Tigers open playoffs Thursday with Bridgeport
By Jay Hinton
Glen Rose Reporter
The Glen Rose Tigers will open the Class 4-A Div. II football playoffs Thursday night (Nov. 14) when they meet Bridgeport at 7 p.m. at Aledo High School.
The Tigers (5-5, 4-0 in district) enter the contest with the Bulls on a five-game win streak, including a 54-28 victory over Venus last Friday to capture their fourth straight undefeated district title. The Bulls (5-5, 2-3) have lost two in a row, including a 35-34 setback to Aubrey last week when they went for a two-point conversion late in the game and didn’t convert.
Bridgeport quarterback Jadon Maddux completed 18 of 26 passes for 368 yards and four TDs in the loss. Glen Rose head football coach Cliff Watkins said the Tigers need to be ready for the Bulls’ offensive attack.
“Bridgeport is a really good team that has an explosive offense,” he said. “They have a big offensive line and a lot of weapons at the skill positions. We are going to have to be disciplined and physical on defense.”
At the same time, the Tigers will have to produce on offense.
“Offensively, we have to execute each play and take care of the ball,” he said. “Winning the turnover battle is huge in the playoffs.”
The Tigers are averaging 389.5 yards per game (245.6 rushing, 143.9 passing). Quarterback Austin Worthen leads the team in passing and rushing. He has completed 87 of 171 passes for 1,465 yards and 16 touchdowns, while rushing for 829 yards and 10 scores on 140 carries.
Running backs Nick Rebelloso and J.W. Roper have rushed for 467 and 369 yards, respectively.
Nate Ferguson leads the Tiger receivers with 20 catches for 376 yards and five scores. Ricky Douglas has 17 catches for 264 yards and five TDs, and Britt Blanchette has 14 receptions for 289 yards and three scores.
Defensively, Douglas and Braylen Meador have a team-best 96 stops each, while Cory Aper has 82 with a team-leading 18 tackles for loss and 11 quarterback sacks.
“I feel really good about our team heading into the playoffs,” Watkins said. “We have to continue to have great mental preparation and be able to go out and play our best football every time we step on the field.”
The Tigers amassed 455 yards total offense, led by 168 yards on 16 carries and two scores from quarterback Worthen. Rebelloso added 83 yards on nine carries for two touchdowns as well in the 54-38 win over Venus. Douglas, Blanchette and Ferguson hauled in touchdown catches from Worthen, who completed 3 of 7 passes for 88 yards.
Drew Dunson recorded a 35-yard interception return for a TD on defense. Preston Roberson and Aper led the Tigers with eight stops each, while Jose Zavala added two sacks and Aper and Sammy Aldriedge added one sack each.
The Tigers led 20-0 at the end of the first quarter and 41-7 at the break.