The JV Tigers have been hungry for victory for some time now, and Venus fell victim to that desire in Glen Rose on Thursday night.
The JV Tigers (3-6) scored the final 28 points in a 47-14 triumph over Venus. Entering the game with a season-high of 20 points scored, Glen Rose scored 21 in the fourth quarter alone.
“That team was 7-1 coming in, but we just executed on both sides of the ball,” said coach Erik Hartman.
Glen Rose didn’t get flagged at all in the game.
“There were a couple of questionable (no) calls that had their fans upset, but for us to get through a game without drawing a single penalty was a great job,” Hartman said.
Coach Keith Wheeler was proud of his defense afterwards.
“The defense played well all night; (Venus) hurt us on two plays (several times), but we did a better job of stopping it toward the end,” he said. “We hit people hard and flew to the ball.”
Quarterback Colton Lane completed eight of 15 passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns, plus he ran six times for 35 yards and two more touchdowns. The other top rushers were Carlin Linnabery (4-48, 2 TD) and Jacob Locke (1-34).
Glen Rose ran for 185 yards and a clip of 7.4 yards per carry. The top receivers were Chance Nabours (5-73, 2 TD) and Jayton Dillard (2-23).
Standout defenders included Jonathan Rios (3 tackles for loss), Drannon Brewer (2 tackles for loss), Colton Miller (forced fumble, fumble recovery), Trevor Crawford (tackle for loss, fumble recovery) and Dalton Gould (1.5 tackles for loss). Other notable defensive plays came from Shane Moore (fourth-down tackle for loss), Hayden Swearengin (fumble recovery), Dillard (tackle for loss), Trey Yocham (tackle for loss), Nabours (conversion tackle) and Robbie Serrano (.5 tackles for loss).
The game’s opening drive covered 49 yards in five plays on the heels of a 33-yard Nabours kick return. Lane called his own number and headed up the middle on a two-yard touchdown (7-0, Hunter Phillips kick).
“Lane requested that he would get to run the ball on our first play,” Hartman said. “He wanted some more runs, so we went back to it and that set up a lot.”
The first Venus possession ended when Miller stripped the ball out and also recovered the fumble at the Venus 17.
“We talked about trying to strip the ball out whenever possible, and Miller got us started there,” Wheeler said.
This time, Lane scored on a three-yard run to the outside (13-0, Phillips kick wide).
A Gould tackle for loss helped force a punt on the second Venus possession.
“Dalton has battled through injuries at times, but he’s back in there playing real well now,” Wheeler said.
Midway through the second quarter, Venus completed a 15-play, 67-yard drive with a four-yard touchdown pass (13-8, conversion run).
After each team punted on its next possession, Glen Rose set up shop at the Venus 35. With just 10 seconds left in the half, Lane got the ball to Nabours over the middle and he sped wide to cross the goal line (19-8, Lane conversion pass failed) from 12 yards out.
Venus did its best to strike back early in the third quarter with a three-play drive capped off by a 42-yard run. The score remained 19-14, as Nabours was able to make a conversion tackle.
“I think that (play by Nabours) was big because it was still a pretty close game at the time,” Wheeler said.
Although Venus forced a turnover on downs, Crawford recovered a fumble on the very next play at the Venus 41.
“Trevor goes hard and he’s a good guy to have in the middle,” Wheeler said.
Crawford capped off the ensuing Tiger drive with a strong 19-yard touchdown run (26-14, Phillips kick).
“Trevor hits the hole really well with a burst,” Hartman said. “He really contributed all-around. The offensive line is really the basis for why we did so well. Robbie Serrano, Jonathan Rios, Heath Nicholson, Shane Moore, Dawson Matheny and Christian Barrios gave Colton (Lane) time and opened up holes.”
Late in the third, Brewer made his second tackle for loss.
“Drannon is a big guy inside and hard to block,” Wheeler said. “He definitely helped us in the middle.”
On the first two plays of the fourth, Rios made a tackle for loss and then Gould and Serrano combined on a tackle for loss to force a punt.
“Rios was flying around making some plays,” Wheeler said. “He played well last week and kept it up (Thursday). Robbie played really well at defensive end and pressured their quarterback.”
Getting started at the Venus 40, Lane completed a three-play drive when he found Nabours over the middle and the receiver motored down the sideline on a 33-yard touchdown (33-14, Phillips kick).
“Nabours always shows up,” Hartman said. “He plays hard even when he’s hobbled and will still do a great job. He scored both touchdowns on the same play with drags across the middle. Colton does a great job of seeing where he’ll be.”
Venus lost a fumble on the very next play, as Swearengin made the recovery at the Venus 15.
Two Linnabery runs did the trick, as he scored from three yards out (40-14, Phillips kick).
“Phillips has done a good job kicking, plus he likes to do it and works at it,” Hartman said. “It’s really helpful to have a capable kicker at this level.”
Venus tried to put a long drive together late in the game, but Moore made a tackle for loss on fourth down at the Tiger 33.
“We bring Shane in when we can because he also plays offense, but he’s a big guy who can contribute,” Wheeler said.
After a 34-yard run by Locke, a 36-yard run by Linnabery two plays later finalized the score (47-14, Phillips kick) with one minute left.
“We’ve finally gotten Linnabery back healthy after he’s battled injuries most of the year,” Hartman said. “He’s a good change of pace. We finished a game the way we’ve been striving for.”
The JV Tigers will conclude their season on Thursday at Hillsboro at 6:30 p.m.
“We expected to have more wins at this point, but to finish on a high note would be great,” Hartman said.
Wheeler likes what he sees.
“That’s two games in a row we’ve played with great defensive intensity; it’s been exciting to watch,” he said.