First-half hole too big for Byrd to overcome on road


TEXARKANA, Texas – The shoe was on the other foot Friday night.

Last season, Byrd kicked off the campaign with a convincing victory over Texas power Pleasant Grove. This time, PG turned the tables on the visiting Yellow Jackets, opening a four-touchdown halftime lead and cruising home 27-10.

Pleasant Grove (2-0) kept the visitors off balance with a strong running game (223 yards on 33 carries, a nice 6.8 average per carry) and threw for 169 yards on 17 of 25 aim. PG also had a 64-yard kickoff return and took advantage of three Byrd turnovers.

The Hawks cashed in a short field to go up on a 2-yard TD by quarterback Ahkhari Johnson less than four minutes into play, then doubled the lead late in the period on Johnson’s 21-yard pass to Jackson Gibson to finish a seven-play, 80-yard drive.

Pleasant Grove took control in the middle of the second quarter with a 96-yard scoring drive, taking 10 plays and 3:48 off the clock. Johnson flipped a 13-yard TD to Nick Bells for a 21-0 advantage.

The Hawks blew it open with a late 62-yard movement on five snaps, getting a 2-yard TD from Krystian Wrightner 1:45 before halftime.

The Yellow Jackets (0-1) got on the board with 38 seconds left in the third period on a Dixon Poirier 1-yard run. Abram Murray drilled a 45-yard field goal with 1:45 remaining to play, complementing his 43-yard punting average on four boots.

Byrd was hit with 93 penalty yards on nine infractions.

Quinton Hilliard recorded a 109-yard rushing night on just six carries, including a 56-yarder, for the Jackets.

Sam Greer collected 11 tackles and Ashton Fullwood nine to lead the Byrd defense.