Stepp's Top 10 Games of 2018: No. 5 — Iowa Park vs. Glen Rose

Photo by Thomas Hays

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December 7, 2018

Iowa Park 31, Glen Rose 28

After starting the season 1-5, the Iowa Park Hawks were not expected to be playing past the first round of the playoffs, much less competing for a regional title. Aubrey Sims’ squad had other ideas and the Hawks showed plenty of mental toughness during a seven game winning streak that saw them on back to back weeks knock off Region I favorites Levelland and Midland Greenwood. So taking on heavily favored Glen Rose and their dynamic offense at the Ford Center had to seem like just another day at the office.

For a half, Iowa Park and the Tigers went toe to toe battling to a 14-14 tie as both teams traded touchdowns. All four first half touchdowns were via the passing game as Glen Rose QB Cameron Griffin and Iowa Park QB Trent Green each tossed a pair of touchdown passes. The aerial assault from Glen Rose was expected, but typically run based Iowa Park showed they were not afraid to put the ball in the air when Glen Rose loaded the box.

Iowa Park grabbed their first lead with 5:15 left in the third quarter as Kase Johnson connected on a 40-yard field goal to make the score 17-14. Glen Rose would jump back ahead later in the quarter converting an Iowa Park fumble into points as Weston Halcom, who hauled in a 21-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter found the end zone on the ground scoring from three yards out to put the Tigers back up 21-17. After stopping Iowa Park on downs on the next series early in the fourth quarter Glen Rose would take what appeared to be total control of the game as Cameron Griffin scored on a five yard run with 6:35 remaining to make the score 28-17.

Iowa Park wasn’t going to go away quietly as the Hawks answered the Glen Rose score with an impressive 77-yard scoring drive capped by a 28-yard touchdown pass from Green to WR Cirby Coheley. The two point conversion was good and Iowa Park had life trailing Glen Rose 28-25 with 4:01 remaining. Glen Rose called timeout before the IPHS kickoff, anticipating an onside kick from the Hawks and their suspicion was correct. However, Iowa Park kicker Brandon Hernandez was able to find an unlucky Glen Rose upback and the tricky, bouncing kick glanced off a Glen Rose player, allowing Hernandez the chance to recover the kick and sending the green and white clad Hawks fans into a frenzy.

Iowa Park still had to maneuver 49 yards to win the game, but there was also the opportunity of a game tying field goal at play as well. During a timeout at the Glen Rose 15-yard line with less than a minute left, the Iowa Park seniors let head coach Aubrey Sims know they wanted to play for the win and go for it all instead of taking the conservative route and playing for a field goal. Three plays later, Green bulldozed his way into the end zone from two yards out giving IPHS the lead with just eight seconds remaining. The score capped off a deliberate ten play drive that covered just 49 yards as the Glen Rose defense made Iowa Park work for every inch of the field with their season on the line.

The win for Iowa Park sealed their first state semi-final appearance since 1970 and erased the bitter memories of the difficult start to the season. While the loss was a bitter pill for a talented senior laden Glen Rose squad that in the previous year had been upset in the first round of the playoffs, the Tigers felt like they were the top team in Region I all year and fell just a game short of that goal in one of the best games of the 2018 season.

Previous Games:

Stepp's Top 10 Games of 2018: No. 10 — Eastland at Breckenridge

Stepp's Top 10 Games of 2018: No. 9 — San Antonio Brandeis vs. Brownsville Hanna

Stepp's Top 10 Games of 2018: No. 8 — Cuero vs. Texarkana Pleasant Grove

Stepp's Top 10 Games of 2018: No. 7 — Lubbock Coronado vs. Azle

Stepp's Top 10 Games of 2018: No. 6 — Malakoff vs. Brock

 

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