It took the Glen Rose Tigers nearly a month to collect their first football win of the season in 2016, but the Tigers took care of business in Week 2 this year with a 30-16 victory over Waco Connally in their home opener last Friday night at Tiger Stadium.
“It’s always good to get that first win — and the earlier the better,” GRHS head football coach Cliff Watkins said. “It’s good to get the win and see improvement from Week 1.”
The Tigers (1-1), who amassed 421 yards in total offense in the win over the Cadets, scored on the first play of the game — a 63-yard pass from Cameron Griffin to Dakota Paschall — and never trailed. Sam McPherson and Tanner Stroud added 1- and 2-yard touchdown runs and Reynaldo Reyna booted a 28-yard field goal to lead the Tigers to the victory.
Glen Rose will look to pick up its second win of the season Friday night when the Tigers travel to Mineral Wells (2-0).
The Rams are averaging 431.5 yards per game (223.5 on the ground and 208 through the air) and 44 points per game in their wins over Bridgeport and Breckenridge.
“Our defense is going to have to play well and continue to create turnovers, and we can’t give up the big play. We have to make them put drives together,” Watkins said. “Offensively, we have to take care of the football, and we have to finish.”
In the first two games, the Tigers, who are averaging 446.5 yards of total offense per game, have scored a total of 33 points in the first quarter and zero points in the second quarter. Defensively, the Tigers have produced five turnovers.
“Mineral Wells is similar to Grandview with the explosiveness of the guys they have outside,” Watkins said. “Grandview was good up front, but the Mineral Wells line is really good too, and this may be the toughest test we’ve seen so far defensively.”
Westen Halcom added a 4-yard run near the end of the first quarter to give the Tigers a 14-0 lead over the Cadets.
A week after getting inside the Grandview 30-yard line four times and coming up empty, the Tigers drove to the Cadet 1-yard line on two occasions in the second quarter and lost the ball both times on fumbles.
“We talked all week about finishing, and I, as was everybody, was pretty frustrated,” Watkins said of the two second-quarter miscues. “It was 14-3 at the half when it should have been 28-0. I told the guys at halftime that we pretty much dominated everything except for the scoreboard, and that’s the part we have to win … We have to clean that up. That can’t happen. When we’re on the 1-yard line we have to score every single time. We also had a touchdown called back, so we left 21 points on the field.”
McPherson’s 1-yard run with 3:10 left in the third quarter gave the Tigers their largest lead of the game. The Cadets, however, added a pair of scores to make things interesting at 24-16 with 6:46 left in the game.
“We have to learn to put people away when we have the opportunity. We let them hang around and they cut it to one score,” Watkins said. “The good thing is the offense responded and scored and the defense came back out and got a stop and finished it off. It probably shouldn’t have ever gotten to that point.”
Stroud capped a 14-play, 4:58-minute drive with a 2-yard run with 1:44 left in the fourth to put the game on ice.
Griffin completed 21 of 35 passes for 278 yards and a touchdown, and he also added 52 yards on the ground on 12 carries. Halcom led the Tigers with 86 yards rushing on 22 carries.
Paschall finished with three catches for 108 yards and a score, while Drayden James had a team-high six catches for 45 yards.
Defensively, Logan Thames led the Tigers with 14 tackles and a fumble recovery, while Ricky Douglas and Stroud had 13 and 11 stops, respectively. Keegan Bunt added eight tackles and a fumble recovery. Connor Hansen recorded an interception for the Tigers.