The Saline County area is chocked full of high school football talent this season. With Bryant taking most of the attention with an impressive 3-1 start to the year and coming off of a 55-21 win over Benton last week, one should also look just south of the county and read heavily into the Glen Rose Beavers.
So far this season, the Beavers are also 3-1 and winners of three straight. Another impressive fact about this seasonâ€™s team is that it is ranked No. 1 in the 3A conference. The Beavers also own the areaâ€™s top quarterback in Collin Hunter. Thus far in 2012, Hunter has completed 33 of 57 passes for 665 yards and four touchdowns. He has also rushed in for three scores.
Needless to say, the Glen Rose Beavers are pretty good. Last week, Glen Rose continued its success with a 48-21 victory over Harmony Grove on the road. The Beavers won last seasonâ€™s battle by a final of 40-0 over the Cardinals.
â€śI was frustrated last week because it didnâ€™t seem like we could just let the kids play,â€ť Head Coach Mark Kehner said regarding all of the penalties called in the win. Glen Rose was flagged 11 times on the night.
â€śOffensively, we scored every time we had the ball so, obviously, we did a good job on that side of the ball,â€ť Kehner said. â€śDefensively, it didnâ€™t seem like we were mentally prepared and we gave up some big plays.â€ť
The Beavers gave up 183 yards on defense to the Cardinals last week.
Week 5 poses another tough match for the Beavers when they play host to the undefeated Jessieville Lions. Jessieville beat up on Bismarck last week, winning in a blowout by a final of 42-8.
Though the Beavers are much better than Bismarck, Jessieville is still no pushover. Glen Rose played spoiler last season at Lion Stadium, beating Jessieville 35-0. But this is a new year. A new chance for opportunity and a chance for payback for the Lions when they come into Beaver Stadium on Friday night.
The Lions bring back just nine starters from last seasonâ€™s 8-12 team. On offense, the Lions have a little change at the quarterback spot. Brandin Natzke takes over as the teamâ€™s starter after backing up Dalton Oates for the past two years. But, this is far from a normal season for the Lions. In December, Natzkeâ€™s mother was found dead by an apparent homicide. The case is still open. Three months later, sophomore running back Tommy Hayes was killed in a tragic car wreck. Needless to say, the 2012 Lions have heavy heart and are full of emotions.
D. J. Hayes returns for his third season as halfback for the Lions this year and is known as a big threat out of the Wing-T offense for Jessieville.
As for what the Beavers will bring to the table come Friday, Kehner says his team is working on stopping the unusual offensive approach housed by the Lions.
â€śYou just donâ€™t see the Wing-T very often,â€ť Kehner said. â€śMost teams are known for the spread so it presents a challenge for our defense to get ready.â€ť
Glen Rose will be without its power back in Dillon Coney on in Week 5. Coney sustained a dislocated wrist against Harmony Grove and had pins inserted Friday. Kehner said that once the pins are removed and a cast is put on, Coney should be ready for action once again. Coney is expected to play next week.
â€śWe are going to move Clay Holicer in for Coney, so we will still have two backs and we should be fine there,â€ť Kehner said. â€śDefensively, we just need to work on getting as many reps as possible to better prepare for Friday night.â€ť
Carlos Burton will be the feature back for the Beavers this week. Burton has put together an impressive season already, rushing for 343 yards on 36 carries and has scored six touchdowns thus far.
The Beavers and Lions will meet Friday at Beaver Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.