their final touchdown, Hunter Brussow returned an interception 60 yards for a score to put an exclamation point on the win.


Williams finished with 10 carries for 74 yards and also had a 46-yard touchdown grab.


Caiden Harmon led the receiving corps with a pair of catches for 101 yards and a TD while Jordan Jones made the most of his lone reception, which was a 73-yard touchdown.


Kolby Windon added to the big plays in the passing game with a 51-yard catch.


Howe will look to continue its strong district start when it hosts Emory Rains on Friday. Bonham has the district bye.