Steers have put up lots of big numbers

Ron Howell
Sports Editor

For the first time this year Sweetwater is an underdog to win on Friday when it faces a Graham unit that is 12-0 this season, including two big playoff wins over Hillsboro (59-7) and Monahans (56-14).
It won’t be easy matching points with the Steers, who have outscored their foes by an aggregate 634-204 and haven’t won by less than 28 points since late September — when they knocked off Stephenville 30-14.
Graham led 14-0 against Monahans this past week before its offense even took the field, on an 80-yard kick return by Callen Mills to begin the game and 73-yard punt return by Wes Martin that came less than three minutes later. The Steers’ win avenged a 42-21 loss to Monahans a year earlier.
Sweetwater head coach Ben McGehee said his team must get pressure from its defensive front four on quarterback Tucker Horn (183-of-294 passing for 3,218 yards and 44 TDs with just five interceptions). McGehee also said Graham is much more of a passing team than a running one unless it gets a big lead, when the Steers turn to their run game as they did vs. Monahans, when they had 37 runs to 17 passes.
Horn was 11-of-16 passing for 179 yards and five TDs in three quarters — one each to Mills, Cameron Parker and Jake Lanham and two to Adam Groves.
Chase Gilmore, Graham’s leading rusher, was used sparingly due to injury vs. Monahans. So freshman Daniel Gilbertson took over the primary running duties for the Steers and finished with 149 yards on 14 carries. For the season, Gilmore has run the ball 193 times for 1,628 yards and 24 TDs.
Horn’s favorite passing target has been Parker, who has caught 54 balls for 937 yards and 17 TDs. Not far behind in the receiving department is Mills (42 catches for 665 yards and 5 TDs), while Groves has 21 receptions for 474 yards and nine TDs.
“We’ve got to play well and execute well,” McGehee said. “They are a high powered offense and so are we.
“This is going to be a track meet and a shootout.”