GLADEWATER — Fans who came out Friday night expecting a good old-fashioned donnybrook between state-ranked foes Gladewater and Texarkana Pleasant Grove left Jack V. Murphy-Bear Stadium considerably underwhelmed.
Pleasant Grove, ranked first in Texas among Class 4A D-II teams, was in control from the opening kick. The Hawks (4-0) built a comfortable 21-0 lead after one quarter and coasted to an easy 45-0 shutout of the Bears on their homecoming.
Senior wingback Bruce Garrett led a PG ground attack that piled up 366 yards. Garrett had 139 yards on 10 totes with two touchdowns.
Ben Harmon, Hawk senior signal-caller, contributed 113 yards through the air with six completions on nine attempts with a touchdown. He added 79 yards rushing that included a 61-yard gallop late in the final period.
The Hawks cashed in on their first three possessions of the first quarter. Senior fullback Shayne Nelson capped a four-play, 60-yard march from a yard out at 10:40 of the frame. Garrett sparked the opening drive with a 56-yard dash on a second and long.
Gladewater’s Elijah Carter coughed up the ball on his first touch and Landon Jackson recovered for PG at the Bear 44-yard line.
It took the Hawks seven plays to navigate the necessary yards as Garrett did the honors from a yard out at 6:53.
The Bears (2-2) were turned away on downs on their next possession when Marcos Roacha was stoned on a fourth-and-1 dive call.
Harmon went to the air for PG’s next points on a roll to his left and found junior tight end Marcus Burris at midfield. Burris slung free of the tackler and rumbled the final 50 yards of a 66-yard pass play to the house.
After a fairly tame second frame, the Hawks struck quickly in the third. Senior safety Sergio Rodriquez stepped in front of a D.J. Allen pass and returned it 40 yards the other way.
The Rodriquez Pick Six swelled the Hawks' lead to 31-0 with not even a minute gone in the second half.
Gladewater’s Allen and Zonovic Campbell shined bright in an otherwise rough night for the Bears. The duo paired up seven times for 109 yards. Allen finished the evening 11 of 23 for 151 yards.
The Bears were turned away on downs nine times by a solid Hawk defense. Garrett bolted 48 yards for a TD late in the third after a PG defensive stand.
Harmon’s aforementioned 61-yard jaunt set up PG’s final score in the fourth as junior wingback Logan Johnson crosses from five yards out at 9:52 of regulation to polish off a six-play, 80-yard drive.
The Hawks wound up with 479 yards total offense compared to 252 for the Bears.
Gladewater, which came into the game ranked fifth among Class 3A D-I clubs, opens District 8-3A action Friday home to Winnsboro, while Pleasant Grove visits Chapel Hill in non-district play.