A new quarterback and some new wrinkles to the offense didn’t set Glen Rose back at all at the Fox Sports Southwest 7-on-7 Division II (Class 1A-3A) state tournament in College Station last week, as the Tigers rolled to their best showing ever at the event.

Glen Rose won five straight contests to win its pool and reach the semifinal round of the championship bracket before bowing out to Rice Consolidated in a 23-26 overtime thriller.

“We had a very good couple of days. We were just one play away (from the championship game),” said Glen Rose Head Football Coach Tommy Dunn, who by UIL rules was not allowed to coach the Tigers in 7-on-7 football but did attend the event at Penberthy Intramural Fields on the campus of Texas A&M University. “It’s good to get that far, but once you’re that close you want to get to the big game and see what happens.”

Celina knocked off Rice Consolidated 35-19 to claim its third 7-on-7 state title.

The Tigers’ only scare in their first five wins came in 30-26 quarterfinal nail biter against Cameron. They knocked off Lovejoy 35-14 in the opening round of the championship bracket.

In pool play, Glen Rose rolled to a 27-14 defeat of Carthage, a 42-25 win against Wimberley and a 43-20 whipping of Wills Point. Pool foe Carthage went on to reach the championship game of the consolation bracket before falling to District 7-3A member West, 35-28.

Dunn says he was especially pleased with the experience gained by new Tiger quarterback Colt Plaster, a varsity veteran who takes the reigns of the offense this fall after the graduation of North Texas-bound Derek Thompson.

“It was critical for Colt and the receivers to get more reps in and get used to each other, and it was critical to continue the success we have had in past summers in 7-on-7 because it proves we shouldn’t have any drop off just because Derek’s gone. We’re a little different now. We didn’t throw the ball down field as much as in the past, but Colt was very accurate on the underneath routes and on sprint outs,” said Dunn, who added that 7-on-7 also provides great conditioning for the players, something he believes is especially critical this summer since more players will be playing on both sides of the ball this fall.

“It’s also great for our confidence,” Dunn said of the 7-on-7 success. “Anytime you compete you want to win and when you’re successful it builds confidence. A lot of times we’re not the most talented team on the field, but our kids expect to win. That mentality isn’t something that happens overnight. It takes a period of time to build that, but we’ve achieved it here.”