After dropping their season opener on Aug. 28, the Glen Rose Tigers took a big step in the right direction on Friday, Sept. 4, when they stomped all over the Breckenridge Buckaroos 28-2.
The offensive struggles from the first week carried over on the first drive.
Colt Plaster led the Tigers down to the Buckaroo seven yard line but then had a pass deflect off the hands of Ty Taylor and into the arms of the awaiting Breckenridge cornerback in the end zone.
But the Tiger defense set the tone early by shutting down David Howard and the Buck offense, forcing the first of eight punts on the night.
Chase Evatt powered the Tiger offense on the next drive, hauling the rock on seven of the next 12 plays.
Just when it appeared the offense would sputter yet again, Reagan Rotan converted a fake punt run on fourth-and-two, giving the offense new life.
Plaster took advantage by completing three passes and gaining three yards with his feet. Evatt ran for seven yards then Immanuel Morales took over at quarterback in the red zone.
Morales ran the QB keep for a four-yard touchdown and the Tanner Tongate extra point gave Glen Rose a 7-0 lead with 7:47 left in the first half.
Following the ensuing kickoff, the defensive front of the Tigers forced Breckenridge quarterback David Howard to toss a floater that Jorge Espino picked off and took 23 yards to the house.
Just 17 seconds after his first extra point Tongate was kicking again, this time to make it 14-0.
Howard opened the next Buck possession with a 29-yard scamper, but the Tiger D forced another punt six plays later.
The Glen Rose offense was flawless as it marched 80 yards and scored a one-yard Espino run.
Evatt opened the drive with a 14-yard run and Breckenridge followed up with a 15-yard penalty.
Plaster then completed passes covering 20 and 18 yards and Evatt ran up the middle for 12 more to set up the Espino score, making it 21-0 late in the half.
On the next Buck possession, the Bucks went three-and-out after a pair of sacks from Jimmy Darch and Beto Hernandez.
On the first offensive possession of the second half, the Tigers tacked on their final score of the game when Plaster hit Kevin Brooks in the corner of the end zone. Tongate's fourth PAT gave Glen Rose a 28-0 lead with 3:33 left in the third quarter.
Glen Rose turned the ball over on an Evatt fumble and another Plaster interception, but the defense was able to keep the Buckaroos from taking advantage.
"The first interception was just a high throw. I saw a man and I tried throwing it. We probably should have run the ball, but with both of the interceptions, the defenders made great plays on the ball," said Glen Rose head coach Tommy Dunn about the Tiger turnovers. "The fumble was just (Evatt) trying to make a play. For as often as he touches the ball, he's one of our best players about not fumbling."
The remainder of the game stayed quiet until the 2:29 mark of the fourth quarter.
Breckenridge's Howard finally cracked the secondary by completing an eight-yard pass to Issiac Moreno for his only completion to go with two interceptions.
The completion wasn't enough as the Bucks were forced to punt.
The Glen Rose second string offense started on their own two-yard line and the Bucks were able to bring down Santos De La Garza in the end zone for a safety to make the score 28-2.
Colby Simmons took over for Howard on the final drive of the game and tossed a jump ball in the end zone as time expired and Tyler Tongate came away with it for the Tigers' third interception of the game.
Both Breckenridge quarterbacks finished the game tossing more completions to Tiger defenders than their own receivers.
"We really challenged our secondary last week," said Glen Rose co-defensive coordinator Todd Swearengin. "Mineral Wells exposed us and we had to challenge them. A lot of it had to do with the pressure up front, but they really stepped up."
Plaster finished the contest 19-30 for 232 yards, a touchdown and the two picks, while only rushing twice.
Evatt cracked the century-mark once again with 107 yards on 16 carries, and was complemented by De La Garza with 30 yards on six carries and Morales with 25 yards on three trips.
In addition to his defensive and rushing touchdowns, Espino hauled in four passes for sixty yards.
Taylor and Brooks each caught six passes for 87 and 71 yards respectively.
Breckenridge was held to 76 total yards on the night, with only eight coming through the air.
Colin Lane led the way by a large margin for the Tiger defense with 15 tackles.
Beto Hernandez had seven tackles, two for a loss including a sack, while Jimmy Darch had six tackles and 1.5 sacks. Ivan Funez and Jimmie Johnson also contributed six tackles each.
Glen Rose will open the gates to "Tiger town" when they host 2A Boyd in its home opener.
"Boyd was a Top 10 team in 2A. Even though they got beat this week, they'll be tough. It'll be a tough test for our defense. They're well coached and they know how to execute," Dunn said.
The Tigers will look to avenge last season's loss in Boyd when they kick off at 7:30p.m. Friday.