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story.lead_photo.caption Pleasant Grove's R.J. Collins leaps toward the goal line Friday night against Pittsburg. The Hawks won their district opener, 48-9. (Photo by Kevin Sutton)

PITTSBURG, Texas — Pleasant Grove racked up 323 yards of rushing as it held Pittsburg to 24 rushing yards in a 48-9 win in a District 8-4A, D-II football game on Friday at Pirate Stadium.

Despite the 39-point victory, Hawks head coach Josh Gibson saw a lot of room for growth.

"We are not growing as much as we need to right now," Gibson said. "We can't look at a scoreboard and feel good about that. We have some growth areas that we need to hit. We'll get there. The kids will have the right mind sets and attitudes to take some steps.

"We were just sloppy. I don't think we had as many mistakes last season combined as we did tonight. We won the game even though we were sloppy, but it can haunt us down the road."

Logan Johnson was the game's leading rusher with 73 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown.

Nick Martin and Imahd Hicks each had two rushing touchdowns. Martin finished with 61 yards on nine totes, while Hicks had 49 yards on eight carries.

Pleasant Grove's BJ Rayfield had a solid game in making his first start. Rayfield made many tackles and showed his great closing speed.

"BJ is a Full Tilt guy," Gibson said. "He is also a Heart and Soul guy. BJ always gives everything he has and was around the football all night.

"He plays hard and is a special kid. BJ is a big-effort guy."

Pleasant Grove went into the locker room with a 40-7 lead.

Hicks found the end zone from 6 yards out to give the Hawks a 27-7 lead with 11:19 to go in the second.

Reese Elrod had a pick-6 that went for 25 yards, and Pleasant Grove padded its lead, 33-7.

"We are happy when we play at our potential, but we didn't tonight," Gibson said. "I was pleased with the effort of some of our kids."

Landon Jackson made the play of the game when he forced a fumble, scooped it up and ran 58 yards for a TD for the Hawks to make it 40-7 at halftime.

Martin had two rushing touchdowns in the first quarter of runs of 29 and 3 yards for PG. Johnson hit a boost of speed and found the far left side of the end zone for the second Hawk touchdown of the opening quarter.

Pittsburg's Christian Bates pounced on a loose ball for a TD after Pleasant Grove's punt snap went high.

Neither team scored in the third quarter. Pleasant Grove pinned Pittsburg back at its own 1-yard line in the fourth quarter. The Pirate quarterback stepped out of the back of the end zone for a Hawk safety.

Up 42-7, Hicks got his second score of the game on a 9-yard run. The score padded the PG lead to 48-7.

On the ensuing PAT kick attempt, the snap was bad. The Hawk holder tried to roll out, but fumbled the ball. The Pirates scooped it up and returned it 95 yards for a 2-point score.

Pleasant Grove outgained Pittsburg on offense, 346-108.

The Hawks return home next Friday to face district opponent North Lamar.

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