A month after the season opener, Glen Rose looks like a different team.
After scoring 14 points in week one, the Tigers (3-2) rolled the West Trojans 59-37 on homecoming Friday, Sept. 27. Glen Rose amassed 26 first downs and 658 yards.
“We knew that as a young team without spring football, the season might not start smooth,” said coach Tommy Dunn. “I think our coaches on both sides of the ball are putting kids in position to make plays. All we ask of the kids is that they come to work with a great attitude and get better everyday. They’ve done that.”
The Tigers were sensational on the ground, rushing for 338 yards on 33 carries for a clip of 10.2 yards per tote. In his first game since week one, Hayden Holder ran 11 times for 109 yards and two touchdowns to go with eight catches for 191 yards and two more scores.
“It felt good coming back,” Holder said. “I was supposed to play last week (vs. Crandall) and it got rained out, so that added to this for me.”
Carlin Linnabery ran for at least 14 yards on six of his nine carries to pile up 153 yards and two touchdowns.
“I think the offensive line blocked really well, and so did the receivers,” he said.
Sophomore Chasen Monk added 63 yards on nine carries.
Colten Lane was extremely efficient, completing 85 percent of his passes (17-20) for 320 yards and five touchdowns. He averaged 16 yards per pass attempt.
“It’s a great feeling,” Lane said of his performance. “I had great blocking up front, receivers ran their routes really crisp and we just made some good connections. We’ve improved a whole lot. We had some sloppy things at times (Friday), but once we get that cleaned up I think we’ll be even better than we were this week.
“I’m really pumped. We just need to keep this momentum.”
Colton Bumpas caught four passes for 75 yards and three first-half touchdowns.
“(Lane and I) had a connection, honestly,” Bumpas said. “We didn’t miss one pass. Once we had our passing game going, it really opened up our run game. All of our receivers got on their blocks and that really helped.”
Freshman Ethan Hartman caught four passes for 48 yards.
Prime defensive playmakers included Trey Yocham (3 sacks), Jed Bridges (3 tackles for loss), Nathan Smith (interception) and Alex Cocita (interception).
“Coach (Todd Swearengin) pretty much set me up for most of (the sacks),” Yocham said. “He knew when the sprint-out was coming, I hit the gap and had enough quickness to get him.”
Yocham credited Cocita’s defensive catch.
“We call him ‘Clutchita’ for a reason,” Yocham said.
The Smith interception at the Tiger 22 concluded the first half.
“Nathan broke on that ball and he can be an explosive player,” Dunn said. “He has good speed.”
Other notable defensive plays came from Angel Amezcua (tackle for loss), Jayton Dillard (fourth-down tackle), Jonathan Rios (conversion pass breakup), Weston Clifton (forced fumble, tackle for loss), R.J. Darch (tackle for loss), Sam Strother (tackle for loss), Hayden Swearengin (tackle for loss) and Dalton Gould (tackle for loss). Clifton (11) was the top tackler and then four players tied with seven tackles: Amezcua, Bridges, Gould and Yocham.
On special teams, Monk delivered a 59-yard kick return.
“Monk is a talented player,” Dunn said. “He’s just figuring out what he can do. He’s getting better each week and we needed that big return.”
It wasn’t as if everything went perfect for the Tigers. Due in part to some issues on snaps to Lane, the Tigers fumbled 13 times and lost three of them. Only one of the lost fumbles was related to a snap, however, as Glen Rose lost the turnover battle 3-2.
“That makes it hard when our center exchange is leading to a lot of fumbles,” Dunn said. “We had some unforced turnovers (Friday).”
The Tigers also had seven penalties and a nine-yard punt. West had its own issues punting, as three of its six punts went for 17 yards or less.
Glen Rose made just five of nine extra point attempts. Martin De Los Santos went 4-6, although one of his failed attempts was due to the hold. Hunter Phillips went 1-3.
“Martin and Hunter are both good, capable kickers,” Dunn said. “That’s something that needs to be automatic, even if it is windy. I was pleased with our kickoffs.”
West wasn’t a serious threat to win the game, even with 421 yards of offense. Quarterback Mason Tobola completed 21 of 33 passes for 291 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. His top receivers were Quentin Dancer (7-110, TD), Ethan Blocker (2-56, TD) and Richard Zacharias (3-52).
The Tigers did stifle the West ground game, as the visitors mustered just 101 yards on 34 attempts (2.9 yards per carry). The prime rushers were Mason Tobola (8-42), Preston Macik (16-39) and Dancer (3-34).