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Mount Pleasant defeats Sherman

Todd Hutchinson,
The Herald Democrat
Mount Pleasant's Willie McCrumby goes up for a catch over Sherman's Isaiah Jones in non-district action at Bearcat Stadium.

The Sherman Bearcats couldn’t overcome injuries and turnovers to stop a punishing Mount Pleasant ground game which rolled for 256 rushing yards on its way to a 24-7 win in non-district action at Bearcat Stadium.

Looking to bounce back from an opening loss, Sherman (0-2) couldn't get going offensively. The Mount Pleasant defense picked off sophomore Phoenix Grant, who was starting in the place of senior Tate Bethel, three times and forced a first-half fumble.

“We rode with a sophomore quarterback today and made big changes in the offensive line which led to an improvement from last week,” Bearcats head coach J.D. Martinez said. “It wasn’t clicking for (Grant) and I’m sure the game was very fast for him.”

The Bearcats defense was able to hold up for the most part after allowing a pair of first-half touchdowns against a unit which scored 49 points in its opening victory against Wylie East, one of Sherman's districtmates.

Mount Pleasant (2-0) went up 7-0 on a Jalen Williams three-yard run with 3:56 to go in the first quarter.

The the Tigers (2-0) marched 54 yards in 12 plays, scoring on Ed Wilder’s nine-yard touchdown run following an interception from Ken’Travion Evans’ at the Tigers 46 yard line, giving Mt. Pleasant a 14-0 lead less than three minutes into the second quarter.

On Sherman’s next possession, Grant found Zavery Miller for 17 yards on a third-and-17 to keep the drive alive. Three plays later, Grant connected with Elijah Chapman in stride in the end zone for a 23-yard touchdown in the middle of the second quarter to cut the Bearcats' deficit in half.

Martinez said afterward that Miller stepped up and played well. The sophomore receiver finished with two catches for 19 yards.

Josh Gongora kicked a 25-yard field goal in the final minute of the first half to make it a 17-7 advantage for Mount Pleasant.

The Tigers were led by Wilder, who rushed 26 times for 191 yards and two touchdowns, including a 35-yard third quarter touchdown which was the only scoring in the second half for either team.

“Mount Pleasant was big, strong and physical, and they eat up a lot of clock,” Martinez said. “They believe in that three yards and a cloud of dust.”

The Tigers rushed 61 times, pounding out 256 yards — most of that coming in the first half.

For its part, Sherman began to overcome its youth — Martinez said the Bearcats played 13 sophomores against Mount Pleasant and will probably see most of those same faces on the field this week when they host Saginaw — and kept the game close.

“Brandon Bonilla had a great second half (defensively),” Martinez said. “Offensively, we just struggled.”

While injuries slowed wide receiver Sean Husband, who had a catch for nine yards, and kept Bethel on the bench, Martinez said he expected Bethel would play against Saginaw.

Chapman led the Bearcats receiving corps with three catches for 32 yards. Grant threw for 96 yards on 10-of 24-passing.

Andrew Nehrbass led the Bearcats with 47 yards rushing on 10 carries.

Non-district

Mount Pleasant;24

Sherman;7