Two down, three to go.
Glen Rose disposed of the bottom-dwelling Whitney Wildcats, 45-14, in their second District 7-3A game last Friday.
“We expected to win, of course, and we know if teams are going to make playoff runs, they really need to improve in weeks seven, eight and nine,” said Glen Rose Head Coach Tommy Dunn. “We took a step forward, and we’re right where we wanted to be after this game. It was a big confidence booster, and we have to feed off of this and get better for next week.”
Whitney showed signs of life, at least in the first 49 seconds.
On the second play of the game, Chris Gipson took the handoff 77 yards to the house to put Whitney on top, 7-0.
After that it was all Glen Rose.
One the next play from scrimmage, Austin Eschbach took the handoff from tailback Chase Evatt on the reverse and went 68 yards for the score to tie the contest at 7-7.
“We said all week long that we weren’t going to mess around,” said Dunn. “We were going to come after them and do what we had to do to win. They had the one big play on that first drive, and after that the defense shut them down and they couldn’t stop us. We opened the playbook up a little bit and the kids did a good job of executing.”
The Tigers found the end zone five times in the first half.
After the Eschbach run, he hauled in an 18-yard pass from quarterback Derek Thompson.
Eschbach finished the contest with 105 all-purpose yards and two scores on four touches.
With just over five minutes left in the first quarter, Thompson punched it in from one-yard out and then converted his second two-point attempt to give the Tigers a 22-6 lead.
Evatt was the next Tiger to find the safe ground, as he scampered in from four yards deep.
Evatt finished the game with only nine carries for 56 yards and the score. Evatt, as well as most of the starters, didn’t play much in the second half.
“We wanted to stay with our passing game,” said Dunn. “They were blitzing like crazy and we just kept throwing screens and hurting them. That’s just the way the game went. Chase wasn’t shut down at all, he just didn’t get very many opportunities.”
With less than a minute-and-a-half to play in the first half, Thompson found Ty Taylor all alone behind the Whitney secondary for a 65-yard touchdown bomb.
Taylor, on defense, caught a pass from the Wildcat QB on the next series, giving the Tigers’ the ball before halftime.
The starters remained in the game for the first series of the second half, which led to another touchdown from Thompson to Taylor from four yards out.
Thompson finished the contest 13-19 for 212 yards and three touchdown tosses in limited action.
Taylor hauled in seven passes for 148 yards and the two scores.
Despite a fourth quarter score with just over eight minutes to play, the defense was impenetrable.
After his 77-yard run, Gipson finished with only nine yards of rushing in the contest.
The Wildcats posted only 265 total yards of offense, including the Gipson run.
QB Dillon Hightower was only 5-11 for 90 yards and two interceptions, by Taylor and Reagan Rotan.
The Tiger defense also managed to bring Hightower down three times in the backfield.
Chris Griggers, Jake Powell and Marcos Rodriguez each sacked the Whitney signal caller for losses of four, two and eight yards, respectively.
With victories over West and Whitney, Glen Rose enters the heart of District 7-3A with the next two games at Gatesville and China Spring.
Gatesville will be the first big test for the Tigers at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.
“(Gatesville) is very talented, they’re big up front and they have good skill players,” said Dunn. “They’re really not that much of a throwing team, but they can throw. They spread it out a little and they give you a little bit of everything. They run a lot of formations, they try to keep you off balance and they have good running backs who will try to control the clock on us. So when we have the ball, we have to try to score. Then we have to get some stops on them. We feel confident going into this game.”