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Unbeaten Tigers travel to winless Venus on Friday

Jay Hinton
Glen Rose Reporter
Glen Rose receiver Camden Raymond (24) hauls in a pass against Hillsboro.
Glen Rose linebacker Jace Karels (7) stands up a Hillsboro ball carrier.
Glen Rose defensive tackle Cory Aper records one of his 10 tackles against Hillsboro on Friday.

GLEN ROSE — The Glen Rose Tigers can take a huge step in wrapping with their fifth consecutive undefeated district season when they travel to Venus on Friday at 7 p.m.

The matchup pits two teams heading in opposite directions. The Tigers are 7-0 and scoring at will, while the Bulldogs are 0-7 and have allowed 53 points or more in their last four games.

Although the Bulldogs are winless, Glen Rose football coach Cliff Watkins is sticking with the same message he has since Game 1.

“We have to focus on us getting better every week and continue to compete at a high level every Friday night,” he said.

The Tigers (2-0 in district) enter the game after beating Hillsboro, 40-0, on homecoming for their second shutout of the season, while the Bulldogs (0-2) enter following a 65-7 loss to Hillsboro on Oct. 9.

The Bulldogs are averaging 75.6 yards passing and 143 yards rushing, and the lion’s share of those rushing yards come from senior back Andrew Handlin, who has 722 yards rushing for the year and seven TDs. He has recorded three 100-yard games.

Glen Rose, which is ranked No. 10 in the Dave Campbell’s football poll, is producing 195.5 passing and 223.3 yards rushing. Dating back to the last half of its game with Godley and the first half of the Hillsboro game, the Tiger offense scored on 11 consecutive possessions.

“We have been executing really well. The thing that has stopped us the last two games is us turning the ball over,” Watkins said. “That is our No. 1 focus right now, taking care of the ball. If we can take care of the ball, we have a chance to move the ball every week.”

The Tigers scored on their first five possessions on Friday beginning with an 11-yard pass from Austin Worthen to Reagan Rodriguez early in the first quarter and then Worthen followed with TD runs of 53, 1, 3 and 8 yards to give the Tigers a 33-0 lead at the half.

“I think it (scoring early) puts some pressure on them on both sides of the ball because they feel like they have to score every time they have the ball and they know they have to find ways to get some stops,” Watkins said. “So getting out to a fast start is always a huge bonus.”

Glen Rose’s string of scoring drives came to an end just before the half when the Tigers lost the first of three fumbles in the game.

The Glen Rose defense forced the Eagles to punt on their first four possessions, and then held them out of the end zone just before the half when they recovered the GR fumble inside the red zone.

Worthen connected with Rodriguez in the second half for the Tigers’ lone score.

Worthen completed 16 of 21 passes for 293 yards and two TDs, and he rushed for 133 yards on 10 carries. Rodriguez tallied six catches for 133 yards, and Kasen Keese had seven receptions for 107 yards.

Jace Karels led the Tiger defense with 12 stops, while homecoming king Cory Aper had 10 tackles, including four tackles for loss. Max Hood had eight stops, and Caden McKenzie and Camden Raymond had seven tackles each.