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Tigers eliminated from playoffs with upset loss to Community

By Jay Hinton
Glen Rose Reporter
Glen Rose running back Hudson White scored a pair of touchdowns against Community on Friday.
Glen Rose linebacker Jace Karels had 20 tackles on the Tigers' 28-25 playoff loss to Community on Friday.

GLEN ROSE — The 2020 football season came to an end for the District 5-4A champion Glen Rose Tigers with a stunning 28-25 upset home loss to Nevada Community last Friday night at Tiger Stadium in the opening round of the Class 4A Div. II playoffs.

The Tigers, the No. 1 seed from the district, had a potential game-tying 39-yard field goal attempt as time expired, but it fell short left.

With the loss, the five-time undefeated district champion Tigers end the season 8-2 overall, after losing two of their last three games. It is the second time in the last four years that the Tigers have lost in the opening round of the playoffs.

“I was proud of the way our kids competed each week,” Glen Rose football coach Cliff Watkins said. “They showed up to practice every day to get better. It didn’t end the way we thought it would, but we beat a lot of good teams throughout the year. Our guys have a lot to be proud of. All nine teams we played in the regular season made the playoffs, so we had another tough schedule that our guys fought through each week.”

After Community scored with two minutes left in the game to take the lead, the Tigers got a good kickoff return and a Community penalty and started the drive on their own 46.

The Tigers drove the ball to the Community 15-yard line with less than 20 seconds left in the game, but they were called with a 15-yard penalty that pushed them back. They managed to get to the 22-yard line to set up the field-goal attempt on the final play of the game.

On paper, the game was essentially even. The Tigers had 392 yards total offense and Community had 331, and both teams had one turnover. Glen Rose scored three points off the Community turnover and Community scored seven off the GR turnover.

Glen Rose led 13-0 in the first quarter after a 66-yard run by quarterback Austin Worthen, who finished with 159 yards on 21 carries, and a 10-yard pass from Worthen to Hudson White. Community scored late in the first quarter and again in the second quarter to lead 14-13 at the break

When we were able to get our tempo going we were able to have a lot of success,” Watkins said of the early lead. “They did everything they could to slow the game down and not allow us to use our tempo.”

White added a 13-yard run to give the Tigers the lead at 19-14. Trailing 21-19, the Tigers drove to the Community 2-yard line but couldn’t punch it in and had to settle for a 23-yard Jace Karels field goal to retake the lead at 22-21.

Glen Rose recovered a Community fumble on the ensuing kickoff and drove inside the Community 10-yard line but they had to settle for a 27-yard Karels field goal to increase the lead to 25-21 with eight minutes left in the game.

“We weren’t able to finish a couple of drives in the red zone that ended up hurting us,” Watkins said. “We didn’t catch any breaks in the second half and weren’t able to win it in the end.”

Community started what proved to be the game-winning drive on its own 10 and 16 plays later scored to take the lead at 28-25 with two minutes left. The Tigers were unable to answer.

In addition to rushing for 159 yards, Worthen threw for 125 yards. White finished with 86 yards rushing on 15 carries, and he also had 52 yards receiving and a TD on four receptions. Reagan Rodriguez tallied four catches for 47 yards.

Karels led the Tiger defense with 19 tackles (15 solo), while Rodriquez, Cory Aper and White had 12 each.

“We had some guys step up and play in some different spots with a few guys out,” Watkins said. “We got some big stops on some drives and then we weren’t able to get off the field on a couple of long drives. It was a physical game like we thought it would be and our guys left everything on the field.”