GLADEWATER — The Gladewater Bears seemed in complete control of their game Friday against Pleasant Grove, but a fight back by the visitors made things interesting in the closing minutes.
In the end, the Gladewater defense made back-to-back plays to finish off the Hawks 41-21 at Jack V. Murphy-Bear Stadium. The win keeps Gladewater (7-1, 3-0) undefeated in District 6-4A Division II while Pleasant Grove is now 5-3 and 1-2 after the loss.
Bears senior Mick Carmona intercepted a pass after Pleasant Grove's quarterback was pressured by Daylon Mack. After making the catch, the big defensive lineman rumbled 58 yards the other way for a Gladewater touchdown. Mack then capped the victory by forcing and recovering a fumble on Pleasant Grove's next possession.
Prior to Carmona's catch, things were getting interesting as Pleasant Grove had rallied back from a 28-7 deficit at the start of the fourth quarter to make it 28-21. Ty Everett scored on a 17-yard run and the Hawks then blocked a punt with Jacob Smith doing the honors.
Smith, also the Pleasant Grove quarterback, then ran around the edge and absorbed a big hit to power into the end zone and make it 28-21 with 6:28 remaining.
Gladewater responded with a bruising drive that was capped by 12-yard scoring run from Daryl Polk.
Pleasant Grove was looking to answer and it appeared the Hawks had when Smith scrambled for a 16-yard touchdown. But it was called back on an illegal block.
Two plays later, Carmona was celebrating with his Gladewater teammates in the end zone following his interception return.
Justice Centers finished with 126 yards and three touchdowns with James Reese carrying 16 times for 110 yards for the Bears.
Pleasant Grove countered with Smith, who had 102 yards passing and 58 yards rushing. Devuntay Walker carried 20 times for 76 yards.
District 6-4A Division II
Gladewater 41, Pleasant Grove 21
At Jack V. Murphy Bear Stadium, Gladewater
Pleasant Grove 0 0 7 14 — 21
Gladewater 0 13 15 13 — 41
GW—Justice Centers 2 run (Fernando Serrano kick), 8:43
GW—Centers 3 run (run failed), 1:22
GW—Darnell McKnight 13 run (Serrano kick), 7:45
PG—Devuntay Walker 3 run (Dalton Hinton kick), 1:07
GW—Centers 65 run (Daylon Mack run), :20
PG—Ty Everett 17 run (Hinton kick), 10:14
PG—Jacob Smith 15 run (Hinton kick), 6:28
GW—Daryl Polk 12 run (run failed), 3:10
GW—Mick Carmona 58 interception return (Serrano kick), 1:16
First Downs 18 20
Rushes-Yards 40-198 40-312
Passing Yards 102 134
Comp.-Att.-Int. 5-12-0 7-11-2
Punts-Avg. 1-51 0-0
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 0-0
Penalties-Yards 5-50 8-57
RUSHING—Pleasant Grove, Devuntay Walker, 20-6, Jacob Smith 9-58, Ty Everett 8-55, Keshawn Jones 2-12, Hunter Hatfield 1-(minus 2). Gladewater, Justice Centers 16-126, James Reese 16-110, Daryl Polk 4-29, Nick Canaguier 2-25, Darnell McKnight 2-22.
PASSING—Pleasant Grove, Jacob Smith 5-12-0 102 . Gladewater, Nick Canaguier 7-11-2 134.
RECEIVING—Pleasant Grove, Devuntay Walker 2-44, Connor Lemmerhirt 2-35, Ty Everett 1-23. Gladewater, Caleb Williams 4-52, Camron Callaway Jr. 2-66, Blake Guthrie 1-26.