PEST CONTROL: Tigers open the season with a 42-31 win over Yellow Jackets

Travis M. Smith -- @travis5mith tsmith@theglenrosereporter.com
QB Ethan Hartman (No. 4) led the Tigers to a season opening victory against the Ferris Yellow Jackets, tossing five touchdowns.

FERRIS – Any questions regarding the Tigers’ youth and inexperience causing a slow start to the season were quickly and confidently dispelled very early at Yellow Jacket Stadium in Ferris on Friday night. (1-0) Glen Rose used a 21-point first quarter to route the (0-1) Yellow Jackets of Ferris, 42-31.

Newly repositioned Tiger quarterback Ethan Hartman tossed five touchdown passes in his varsity debut under center, Brazos Overton accounted for 108 of Hartman’s 242 passing yards, and Dakota Prcin amassed 203 yards of total offense – which included a team-high 123 yards on the ground.

“We learned a lot of lessons tonight,” Glen Rose Head Coach Tommy Dunn said, “butwe are 1-0 at the end of the night. I am very pleased with our overall play, and very proud of the kids and the way they played.

“I did not realize that Ethan had thrown [five touchdowns], but that’s a good start, and he played really well, but I was proud of all of our guys. There has to be people on the other end of those passes too, and there has to be good line blocking, but there were opportunities there and we capitalized. We really did not throw much in the third quarter, so those [five touchdowns] were really through three quarters. That’s pretty good.”

The Tigers took a 28-3 lead into the half, and excluding two runs of 58 and 57 yards by 14-year old freshman quarterback Dylan Wright, were able to hold the Yellow Jackets to 17 yards rushing and six yards passing. Wright’s strong second half allowed the youngster to finish with 234 yards rushing and 149 yards passing, including three touchdown passes, but not until after the Tigers had the game well in hand.

“We have known about him for a while,” Dunn said. “He is unbelievably talented and he is going to be a hoss. He is a big kid, he’s strong and the future looks bright for him.”

Hartman finished the game with five touchdown passes on 72.2-percent (16-of-22) passing, falling just one touchdown short of Colten Lane’s school record of six set against Grandview last season. The quarterback looked to have a firm control of the offense, and showed confidence in relying on his offensive line and skill players to move the ball down the field.

The junior quarterback connected on touchdown passes of 29 and 18 yards with Overton, 73 yards with Prcin, 10 yards with Chasen Monk, and nine yards with Tanner Stroud.

“That was pretty crazy, and I have to give a lot of credit to my receivers, but mainly to my offensive line, because they blocked tremendously for us tonight,” Hartman said. “I had so much time to read everything, and see the plays open up, so I have to give a lot of credit to them. It was really just some good play calling by the coaching staff, too.”

As with any young team, turnovers and mental mistakes can often be a problem – especially early in a season. The Tigers put the ball on the turf three times, lost two of those, and committed five penalties for fifty yards.

“We have to do a better job of not turning the ball over, and our defense got a little gassed. We cannot leave them on the field that long, especially against teams with a lot of speed,” Dunn said. “I think in the second half we did wear down a little bit, and we have a lot of guys going both ways, but that’s just the way it is. We need to get into shape to be able play a full four quarters.”

A FAST START

Logan Smith’s 30-yard punt return set-up the first of Hartman’s five touchdowns, as the quarterback found running back Monk in the flats for a 10-yard score. The short field was made possible by not by only Smith’s return, but by Matt Branham's huge sack of a Ferris signal caller inside the Jackets’ 10-yard line.

The Tigers’ defense forced The Yellow Jackets into a quick 4-and-out with less than two minutes to play in the game’s opening quarter. However, Ferris punter Ignacio Gomez flipped the field with a 58-yard bomb to give Glen Rose first-and-10 on its own 27-yard line. The 73 yards were no problem for Prcin to cover, as he took a Hartman pass and outran the Jackets’ defense to the end zone for a 14-0 Glen Rose lead.

A Ferris wide receiver nearly hauled in a 50-yard touchdown on the Jackets’ next possession, but stepped out of bounds before completing the catch. On the next play, Logan Thames made a touchdown saving pass deflection along the Glen Rose sideline, and forced Ferris to punt with less-than-a-minute remaining in the first quarter.

A bad snap over the punter’s head allowed Braxton Barrios enough time to record the Tigers’ first blocked kick of the season, and Stone Costello was able to scoop-and-score the loose ball for a 14-yard touchdown, and a 21-0 Glen Rose lead.

Hartman added touchdown No. 3 when he found Overton for a 29-yard throw and catch with a little over ten minutes to play in the second quarter. Ferris added its only points of the first half when Gomez split the uprights from 48 yards out. 

The Tigers took their 28-3 lead into the half, and minus Wright’s two big runs of 57 and 58 yards, the defense held the Yellow Jackets to a dismal 17 yards rushing and six yards passing.

Hartman was 10 of 16 for 180 yards in the half, and tossed three touchdowns. Prcin led all Glen Rose ball carriers with 103 yards on seven carries, Chasen Monk added 16 yards on seven carries, and Hartman chipped in another 14 yards on his three keepers.

CRUISE CONTROL 

The Glen Rose defensive unit was able to force a Wright fumble on the Yellow Jackets’ first possession of the second half, and the offense needed just five plays to capitalize. Hartman tossed touchdown No. 4 – and No. 2 to Overton – for a 35-3 lead with 9:58 to play in the third quarter.

Ferris was returned the favor of a snap being sent over a punter’s head, and just as Glen Rose did in the first quarter, capitalized on its opportunity. Wright found receiver Joecoby Woodson  for a 22-yard touchdown pass to pull within 25 points, 35-10, with four minutes and change remaining in the third quarter.

Hartman and company responded on the Tigers’ next possession, and the quarterback was able to cap a long drive with a nine-yard strike to Stroud for his fifth, and the team’s final, touchdown.

Glen Rose took a 42-10 lead into the fourth quarter, and smartly picked-up its conservative playbook along the way. A couple of onside kicks by the Jackets, and the emergence of a budding star at quarterback, led to 21-unanswered Ferris points, but the Tigers already had the game well in hand. They held on to defeat the Yellow Jackets of Ferris, 42-31.

The Tigers totaled 465 yards of offense, with 242 yards coming through the air and 223 on the ground. The defense held the Yellow Jackets in check for the majority of the contest, and aside from a few busted plays and highlight reel cuts in the open field, did not allow much of anything yards wise. Ferris was able to muster a stat line that totaled 383 yards, which included 234 yards rushing. However, 124 of those yards came from the freshman quarterback.

The early season travel will continue this Friday, when the Tigers visit the Carrolton Ranchview Wolves in a non-district tilt slated to kickoff at 7:30 p.m. Glen Rose will be looking to revenge last year’s 35-29 home loss.

STATISTICS

GRHS    FHS

First downs 17   9

Rushes-yards 39-223 40-234

Passing yards 242 149

Passes 16-22-5-0 10-20-3-0

Punts-avg. 2-35 4-47.8

Fumbles-lost 3-2 4-2

Penalties-yards 5-50 6-54

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING

Glen Rose -- Dakota Prcin 12-143, Ethan Hartman 10-51, Chasen Monk 14-38, Tanner Stroud 3-11

Ferris -- Dylan Wright 12-124, Deuntrae Booker 17-93, Riley Fagan 10-11, Joecoby Woodson 1-6

PASSING

Glen Rose -- Ethan Hartman 16-22-5-0, 242 yards

Ferris -- Dylan Wright 10-15-3-0, 146 yards; Riley Fagan 0-5, ZERO yards

RECEIVING

Glen Rose -- Brazos Overton 7-108, Dakota Prcin 2-80, Tyler Torres 2-13, Cashion Klipfel 2-13, Chasen Monk 1-10, Tanner Stroud 1-9, Stone Costello 1-9

Ferris -- Deuntrae Booker 3-81, Joecoby Woodson 5-51, Raul Mendez 1-14, Parker Robertson 1-3