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Tigers open playoffs Friday with Community

By Jay Hinton
Glen Rose Reporter
Members of the Glen Rose defense gang up for the tackle against a Ferris ball carrier.
Glen Rose wide receiver can’t quite haul in the pass with a diving catch. He did score a TD later with a 12-yard reception from Austin Worthen.

GLEN ROSE — One week after wrapping up their fifth consecutive undefeated district championship, the Glen Rose Tigers will open the playoffs Friday night when they host Community (Nevada) at 7 p.m.

“It’ll be huge to play a playoff game at Tiger Stadium,” Glen Rose football coach Cliff Watkins said. “It should be a great atmosphere with our guys feeding off of the home crowd. Our guys are excited about it.”

The Tigers (9-1, 4-0) drubbed Ferris 35-8 on Friday to close out the regular season and added another impressive district run to their plates.

“It shows the work ethic of our kids and the ability for them to focus one game at a time,” Watkins said. “I’m proud of the way they prepare each week, and it says a lot of their commitment to our program.”

The Braves (4-5, 2-2) beat Wills Point, 44-23, last week to finish fourth in District 6-4A to earn the meeting with the Tigers, whose lone loss came to Class 3A No. 2 Grandview in a 31-28 barnburner.

“This time of year, more than ever, you definitely have to take it one game at a time,” Watkins said. “It’s all about who plays the best on that Friday night, it doesn’t matter what anyone has done up to this point.”

The Braves, like Ferris, are a running team, averaging 201.4 yards on the ground and 105.7 through the air.

“We have to be great tacklers, and we have to win the line of scrimmage,” Watkins said. “They are going to line up and run it right at us and then they will play action and take shots over the top. We have to stay disciplined and have 11 guys do their jobs each play. We have to take advantage of every possession we get offensively and take care of the ball.”

The winner will play the winner of Pleasant Grove (7-3) and Bullard (6-4).

The Tigers are averaging 229.4 yards on the ground and 226.7 yards passing. Quarterback Austin Worthen had completed 115 of 184 passes for 1,981 yards and 18 TDs with just two interceptions.

He also leads the team in rushing, and with his 76 yards against Ferris last week, he surpassed 1,000 yards rushing for the season (1,006) with 21 touchdowns. Running back Hudson White has 478 yards on 77 carries with six TDs.

Senior wide receiver Reagan Rodriguez is approaching 1,000 yards receiving with 878 yards on 46 receptions with eight TDs, and Kanyon Keese has 37 catches fro 637 yards and five scores.

“We just have to keep doing what we’ve been doing and continue to find ways to get better every week,” Watkins said.

Jace Karels leads the defense with 96 tackles, while Cory Aper has 82 tackles (4.5 sacks) and Caden McKenzie and Chris Huber have 67 and 48 tackles, respectively.

In the win over Ferris, the Yellowjackets took the air out of the ball by running a ton of time off the clock in their first two possessions. Both ended up with the Tiger defense making fourth-down stops, while the offense responded with touchdowns.

The first was a 13-yard pass from Worthen to freshman Camden Raymond, and the second was a 49-yard pass from Worthen to Rodrigues to build a 15-0 lead.

After a Ferris punt, Worthen capped an eight-play drive with a 4-yard run to increase the lead to 21-0, and it was 21-8 at the half.

Jake Treadaway added a 12-yard TD catch from Worthen in the second half, and White scored on a 2-yard run.

“I was very happy with the way we responded offensively,” Watkins said. “We took advantage of the possessions we had and our guys didn’t press when we did get on the field. They executed their assignments and we were able to finish drives.”

The Tiger defense, led by 16 stops from Karels and 10 from Aper, held the Yellowjackets to just 46 yards passing and 208 rushing in the game.

Rodrigues had a big game with 130 yards on five catches with a TD, while Treadaway and three catches for 58 and Keese had three catches for 52.