[By Matt Stepp, Special to ETSN.fm]
PARIS - Pleasant Grove (14-0) rolled up 497 yards of offense on a cold Friday night in Paris as the Hawks rolled to their first state semi-final appearance in school history ending Melissa’s twelve game winning streak in in a dominant 55-14 win at Wildcat Stadium.
The Hawks scored on their first six drives of the game and racked up 363 yards of offense in jumping out to a 41-7 halftime advantage. TJ Cole did most of the damage with four first half touchdown runs, but the Pleasant Grove defense led by Texas Tech commit Xavier Benson proved to be the difference. The Hawks, after forcing a turnover on downs on Melissa’s opening drive, forced three straight Melissa three and out’s and that allowed them to race out to a 34-0 advantage and coach Josh Gibson’s squad never looked back.
Melissa (12-2) tried to make a comeback before the half, as sophomore quarterback Brenden Lewis scored from 14 yards out to cut the PGHS lead to 34-7 with little more than three minutes left in the half. However, Pleasant Grove showed Wing-T offensive teams can run the two minute drill as the Hawks effectively put the game away on TJ Cole’s eight yard scoring run making it 41-7.
Melissa finished the night with nearly 400 yards of offense on the night, but much of that came in the second half with the game well in hand for Pleasant Grove. QB Lewis, who on Monday earned a scholarship offer from SMU finished with 248 yards passing, but the Hawks defense only allowed those yards on 14 completions and 38 attempts.
Pleasant Grove had two rushers top the one hundred yard mark as Cole finished with 139 yards and four touchdowns and Chauncey Martin ran for 110 yards and two touchdowns.
The Hawks advance to the Class 4A Division II State Semi-Finals next Thursday night where they will take on fellow 14-0 squad Graham at the Ford Center in Frisco.