PREVIEW: Glen Rose football slated to square-off with Ferris

Travis M. Smith -- @travis5mith tsmith@theglenrosereporter.com
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS

GLEN ROSE -- The wait is over, and for the next 17 weeks high school football will consume communities all across the state every Friday night. Glen Rose's boys of fall are returning to the gridiron for their week one matchup with the Yellow Jackets of Ferris at 7:30 p.m. at Yellow Jacket Stadium in Ferris on Friday.

The Tigers graduated a lot of talent in 2014 - 28 seniors to be exact - and will have new faces at almost every skill position heading into the new season, but Head Coach Tommy Dunn believes in his team, and believes that while they might start a little rocky, the Tigers will improve every week.

"It's not where you start, it's where you finish,' Dunn told the Reporter during two-a-days. "That is what we are more interested in, how good we are going to be, not how good we are right now. I think we are going to get better each week.

"We have a tough non-district schedule, and that will help us get things sorted out and be ready for district. We have a good senior dominated offensive and defensive line, and those guys have been the backbone of our team. Our skill players are going to get better, and we are going to make the plays when they need to be made. We just have to execute on both sides of the ball."

The Tigers used a 17-point second quarter to defeat the Yellow Jackets 24-21 last season, but aside from the close score, dominated in most statistical categories. However, aside from Ethan Hartman's five carries for 20 yards and two receptions for 43 yards, Glen Rose does not return any of its 503 yards of offense. 

Hartman, the Tigers' first-year quarterback, will look to fill the void left by Colten Lane's departure. In last year's season opening victory, Lane completed 19 of 29 passes for 232 yards and a touchdown. Those are not exactly overwhelming numbers in a spread offense like the Tigers', however, they are numbers that will need to be replaced. 

Ferris will also have a new signal caller, and will have to not only replace his arm, but his legs as well. Javaughn Thurmon completed only nine passes for 88 yards against the Tigers last season, but he torched the Glen Rose defense for 217 yards on the ground and two touchdowns - including one of the 80-yard variety.

The Yellow Jackets second-leading rusher, Shaq Dickerson, also graduated in May. Both departures are good news for a defense that will be trying to find its footing during the first few weeks of the season. 

Prior to Friday's kickoff, the junior varsity and freshmen squads will host the Yellow Jackets at Tiger Stadium on Thursday night, at 6:30 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively. Full game recaps and photos of all three contest will be on the Reporter's, and fans can follow along on Twitter (@GlenRoseNews) for live scoring updates.