ROYSE CITY, Texas – Pleasant Grove probably has bad memories of Cuero’s Jordan Whittington. Forget Whittington, the Hawks now can’t forget Caddo Mills quarterback Tyler Townley.
Townley passed for two touchdowns, and ran for two touchdowns Friday afternoon at RCISD Stadium to lead Caddo Mills (12-0) past defending 4A Division II state champion Pleasant Grove, 35-31. The Foxes advance to play Gilmer in the Region II-4A Division II championship game next week.
The Foxes’ star signal-caller scored on a 26-yard scramble with 20 seconds left in the game to spoil a late scoring drive by Pleasant Grove (9-4). Trailing 28-24, junior quarterback Jalen Woodside drove the Hawks down the field, throwing a 52-yard touchdown pass to Sam Bradshaw with 2:23 remaining. Enrique Rios converted the PAT to make it 31-28.
Caddo Mills scores early on PG turnover
Pleasant Grove got off to a bad start when the Foxes Angus Aldridge picked up a Hawk fumble and ran 30 yards for a touchdown 67 seconds into the game.
The Hawks did answer fast when Logan Johnson raced in from 23 yards for PG’s first points. Rios’ kick made it 7-7. Nick Martin scored with 56 seconds left in the opening period to give the Hawks their first lead. However, it disappeared just as fast when Townley passed to Jett Saldivar for a touchdown.
Pleasant Grove outscored the Foxes 10-0 in the second quarter. Hayden Koller scored on a 29-yard run, and Rios kicked a 26-yard field goal.
Townley and his teammates took over in the second half. Townley scored on a 3-yard run, and passed to Gavin Beane for a 25-yard TD in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter to put Caddo Mills on top. The Foxes’ hero accounted for 373 of the Foxes’ 419 yards. He completed 15 of 29 passes for 295 yards, while running for 78 yards on 17 carries.
Johnson, who did not play in the second half because of an injury, led the Hawks with 126 yards on 12 carries. Nick Martin and Jaylen Boardley both gained 62 yards on 12 carries. Koller had 47 yards on three totes. Woodside completed 3 of 7 passes for 75 yards.