It took only five plays for the Glen Rose Tigers (0-2) to take their first lead over an opponent in 2010, but the advantage lasted for just one quarter as the China Spring Cougars (1-1) scored 17 unanswered points en route to a 17-7 victory over the Tigers.
It was China Spring's third straight victory over Glen Rose.
"We played a lot better than we did (last week)," said Glen Rose head coach Tommy Dunn. "We were able to execute better on offense and the defense played better all the way around. The guys were just more physical.
"You just have to give a lot of credit to China Spring. They're a good football team," he continued.
On the fifth play of the game, the Tigers ran a wide receiver option pass in which Kevin Brooks launched a 59-yard touchdown to Anders Dahl. Tanner Tongate connected for the extra point to give the Tigers a 7-0 lead.
"That was actually the first time we've used that play," said Dunn. "We always have those deceptive plays in our playbook. We have to do whatever we can to keep the defense on their heels and our kids executed it real well."
The Tiger defense held the Cougars in check over the first quarter but on the second play of the second frame, China Spring took advantage of poor Tiger tackling to tie the game after a 55-yard touchdown toss.
Before the long touchdown strike, Glen Rose committed a 15-yard penalty on second-and-11 to give China Spring a fresh set of downs.
"Our defense was fundamentally sound and consistent," said Dunn. "We had one questionable penalty on second down, but that's something that happens when you're constantly flying around the football. Overall I thought they played well."
After another Glen Rose punt, China Spring took their next possession the length of the field on a 14-play, 92-yard drive. The drive consisted of just one, two-yard passing play.
Glen Rose's offense answered by driving the field to set up a 31-yard field goal attempt with two seconds left in the half. Tongate was unable to connect, however, and the Tigers trailed 14-7 at halftime.
On the first possession of the new half, China Spring again drove the ball on the strength of its running back tandem.
The Tiger stop troops, however, managed to hold them to a field goal after allowing the Cougars to get to the four-yard line.
Glen Rose got its offense in gear after the defensive stand and went 68 yards to the China Spring 11-yard line, but Tongate missed another field goal to keep the score at 17-7.
China Spring would run out the rest of their possessions and Glen Rose couldn't convert on fourth downs as the Cougars went on to victory.
"We did have some pretty good drives and then we had some breakdowns," said Dunn. "Of course, China Spring had a lot to do with that, but we really hurt ourselves."
Senior safety/receiver Kevin Brooks sat the entire second half due to a "headache," according to Dunn. The Tiger coach said "he could've played but this early in the season, I didn't want to risk anything."
The Tigers struggled in the running game, managing only 75 yards on 23 carries.
Chase Evatt led the team with 30 yards on 11 trips while Ben Munguia had 26 yards on four carries and Jesus Aguilar had 13 yards on three carries. Frank Brandenburg had the remaining six yards on five carries.
"That's what happens when they have eight men in the box," said Dunn. "They were defending the run first and thats why we were able to throw for over 200 yards. The offense will keep getting better and when we are able to throw more successfully, then those running lanes will open up again."
Brandenburg threw for 208 yards on 16-31 passing. Brooks was his, catching six passes for 69 yards while Dahl was the high-yards man with 84 on two grabs.
Justin Weatherley caught four passes for 60 yards while Evatt and Munguia each grabbed two for 23 and 22 yards, respectively. Austin Briley also caught a nine-yard pass.
On the defensive side of the ball, a senior trio cracked double figures in tackles. Collin Lane was the leader with 13 while Stetson Murdock (12) and Curran Morrison (11) were close behind.
Blake Eschbach (7) and Jimmy Johnson (6) also had high tackle totals, while Aguilar, Brooks, Munguia and Weatherley each tallied 5. Aguilar also had a pass break-up.
China Spring rushed for 244 yards on 50 carries and passed for 98 yards on 4-7 passing to total 342 yards.
Next up for the Tigers is Mineral Wells, which comes in for Glen Rose's homecoming game at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
"(Mineral Wells) mixes things up very well," said Dunn. "They have a big line, a good tight end and are returning their starting quarterback and running back. Our defensive line is going to have a big challenge this week.
"Defensively, they are very talented and quick," added Dunn. "They have a very good middle linebacker (Colton Lusk) and he may the best player on that defense. It'll be another tough game, but we got better between weeks one and two and I'm sure we'll get better this week."
The two teams met to open the season a year ago and the Rams got the better of the Tigers 27-20.
Mineral Wells' QB Hunter McCoy threw for 216 yards on 21-31 passing in the 2009 contest while for the Tigers, Evatt rushed for 101 yards on 15 carries.
"(This week) we'll have to work on the things that aren't visible to everyone sitting in the stands," said Dunn. "We have to improve our technique and we have to get better at reading the offensive line. Our defense isn't reading the line very well and they're about two steps behind, and by that time we're burned for a big play."