Tigers outscore Steers in controlled scrimmage

The Glen Rose Tigers outscored Graham two touchdowns to one in their controlled scrimmage Thursday evening at Newton Field in Graham, but the Steers had a 10-0 scoring edge in the timed quarter.

The Class 4A Division II Tigers are already turning their attention to their first opponent of the regular season — defending Class 3A state champion Grandview. The Tigers will travel to Grandview for a 7:30 p.m. matchup on Friday, Aug. 30.

Graham, which was 8-4 last season, is also a 4A Division II school.

The Tigers picked up their touchdowns in the controlled scrimmage on a 1-yard run by Britt Blanchett, along with a 40-yard TD pass from quarterback Austin Worthen to Braylen Meador.

“I was encouraged by the way we came out and got after it,” GRHS head coach Cliff Watkins said. “Our run defense was very good, very physical. We did good things on both sides of the ball.”

The Tigers turned the ball over twice, on a fumble and an interception, and Watkins noted that is something that needs to be addressed.

Grandview was 14-2 last season when the Zebras earned their first-ever state football championship, defeating Malakoff 35-21 in the title game. 

There are 10 defensive starters and eight offensive starters returning this season, so the graduation losses weren’t massive. As a result, Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine picked them as the No. 1 team in its 3A Division I preseason rankings.

Glen Rose is ranked 11th in Dave Campbell’s 4A Division II preseason poll. 

Four Grandview players are on Dave Campbell’s preseason all-state list for 3A Division I — quarterback Dane Jentsch, offensive lineman Cole Cannon, defensive lineman Cade Fedor and linebacker Michael Lehnhardt.

The Zebras have a new head coach, however, in Ryan Ebner, after the retirement of Brad Davis.

Even though the Zebras play in the smaller Class 3A Division I, the will offer the Tigers a formidable challenge.

But Tiger fans will recall that Glen Rose handled the Zebras in last year’s season opener, at home, by a healthy 52-30 margin. The Tigers went on to record a sterling 11-2 season record, reaching the regional final (state quarterfinals) before falling to Iowa Park, 31-28.

“It’s going to be a good challenge to open the season,” Watkins said. “We’re excited to get out and go compete.”

Watkins has five starters returning on both sides of the ball, including all-state tight end Davis Shackelford and all-state safety Braylen Meador. 

Shackelford led Glen Rose in receiving last year with 1,053 yards and 16 TDs, while also adding 105 tackles at linebacker on defense.

Meador recorded 162 tackles last season, including 16 behind the line of scrimmage.

First-team all-district linebacker Ricky Douglas led the Tigers in tackles with 170, including seven for a loss.