Beavers look­ing for mo­men­tum in Round 1 vs. Wal­nut Ridge

The Saline Courier - - SPORTS - By Josh Briggs [email protected]­ton­courier.com

GLEN ROSE – The Glen Rose Beavers earned their second straight un­de­feated con­fer­ence ti­tle last week, de­feat­ing Bap­tist Prep 34-14 after a slug­gish start to the con­test.

With the win, the Beavers take the No. 1 seed from the 4-3A as they be­gin their quest through the 3A play­offs Fri­day – be­gin­ning with Wal­nut Ridge in Round 1.

“They are big and they do have a very good quar­ter­back/ running back com­bi­na­tion back there,” said Head Coach Mark Kehner. “We have to do a lit­tle bit bet­ter job than we have been do­ing the past cou­ple of weeks, de­fen­sively, stop­ping the run con­sis­tently.

“We feel good about our matchup. We just have to come in ready to play.”

Glen Rose has been a high seed the past sev­eral sea­sons, but has fallen victim to early-round losses the past two sea­sons, some­thing Kehner and com­pany hope changes in 2019.

“We lost the second round last year and the first round the year be­fore,” Kehner said. “We have to ad­dress those is­sues and make sure we are clean­ing our act up and com­ing in ready to play one week at a time.”

Se­nior quar­ter­back An­drew Brewer leads Wal­nut Ridge, com­plet­ing 91 of 181 passes for 1,334 yards and 13 touch­downs. He has also been picked off 13 times this year.

Ju­nior running back Cole Man­ning holds down the rush­ing attack for Wal­nut Ridge, running for 1,403 yards and 15 scores thus far. He is also a threat to catch and score, to­tal­ing 444 re­ceiv­ing yards with seven more TDS.

While Kehner knows his team has to stop the run Fri­day, he said his of­fense has to be click­ing as well.

“Our of­fen­sive line has to do a good job,” Kehner said. “(Wes­ley Lau­nius) was a lit­tle off last week, but Ethan Taylor kind of picked it up for us. We have had some other guys step up and that is what we have to con­tinue to do. Get some guys running and catch

ing the ball pretty con­sis­tently and take some of the pres­sure off Lau­nius.”

Taylor trucked Bap­tist for 252 yards and three scores on 23 car­ries last week. On the year, he has run for 914 yards

and 12 scores, go­ing over 100 yards in a game five times, all on 114 car­ries.

Week 10 was by far his best per­for­mance of the sea­son to this point.

As for need­ing a win in the first round, Kehner said it would be big for his club.

“We need to get that one,” Kehner said. “But we need to play good foot­ball, too, not just

strug­gle through and get the win. I think we need to come out and play good, solid foot­ball, get the win and hope­fully build off of that and get some mo­men­tum.”

Glen Rose will have home­field ad­van­tage through­out the play­offs. Kick­off is set for 7 p.m. Fri­day at Beaver Sta­dium.

GREG Davis/spe­cial to The Saline Courier

Glen Rose ju­nior running back Ethan Taylor runs in a 34-14 vic­tory over Bap­tist Prep last Fri­day in Glen Rose. Taylor had a mon­ster game running for 252 yards and three touch­downs in the win as the Beavers will host Wal­nut Ridge in the first round of the 3A state play­offs Fri­day in Glen Rose.

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