Josh Gipson Gets First Career Win in Pleasant Grove’s 26-25 Thriller Against Pittsburg
[By Tony Kirk, Special to ETSN.fm]
The Josh Gipson era began in Pleasant Grove began with the Hawks coming from behind to defeat the Pittsburg Pirates 26-25 at Hawk Field in Texarkana.
Gipson, the 32-year-old, first-year head coach lead PG to the program's 150th win.
The Hawks (1-0) trailed through most of the evening after surrendering two fumbles in the first quarter. Both were returned for Pirates touchdowns.
With the Hawks driving and 7:47 left in the first quarter, Pittsburg's FreZarrian Harrison scooped the ball and returned it 65 yards for the Pirates' first touchdown of the season. Tray Walker punched in the two point conversion to put them out front 8 – 0.
After trading turnovers, PG was knocking on the door for the equalizing score when senior Hunter Hatfield fumbled on the 15 yard line. Harrison recovered the ball for his second scoop-and-score of the quarter and a 15-0 lead.
The Hawks refused to fold and drove 60 yards, capped off by a Hatfield 13-yard run to get on the board with 3:50 left to go in the first quarter.
The score stayed that way until 7:02 in the second when Jose Garcia connected on a 29-yard field goal to push the Pirate lead to 18 – 7. The field goad was set up by a 73-yard Walker run.
Hatfield got his second touchdown of the night for PG on a nine-yard run with 4:50 to go in the first half and cut the Pirates' lead to 18-14. The drive was highlighted by two long runs of more than yards by sophomore DeVuntay Walker.
Scoring got going in the second half when Hawks kicker Dalton Hinton connected on a 25-yard field goal at the 5:58 mark of the third quarter. The score cut the Pittsburg lead to 18-17 and capped off a 68-yard drive.
PG forced a Pittsburg fumble when senior Logan Stahl, playing in his first varsity football game, forced the turnover while sacking quarterback Billy Kimble near the 43 yard line. That lead to Hinton kicking a 40-yard field goal and giving Pleasant Grove a 20-18 lead.
Pittsburg (0-1) responded by inserting Caleb Banks at quarterback. Banks quickly hit Tyler Lafayette for a 29 yard gain. Sir Charles Perkins took a reverse 31 yards for a touchdown to put Pittsburg back on top. The Garcia extra point make it 25 – 20.
A cramping and fatigued PG offense rallied back with two long gains on passes from junior quarterback Jacob Smith to senior flanker Carson Craytor. Those two plays highlighted a nine-play, 85 yard drive that was capped off when Smith pushed it in from the one yard line to give the Hawks the one-point lead. The Hawks effort at a two point conversion failed when Smith was hit from behind and fumbled.
Trailing by one, the Pirates made one last effort from their own 40-yard line. Out of time outs, Banks had a pass dropped and the clock expired after a final prayer throw.
Hatfield rushed for 92 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. DeVuntay Walker added 89 yards with 13 totes. Smith was six of eight passing for 90 yards.
Tray Walker led the Pirates with 116 yards on 17 carries.
PG tallied 335 total yards to 181 for Pittsburg.
The Hawks travel to New Boston next week.