FRISCO, Texas — Pleasant Grove spoiled Sunnyvale's unbeaten football season.
The Hawks took a commanding 3-score lead in the first quarter, found the end zone twice on defense and eliminated the Raiders, 49-28, in a Region II-4A, Division II semifinal Friday in the Ford Center at the Star.
Pleasant Grove (12-1) advances to play district foe Gilmer (10-3) in the regional championship/state quarterfinal game next week. That game has been set for 7 p.m. Friday at Lobo Stadium in Longview.
Sunnyvale, which outgained PG 222-113 in second-half yardage, ends its season with a 12-1 record.
"Our kids did fight, really hard; their kids fought really hard," Hawks head coach Josh Gibson said. "It was a slobber-knocker in the alley.
"We knew it was going to be a tough game, at this point there are only eight teams left in the whole state, and we feel blessed to be one of them."
The Hawks rolled up 325 yards of total offense, compared to 352 by the Raiders.
Bruce Garrett rushed 14 times for 101 yards, K.J. Hicks had a pair of rushing TDs, and Ben Harmon threw for two scores and added a third on the ground.
Landon Jackson brought back a long fumble recovery for Pleasant Grove, and Quinn Bingham added a long pick-6.
Tripp Mcada marched the Raiders down the field and ran 6 yards for a touchdown to start the second half. Mcada threw for 209 yards — 161 to his younger brother, Max Mcada, on 13 receptions.
Tripp also had two rushing TDs, as did Devin Sterling for the Raiders.
It took just 54 seconds for the Hawks to respond, Hicks running for his second TD of the game after Garrett broke free for a 52-yard jaunt on his first carry of the second half.
The Hawks fumbled the ball away on their next drive, and Max Mcada recovered at the 17, returning it to the Hawk 3-yard line.
Sterling punched in the ball from the 1 on third down.
Sunnyvale forced a 3-and-out, but Bingham intercepted a pass and returned it 59 yards for a Pleasant Grove score with 25 seconds left in the third quarter.
After Sunnyvale turned the ball over on downs at its own 25, Marcus Burris caught an 18-yard TD from Harmon.
"In the second half, we didn't help our defense out like we needed," Gibson said. "We got off the field and didn't sustain drives. So our defense was out there longer; we still played good football."
Pleasant Grove's defense had the Raider offense's number in the first half, limiting Sunnyvale to 130 yards of total offense with 75 of that coming on one drive.
The Hawks, who rolled up 212 yards of offense before intermission, scored on their first three possessions.
Sergio Rodriguez hauled in a 30-yard strike from Ben Harmon and broke a tackle to dart down the sideline just 2:14 into the game.
PG's defense forced a 3-and-out, and the ensuing punt went out of bounds at the Raider 32-yard line. On the third play, Hicks covered 27 yards as he knifed his way through the Sunnyvale defense with 8:06 left in the first quarter.
Anthony Mejia's PAT made it 14-0.
Sunnyvale again went three-and-out on its third drive, and Harmon hit passes to Garrett (25 yards) and Logan Johnson (23) before the senior QB bulled in from the 1 with 3:17 left in the first.
Sterling capped the Raiders' scoring drive with a 4-yard run on a wildcat formation with 38 ticks left in the quarter.
The Hawks fumbled the ball on their next possession but the defense forced another 3-and-out, and Sunnyvale's quarterback was strip-sacked by Burris.
Jackson scooped up the fumble and returned it 63 yards untouched for another Hawk score.
The ensuing kickoff was fumbled after a reverse handoff, and Riley Durmon set up Pleasant Grove at the Raider 8 with his recovery. The Hawks were denied, and a turnover on downs gave Sunnyvale the ball at its own 1.
The Hawks got the ball back with 27 seconds left, and on the final play of the half, a 46-yard field goal attempt was wide right.