Garrett leads Pleasant Grove back to the state semifinals with 44-41 win over Pirates

FRISCO, Texas – Pleasant Grove’s Bruce Garrett and Pittsburg’s Jaylon Jimmerson put on a show for the ages Friday night in the Ford Center at The Star.

Garrett carried the ball a career-high 27 times for a career-best 234 yards and three touchdowns as the Hawks survived a shootout with District 6-4A rival Pittsburg, 44-41.

The win gives the Hawks their second regional championship in two years, improving their playoff record to 10-0 the last two seasons. Pleasant Grove advances to the state semifinals back at the Ford Center next Friday against Iowa Park, which upset Glen Rose with two touchdowns in the final 4:05, 31-28.

Pleasant Grove

“This was a huge win for our kids and program,” said PG coach Josh Gibson. “We’ve rallied to win five games this year. I wish we didn’t have to do it so often. The kids pull together during the down times. They’re very special kiddos.

”Our district teams benefit us in games like tonight. It’s a gauntlet, and to come through it prepares for these playoff games. Tonight, Bruce Garrett had one of his best games. He’s a very special running back. I’m really proud of this kid. He has a motor that keeps running and running.”

The Hawks had beaten Pittsburg in district play, 45-20, despite trailing 14-0 in the first quarter. The Pirates repeated that performance with two first quarter scores Friday, only to see Pleasant Grove tally three second quarter touchdowns for a 20-14 lead at intermission.

Hawks rally from early 14-0 deficit

Ironically, it was two interceptions by PG senior Tyler Kelley, including a 47-yard pick-six, that set the rally in motion. Garrett scored his first TD on a 14-yard run, and Jackson Cobb hauled in a 43-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Ben Harmon to put the Hawks on top for the first time.

Jimmerson passed for 235 yards and ran for another 65. He passed for two scores, ran for two more, and caught a touchdown pass from senior receiver  Keontae Burns. Jimmerson also intercepted two passes.

Pleasant Grove’s second interception set up a 1-yard scoring plunge by Desmond Allen 81 seconds into the second half. Giovanni Rojas’ kick put the Pirates back on top, 21-20.

The Hawks weren’t fazed, scoring on a 1-yard sneak by Harmon, and 27-yard run by Garrett to put PG on top for good.

There was no quitting for Pittsburg. The two teams started scoring at will, until Jimmerson’s touchdown reception with 12 seconds left in the game.

That came after a 49-yard touchdown jaunt by Garrett with 1:10 remaining. Prior to that score Keithlen Griffin caught a 68-yard TD pass from Jimmerson.

The difference in the game turned out to be a 22-yard field goal by senior Dillon Williams with 3:19 left to play.

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