Eligia Carter rushed for 283 yards, Tristan Holmes passed for 206 yards and the Gladewater Bears opened the season with a 61-30 win over former district rival Spring Hill on Friday at Panther Stadium.
The Bears overcame a big night from Spring Hill quarterback Gage White, who passed for 235 yards and a couple of touchdowns. Daryn Beck added 145 rushing yards for Spring Hill.
Gladewater led 13-7 after one quarter and 26-17 at halftime before outscoring the Panthers 21-7 in the third to take control.
Holmes connected with T.C. Minter for 35 yards and a touchdown with 7:14 to play in the opening quarter to give Gladewater the early lead.
The Panthers countered with a 29-yard scoring strike from White to Morgan Bradford and a tying PAT by Efran Barcenas a minute later, but the Bears got a 50-yard run by Ajani Harris just before the end of the quarter to lead 13-7.
White’s 40-yard TD pass to Kaden Rogers on the first play of the second quarter and a 41-yard field goal by Barcenas with 8:22 to play gave Spring Hill a brief 14-13 lead, but the Bears answered with 28 straight points.
The first TD for the Bears came on a 59-yard pass from Holmes to Minter, and four minutes later — with 45 seconds remaining in the half — Holmes hooked up with Carter on a 30-yard scoring strike.
Minter broke off a 75-yard TD run on the first play of the second half, and then Carter crashed in from 11 yards out to put the Bears in firm command.
Beck’s 38-yard TD run kept Spring Hill close, but the Bears used scoring runs of 59 and 47 yards by Carter and 6 yards by Holmes to put things away.
Spring Hill capped the scoring wit ha 1-yard TD run by Michael Marrs with just 13 second showing on the clock.
Spring Hill will visit Bullard, and Gladewater will host Atlanta on Friday.