While the Glen Rose offense boasted two 100-yard rushers in the Tigers’ 52-0 football victory over Lake Worth Friday night at Tiger Stadium, the Glen Rose defense was putting up some pretty impressive numbers as well for the homecoming crowd.
The Tiger defense set a school record in fewest yards allowed (42) and didn’t allow a pass completion, and Ricky Douglas tallied a school record in tackles for loss as the Tigers blanked Venus 28-0. It was the Tigers’ fourth consecutive victory, and first shutout since defeating Venus 28-0 on Nov. 1, 2013.
“I knew we played really good defense because they didn’t move the ball much, but I didn’t even think about giving up that few of yards,” Glen Rose football coach Cliff Watkins said.
In all, the Tigers (4-1) had three defenders who recorded 10 or more tackles, led by Bryan Pounds, who had 18, including six for loss. Douglas finished with 16 stops to go along with his school-record seven tackles for loss, while River Costello added 11 tackles.
In addition to 29 tackles for loss, the Tigers tallied five sacks by five different players, and Payte Treadaway added an interception.
“Our defense has been flying to the ball,” Watkins said. “They’re always fighting for the ball and it’s paying off.”
Three plays into the game, the Tiger offense scored on a 15-yard pass from Cameron Griffin to Jess Niedziela — his first of two scores — and that’s all the defense would need. But like in past games, the Tiger offense poured it on in the first quarter.
After taking over on their own 25 after a bad Lake Worth punt snap, the Tigers scored on the first play when Griffin connected with Dakota Paschall from 25 yards out to increase the score to 14-0 with just under nine minutes left in the quarter.
At that point, the Tigers were only halfway done in the quarter.
After a Lake Worth punt, Glen Rose scored four plays later when Griffin hit Paschall again — this time from 34 yards out — to increase the score to 21-0.
With 1:10 left in the first, Griffin hit Drayden James with an 18-yard strike, upping the score to 28-0.
Westen Halcom, who rushed for 178 yards on just 10 carries (17.8 yards per carry), added touchdown runs of 24 and 18 yards in the second quarter to increase the lead to 42-0 at the break.
The Tigers scored 10 second-half points on a 15-yard pass from Griffin to Niedziela midway through the third quarter and a 23-yard field goal by Reynaldo Reyna — who was 7-for-7 in extra-point attempts — late in the fourth.
Griffin, who has thrown 11 TD passes and zero interceptions in his last two games, was efficient by going 12 of 17 for 208 yards and five scores.
“The passing game has improved each week and a big part of that is the offensive line giving us time to throw the ball down field,” Watkins said. “We have a lot of receivers making plays and running great routes. Cameron has been able to get the ball to a lot of different guys, so there is not any one person a defense can lock on. He is doing a great job of taking what the defense is giving him and not forcing the ball into coverage.”
The running game, however, posted a season-high 323 yards. Behind Halcom’s 178 yards, Garrett Gilbreath added 122 yards on just 13 carries (9.4 yards per carry).
“Westen is a really strong runner that sets up his blocks really well, and Garrett has come on and done a good job when his number has been called the last two weeks,” Watkins said.
Watkins is also quick to give credit where credit is due.
“Our offensive line has really come together and started playing really well,” he said. “They have improved each (week) and it has a lot to do with the way they attack practice each day. It starts with them controlling the line of scrimmage and opening holes for the backs. It shows that if teams want to get more people out of the box to help against the pass, we are capable of running the ball.”
With his 12 completions, Griffin found six different receivers led by Paschall’s four catches for 92 yards and two scores. Tyler Torres added three catches for 32 yards and Niedziela added two catches (both touchdowns) for 40 yards.
The Tigers will be idle next week before beginning their defense of the District 4-4A title when they host Venus at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 13, at Tiger Stadium.