By Jay Hinton
Glen Rose Reporter
GATESVILLE — Down by two points, the Glen Rose High School Tigers failed to score from the Gatesville 6-yard line as the first half ended last Friday night.
Before walking off the field, Glen Rose head football coach Cliff Watkins emotionally challenged his team to come out in the second half and dominate, and they did just that in the 48-29 victory over the Hornets to improve to 2-0 on the season.
"We made some mistakes in the first half, and we turned the ball over a couple of times," Watkins said. "We knew we just had to do our job and start fast in the second half."
The Tigers turned the ball over twice in the first 24 minutes and the defense allowed a TD run of 75 yards on the first play of the game and a 78-yard pass later in the half.
In the second half, however, the Tigers scored 27 points, including 20 in the crucial third quarter and created turnovers while holding Gatesville to just one score in the second half. That was a big run on the Hornets’ first offensive play of the half to retake a lead, 29-27.
From that point on, the Tiger defense was stingy, and the offense went to work in scoring 21 unanswered points to pick up the lopsided win.
"I told them after the game I was proud of the way they battled through the adversity," Watkins said. "Some things didn’t go our way and we were sloppy in the first half and we just kept fighting and kept believing. We got some things fixed and played better in the second half and were able to pull away."
The defense created four turnovers and the offense recorded two long drives — one of which was 97 yards — in controlling the clock and protecting the lead.
Glen Rose running back Tristan Black had a pair of touchdown runs in the first half and Kanyon Keese hauled in a TD pass from quarterback Austin Worthen. In the second half, however, Tiger offense was clicking.
Three minutes into the second half, Worthen bulled in from 2 yards out to give the Tigers the 27-23 lead. After Gateville’s lone TD, the Tigers added three consecutive scores to put the game away on a 34-yard pass from Worthen to Reagan Rodriguez and two Worthen TD runs of 8 and 4 yards. The latter brought to close a drive that started on the 3.
"The long drives mean we have been able to control the line of scrimmage and been able to run the ball," Watkins said. "It’s been good to see because we can wear defenses down by going fast on offense and being able to run right at them."
Worthen completed 17 of 28 passes for 256 yards and two scores while rushing for 176 yards on 33 carries and three TDs. Black finished with 71 yards and two scores on 22 carries, Rodriguez had 117 yards receiving and a TD on nine receptions while Keese had 98 yards and a score on six catches.
Jace Karels paced the defense with 11 tackles, while Keese, Max Hood, Zack Douglas, Cory Aper and Camden Raymond added four tackles each. Keese and Caden McKenzie had interceptions and Hudson White and Hood recovered fumbles.
The Tigers played Fort Stockton (1-1) on Thursday night in San Angelo. The result of that game was unavailable at press time. Glen Rose’s next game is set for Friday, Sept. 18, at Grandview (7:30 p.m. kickoff).