PG vs Graham-State Semi-Final at “The Star” in Frisco Thursday Night
The Pleasant Grove Hawks trimmed the Melissa Cardinals wings last Friday night in Paris to advance to the State Semis this Thursday night against Graham.
Before we look at the first ever state semi-final for the Hawks, let's first look back at how they dismantled Melissa last week.
It was a good ole fashioned beat-down 55-14 as the Hawks did most everything right all night long. PG Head Coach Josh Gibson was very pleased,"We played our best game of the year on offense and defense and it showed Friday night. Melissa is an extremely talented team. Our kids played extremely hard and they were focused."
The Hawk offense scored at will during the first half of play, building and insurmountable lead of 41-7 at half. Gibson says the offensive line was extremely physical and the running backs did a great job of rushing and blocking.
Gibson also had high praise for the passing game as well,"Ben, Carson, and Xavier were special in the passing game. This was our best offensive performance.
It was also another terrific night for the defensive unit, which for the second week in a row held a high octane offense to just 14 total points. Gibson said again he believed this was the units best game of the season to date. "Coach Easterly and the defensive staff had a great game plan and it showed. Our kids put a lot of pressure on the Melissa QB and our secondary did a great job of covering down field."
Now on to the State Semi-Final game against the Graham Steers. Both teams come in undefeated on the season and the Steers have yet another potent offensive attack, having scored 69 points in the Region Finals victory over Bushland last week.
Graham won the 7 on 7 tournament back in the Summer, and have remained red hot in the passing game all season, according to Gibson, who says, "They are talented, confident, and disciplined. Coach says their Quarterback will be the best we will see this year. They run the out of the spread but will run the ball as well.
On defense, Gibson says they are disciplined and their kids are always in the "right" spot."It's hard to get big plays on them. Their front seven is big and physical and their secondary plays fast to the ball."
I asked the coach what it will take for the Hawks to get that 15th victory of the season and advance to the team's first ever State Championship game next week. He says, "We just have to play our brand of football. our teams are similar in a lot of ways. We can't have miscues on offense or give up big plays on defense. If we control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, we will probably be in good shape. Our theme this week will be PHYSICAL & SOUND, with YOUR HEART & SOUL."
It's back to what is becoming a familiar venue for the Hawks, playing at "The Star" in Frisco. This is the second time in this year's playoffs and the third time since last year that PG has played in this fantastic facility. Obviously, being an indoor facility, weather will not be a factor in determining the game.
Coach Gibson is hoping for a huge turnout of Hawk fans, He says that Graham travels extremely well and that, "We need to match them fan for fan."
I asked Coach if there was anything else he would like to add, he says, "God has given us a special journey this year and we are blessed and thankful for all of the experiences we've shared together. I'm proud of our kids-who they are, how much they grow and the relational component of this team. We hope to continue to make our district and community proud. These boys have made me extremely proud...they are the best."
We say well said coach, but we also think that Coach Gibson and all his assistants are the best and that they also make the district and the community proud.
We saw other people, from other schools in Texarkana and other schools in the Hawks district at the game Friday night in Paris. Here's hoping that will be the case again on Thursday night at "The Star" in Frisco.
This team is something special to watch and if you make the trip, you will be glad you did. Hawk Nation needs to be strong in number and louder than their counterparts from Graham.
This football team and football family is just two victories away from that ultimate goal and ultimate dream of an undefeated season and State Championship. It likely, won't be easy, since their opponents are unbeaten as well. But these Hawks believe in each other and themselves, and I know Hawk Nation believes in them too.
When you make it to the State Semi-Final in Texas, it's a HUGE DEAL, and with that in mind the PG school district is dismissing classes early on Thursday to give parents and their students plenty of time to make the trip to see their beloved Hawks in person.
Make sure you are in Frisco for the Thursday night 7PM kickoff and let's extend this season one more week. Btw, the Hawks are once again the home team and you are encouraged to wear the home colors to black-out "The Star." .