Charleston Hammers Glen Rose, 42-19, For 3A State Championship

By Grant Tolley Times Record

LITTLE ROCK — Charleston put the finishing touches on a stellar season with a 42-19 thrashing of Glen Rose in the 3A State Championship Game on Saturday at War Memorial Stadium.

The Tigers began the season ranked No. 1 and went wire-to-wire, beating second-ranked and defending champ Harding Academy in the quarterfinals and the No. 3 Beavers in the championship game.

Charleston (15-0) led 21-0 after the first quarter and 28-0 early in the second quarter. While it took a little while longer for Charleston to get a 35-point lead in the second half to invoke the Arkansas Activities Association mercy rule, the Tigers finally went up 42-7 with 9:55 in the third.

Glen Rose (12-2) added two touchdowns after that to make the final score look closer than the game was on the field.

"Our game plan was to come out and play aggressively," Charleston coach Greg Kendrick said. "We came out and established that right away and our defense shut them down and gave us a chance to grab the lead."

Charleston junior quarterback Ty Storey was 18-of-31 for 378 yards and six touchdowns with two interceptions. Storey was a unanimous selection as Most Valuable Player for the game. He threw an interception on the Tigers’ first offensive play, but settled down after that.

Storey hit Taylor King with a 14-yard TD that put Charleston up 7-0 and Austin Pittman took a short screen pass and turned it into a 55-yard touchdown for a 14-0 lead. King later hauled in a 13-yard TD pass to make it 21-0 and Pittman caught a 16-yard pass for a touchdown that put the Tigers firmly in control, 28-0, early in the second quarter.

Storey unleashed a 70-yard TD bomb to Colton Ward that put the Tigers ahead 35-0 with 6:57 before the first half.

"I came out a little anxious and I wanted to make something happen," Storey said of the early interception. "I just underthrew it. But my job is to come back and just keep slinging it and trust my teammates to make plays."

While Glen Rose was able to score a touchdown shortly before the half to cut it to 35-7, the Beavers only held off the mercy rule until 9:55 remained in the third quarter when King caught his third touchdown. King had seven catches for 71 yards. Pittman had six catches for 128 yards and two touchdowns.

Chance Shelby had three catches for 93 yards.

"It feels good to get this pressure off our back," Shelby said. "We have had the target on us week to week all year. We took it as a challenge; it’s an awesome feeling to finally be able to celebrate a state championship."

Shelby was a starter as a sophomore on the 2011 title team and became the first Tiger to win two state championship rings as a starter. His older brothers were both MVPs of state title games.

"The last state championship was special because I got to play with my brother," Shelby said. "But this one is even more special because I am a senior and these guys are all my brothers."

Storey, along with a number of other starters will be back for a chance to repeat in 2014.

"It feels great to keep the tradition going that the guys before us have established," Storey said. "We are a real close community and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world."

The game was turned ugly toward the end with several personal fouls and unsportsmanlike penalties. Eventually, a Glen Rose player was ejected after shoving an official.