Tigers open district play Friday at Godley
By Jay Hinton
Glen Rose Reporter
The Glen Rose Tigers begin their quest for their fifth consecutive undefeated district football season when they open league play tonight (Friday, Oct. 9) at 7 p.m. in Godley.
The Tigers, who defeated Mineral Wells 62-17 last week, are 5-0 and will look to match their best start since the 2012 season when they won their first six games.
“Now the games start to really count,” Glen Rose football coach Cliff Watkins said. “Every game is huge and if we want to win another district championship we have to take it one game at a time and play our best each Friday night.”
Godley (3-3) enters the District 5-4A Division II contest following a 45-40 loss to Aubrey. In that contest, quarterback Caden Burke completed 31 of 38 passes for 602 yards and six touchdowns for the Wildcats.
That performance caught the eye of the Tiger coaches.
“We have to be disciplined in the secondary and not give up the big play,” Watkins said. “A big key for us is going to be winning the line of scrimmage and find ways to get pressure on the quarterback.”
Drew Coleman leads a group of five receivers who have 200 receiving yards or more with 25 catches for 534 yards and five scores for the Wildcats.
Running back Kolby Bartlett has 684 yards on 75 carries and five touchdowns.
The Wildcats are averaging 37.5 points per game on 312.3 yards passing and 158.8 yards rushing per game. Defensively, they are allowing 30.8 points per game.
The Tigers counter with quarterback Austin Worthen, who has thrown for 961 yards and rushed for 605 yards in five games. Reagan Rodriguez and Kanyon Keese have recorded 382 and 315 receiving yards, respectively.
Defensively, the Tigers are allowing just 17.2 points per game. They are led by linebacker Jace Karels with 49 tackles, followed by Cory Aper (38 stops, including 10 tackles for loss), Zach Douglas (32) and Camden Raymond (29). Keese has a team-best three interceptions.
“They are flying around and causing turnovers and that has been huge,” Watkins said of the defense. “We have been able to score defensively the last two weeks and anytime we do that we have a great chance to win games.”
In the win over Mineral Wells, the Tigers scored 27 unanswered points in the second quarter to put the game away early.
Worthen had TD runs of 20 and 5 yards, and the Rams added a 51-yard field goal to make it 14-3 at the end of the first quarter.
“Anytime we can start fast and get on the board early it definitely helps put the momentum on our side and gives us some more confidence to start the game,” Watkins said.
Following an 88-yard kickoff return by Rodriguez to put the Tigers on the Mineral Wells 12-yard line, Worthen scored on a 5-yard run.
Keese added a 64-yard interception return for a score on the first of his two interceptions on the day, and Hudson White contributed a 13-yard run and hauled in an 8-yard pass from Worthen to build a 41-3 lead at the break.
Worthen tacked on a 3-yard score, and Braulio Silva and White added TD runs of 8 and 55 yards to cap the Tigers’ scoring.
Worthen completed 7 of 15 passes for 140 yards while rushing for 113 yards and four scores. White finished with 96 yards rushing and Silva had 75. White also had three receptions for 71 yards. Davis was successful on 8 of 9 extra-point kicks.
Karels led the Tigers with 10 tackles, while Aper had eight (including four tackles for loss), and Douglas and Raymond had seven apiece.
“I was pleased with our overall effort,” Watkins said. “I feel like we have continued to improve throughout our non-district schedule and that was our goal.”