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PG clashes with Quinlan Ford in semis

by Brian Tyl | November 25, 2021 at 10:00 p.m.

MOUNT PLEASANT, Texas -- Pleasant Grove must do something that 12 other teams failed to do -- beat Quinlan Ford.

The Hawks (7-5) take on the Panthers (12-0) in a Class 4A, Division II regional semifinal at 1 p.m. today at Mount Pleasant High School's Sam Parker Field.

"Ford runs a Slot-T, Wing-T offense kinda like we do," Pleasant Grove head coach Josh Gibson said. "They are one of the leading rushing teams in the whole nation. They score over 50 points a game and have had several games in which they've rushed for 400-500 yards.

"They have their best year in school history going and are extremely well coached. Their kids play hard, execute well and they have a lot of belief going. It will be a smash-mouth type of football game."

The Hawks average 32.1 points per game and give up an average of 25.6. Pleasant Grove racks up an average of 196.2 rushing yards a game and 142.3 through the air.

Sophomore standout Jaylen Boardley is the Hawks' leading rusher. Boardley has amassed 1,025 yards rushing on 147 carries and 19 touchdowns. Boardley also leads Pleasant Grove in scoring with 24 total TD and is the leading receiver with 22 grabs for 432 yards and four scores.

Jojo Bailey is the second leading Hawk rusher with 613 yards on 105 carries and three scores. Freshman starting quarterback Jarret Halter has thrown for 945 yards on 59-of-131 passing with 13 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.

"The later a team gets in the playoffs, the better the teams get," Gibson said. "Things that will dictate the game will be which team plays the cleanest and which team will play mistake free on special teams. We don't want to have a lot of penalties or turnovers.

"Physicality will be huge with both teams running the football. Playing extremely physical on defense, on the offensive line and with our running backs is going to be huge. Whichever team is more physical, protects the ball and doesn't have penalties will usually come out on top when two really good teams get together."

Senior Reese Elrod is the Hawks' leading tackler with 109 stops, followed by BJ Rayfield with 103. Kaden McFadden and Keilin Benton each lead Pleasant Grove in interceptions with two apiece.

Senior Jadonavan Williams has totaled 2,122 yards on 196 totes and 29 touchdowns for the Panthers. Senior Kaiden Roden has 1,940 yards on 185 attempts and 25 TDs.

Rounding out Ford's leading rushers is senior Rowdy Rowan, who has 1,101 yards on 115 carries and 15 touchdowns. Rowan is the starting quarterback and has thrown for 498 yards on 19-of-38 passing with two TDs and two picks.

The Panthers have tallied 5,941 rushing yards on 596 attempts in 12 games for an average of 495.1 yards per game.

Roden is by far the leading tackler for Ford with 146 tackles, including 76 solo stops. Junior Gustavo Sanchez is the second leading tackler with 83.

The winner will take on either Van or Gilmer in the Class 4A, Division II regional finals/state quarterfinals next week.

Print Headline: PG clashes with Quinlan Ford in semis

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