With their starting quarterback pacing the sideline on crutches, the offense for the Glen Rose Tigers (4-5, 1-2) was in question entering Friday’s game with Hillsboro (0-9, 0-4).
It didn’t take long to find the answer.
Chase Evatt took the first offensive play for Glen Rose up the middle for a 12-yard gain and never looked back.
The senior tailback was given a career-high 34 carries and amassed 166 yards and five touchdowns as the Tigers cruised to a 42-7 thrashing of the Eagles in their final road game of the season.
“Chase was our workhorse,” said Glen Rose head coach Tommy Dunn. “(The coaching staff) knew he would be and Chase knew he would be. He helped Anders (Dahl) with checks in his first start at quarterback. He’s been an offensive starter for three years, he knows this offense like the back of his hand, and he’s so valuable to have in the backfield.
“And the offensive line did a great job for him,” Dunn continued. “They opened up holes for Chase to run through. They were really excited about the number of running plays we used.”
Despite the victory, Glen Rose was eliminated from playoff contention when Alvarado hung on to beat West 28-26.
Before Evatt got to work, the defense posted the first of six three-and-outs for the Eagles.
“The defensive coaches did a great job of preparing the guys and we executed,” said Dunn. “We got penetration on the line and covered when we had to cover. It was the kind of effort we needed to have.”
Glen Rose turned over their first possession, but answered after a blocked punt by Collin Lane.
Evatt punched one in from five yards out to cap off a 9-play, 34-yard drive. Tanner Tongate hit his first PAT to make it 7-0 with 2:28 left in the first quarter.
Hillsboro got its only score after a halfback pass caught the defense off-guard on third-and-seven and went for a 40-yard gain to the Glen Rose five-yard line.
The Eagles punched it in three plays later and hit the PAT to tie the score at 7-7 just four seconds into the second quarter.
Glen Rose answered with scoring drives on each of its next two possessions before halftime. Evatt had both TDs on runs of five and two yards.
The PAT after the five-yard scamper was blocked, leaving Glen Rose ahead 20-7 at the break.
It was the same story in the second half - the Glen Rose defense was dominant and Evatt racked up the touchdowns.
Evatt scored on a three-yard run on the first possession, then the defense forced a three-and-out.
Following a Tiger fumble, the Eagle quarterback was picked off in the end zone by Cody Burtscher and Evatt scored his final touchdown eight plays later. Kevin Brooks ran in the two-point conversion to make the score 35-7.
On the next possession, Colton Bretton’s first varsity TD pass, a five-yarder to Adam Rios, completed the scoring. Bretton was called up from the JV to help replace injured starter Frank Brandenburg.
In addition to Evatt’s big night, Dahl rushed for 103 yards on 14 carries from the QB position. Rios added 36 yards on six carries in the final few minutes.
Dahl was 5-6 through the air for 58 yards and Bretton was 3-4 for 46 yards and a score as the Tigers played a game of musical QBs.
“Both quarterbacks played well,” said Dunn. “They each did what they were asked to do. Anders made some plays with his feet and managed the offense and Colton looked good throwing the ball in his first varsity experience.”
Brooks was the top target for the QBs with three catches for 52 yards. Evatt and Justin Weatherly each had two catches for 41 and six yards, respectively.
Lane was the Tigers’ leading tackler with nine, one for a loss. Jack Hughes had eight stops.
Curry Mapes and Burtscher each added seven tackles. Burtscher also had an interception and a pass break up.
The Tiger defense held Hillsboro to less than 100 yards of total offense (94) and the only completion for the Eagles came on the 40-yard halfback pass.
Glen Rose looks to end their season on a high-note with a win over district leading Alvarado on Senior Night Friday at Tiger Stadium.
“Their strength is their secondary,” said Dunn. “(Cornerback) Tyler Bates is the real deal. They’re not very big across the board, but they are quick.
“Offensively they’re pretty predictable, but we still have to stop them,” he continued. “Their starting running back left last week’s game with an injury but they don’t really drop off much. In that offense you can basically plug anyone in there and they’ll be successful.”
Alvarado is 8-1 overall and 4-0 in District 8-3A. The Indians have already clinched at least a share of the league championship and can claim it outright with a win or a Kennedale loss.
“We have a lot of seniors with a lot of pride,” said Dunn. “They’re obviously disappointed they won’t go to playoffs but they’re going to work hard and they’re going to do everything in their power to win this ball game.”
Kickoff Friday is set for 7:30 p.m.