The Granbury Pirates’ first home football game of the season was also the first game on the new synthetic turf on Johnny Perkins Field at Pirate Stadium.
And every Pirate got to play on it in a 42-0 rout of Fort Worth North Side Friday night.
For a second consecutive season, coach Scotty Pugh emptied the bench in the contest, just as he did last season in a 44-9 win in Fort Worth.
“We like it when everybody gets to experience the game,” said left tackle Mason Jones, “especially with this game being on the new turf.
“It feels a lot like getting a new house. I recently moved to Granbury, and it’s like being welcomed here again.”
Jones moved to Granbury from Kyle. Shawn “Big Country” Baker also recently moved to town, from Quinlan.
“Aw man, it’s really nice,” Baker, also a left tackle, said of the turf. “I’ve only been here two weeks, it’s so much nicer than from where I came from where we played on grass.
“There’s a whole other tempo from just practicing on it to playing.”
Middle linebacker Cody Rutz grew up watching the Pirates play on the old turf.
“It’s always nice to get a win in the first home game, and the new turf added to the excitement,” said Rutz.
“It just helps morale so much when everybody plays,” said Pugh, who has a 2-0 team for the first time since his arrival in 2008. “It was such a team effort.”
Mitchell May scored the first touchdown on the new turf when he caught a 26-yard pass from quarterback Ryan Suitt. It started a first-half onslaught as the Pirates scored on their first six possessions.
Kevin Hennard followed by returning a punt 61 yards for a score midway through the first quarter. Malik Allen scored on back-to-back possessions on runs of 2 and 21 yards, Thomas Weaver hauled in a 21-yard TD pass, and Peyton Gilmore scored on a 17-yard run.
Jacob Rose was a perfect 6-for-6 kicking extra points.
Hennard had another punt return of 41 yards for a touchdown that was called back because of a penalty. It’s the second time in as many games he’s had a TD return nullified by a penalty.
Hennard has returned six kicks for an average of 32 yards. He’s had 90 yards of returns wiped out.
Allen had 122 yards on just eight carries and Gilmore collected 111 on 11 carries. Suitt completed three of five passes for 62 yards. All three, along with all other starters, rested in the second half.
WRAPPED UP AT HALFTIME
The Pirates did not score in the second half, but they came close. They reached the Steers’ 13, 1 and 9.
“We weren’t worried about scoring,” said Pugh of the second half. “We wanted to get everybody in. When you make an effort to do that, it affects the rhythm as much as anything.
“We had a couple of nice plays we can look at. Several guys did some good things.
“The most important thing is for every kid to have a great high school experience. Mitchell May catches his first high school touchdown pass in the first game on the new turf, that’s a memory he’s going to have forever.
“These kids who show up every day and work hard deserve to play. They deserve to enjoy this experience.”
Defensively, the Pirates were equally as dominant, limiting the Steers to 68 yards – all rushing – on 39 carries. In a yeoman effort, Luis Dominguez of North Side gained 63 yards on 20 carries.
North Side (0-2, outscored 89-7 this season) crossed midfield once, late in the first half when they reached the Granbury 48. They were aided by a 15-yard penalty that also gave them their first of four first downs in the game.
The Granbury defense also forced three turnovers, an interception by Hennard and fumble recoveries by Brice Ables and Tristen Gilmore. In addition, they had 13 tackles for a loss.
“We needed to see some of those guys on film,” said defensive coordinator B.J. Carlton. “We don’t have game-time film on some who didn’t get in at Wichita Falls (a 27-13 Pirate win).
“Give credit to those first-string guys who gave them that chance.”
EXPLOSIVE LAKE RIDGE NEXT
The Pirates now turn their attention to Mansfield Lake Ridge for Friday’s 7:30 p.m. game at R.L. Anderson Stadium in Mansfield. The Eagles, 0-10 last season, made headlines Friday with a 77-75 triple-overtime win over Burleson Centennial for the first varsity win in Lake Ridge’s short two-year history.
The Pirates defeated the Eagles 35-7 last season in Granbury. However, Pugh warns that this is not the same Lake Ridge squad that suffered growing pains in its inaugural season.
“After you get past that first year the newness wears off,” he said. “This is a talented bunch. All we have to do to prove that to our guys is show them film of the other night against Centennial.
“The way Lake Ridge plays is what we’re going to see in district.”
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PIrates 42, Steers 0
North Side 0 0 0 0 – 0
Granbury 21 21 0 0 – 42
G – Mitchell May 26 pass from Ryan Suitt (Jacob Rose kick)
G – Kevin Hennard 61 punt return (Rose kick)
G – Malik Allen 2 run (Rose kick)
G – Allen 21 run (Rose kick)
G – Thomas Weaver 21 pass from Suitt (Rose kick)
G – Peyton Gilmore 17 run (Rose kick)
First downs 16 4
Rushes-yards 42-305 39-68
Passing yards 62 0
Passes 3-5-0 0-2-1
Punts-average 1-43 5-28.4
Fumbles-lost 2-0 2-2
Penalties-yards 5-45 4-30
Granbury – Malik Allen 8-122, Peyton Gilmore 11-111, Travis Donahue 4-25, Spencer Martin 3-21, Fabian Gamez 3-21, Rylan Hill 4-14, Brandon Johnson 1-7, Zach Cain 2-6, Eugene Geis 2-4, Dillon Graham 2-(-4), Alec Pollard 2-(-22).
North Side – Luis Dominguez 20-63, Daniel Borunda 10-17, Johnny Aviles 6-5, Shawn Aviles 1-4, Jacob Bazan 1-1, team 1-(-22).
Granbury – Ryan Suitt 3-5-0, 62 yards.
North Side – J. Aviles 0-2-1.
Granbury – Thomas Weaver 2-36, Mitchell May 1-26.
Granbury tackle leaders – Landon Lambert 10 (2 for loss), Dakota Doucet 7 (2 for loss), Cody Odom 9.
Granbury sacks – Doucet, Lambert.
Granbury interception – Kevin Hennard.
Granbury fumble recoveries – Brice Ables, Tristen Gilmore.
Granbury forced fumbles – Ables, Terry Barrington.
Granbury 3-8, North Side 0-11.
Granbury 0-4, North Side 0-3.