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Buckeyes outscore Daingerfield, 62-42, in offensive shootout

Just moments after winning his first game ever at Daingerfield, Gilmer Buckeyes’ head coach Jeff Traylor didn’t feel like celebrating. “We did just enough to win; that’s all we did,” lamented Traylor following Gilmer’s 62-42 victory over the winless Tigers.
“That’s just where our program has gotten to; where you win by 20, and the coaches aren’t excited, the players aren’t excited and the fans aren’t excited. That’s where we’ve come in the last seven seasons,” continued Traylor, who improved his record to 64-13 as the Buckeyes’ boss. “That’s what makes us better though; we get somebody’s best effort every week, which makes us so much better because we have to play their best every week.”
Daingerfield certainly played their best football of the season. After averaging only 17.5 points and 229.5 yards total offense in their first two games; the Tigers scorched the Buckeyes’ defense for 42 points and 546 total yards in the losing effort. “We’ve got to address some things on defense obviously,” stated Traylor. “I would say worried would be a good way to describe it. We’ve got to look at it and we’ve got to make some tough decisions in the next two weeks.”
The Buckeyes have two weeks to address their defensive problems thanks to an open date in their schedule this week, before they host Center on Friday, Sept. 29, at Buckeye Stadium. “We’ll get it fixed,” promised Traylor. “We’ve got to move some kids around on defense. Our job as coaches is to get players in position to make plays, and teach them how to make plays, and right now we’re not getting that done, so we’ve got to get that fixed.”
While Traylor offered no excuses for his defense’s performance against the Tigers, fatigue certainly played a factor. Daingerfield controlled the clock for almost 36 of the 48 minutes, running 78 offensive plays to the Buckeyes’ 43. Combine that with the fact that the Tigers gained 61 more yards than the Buckeyes, and it’s hard to believe that Gilmer won the ball game by 20 points. But that’s what happened, thanks to a prolific Gilmer offense that had four touchdown drives that lasted less than one minute.
The first of those drives tied the score at 7-7, when Curtis Brown took a handoff from the 4-yard line and went untouched, around the left side, into the end zone for the first of his four touchdowns of the game. That drive covered 59 yards in only three plays and lasted all of 45 seconds. Matt Burgin kicked the first of his seven PATs of the game.
Gilmer’s second touchdown drive lasted a little longer, as the Buckeyes covered 54 yards in five plays and 2:04 on the clock, finishing with a beautiful pass-and-catch from G.J. Kinne to Lamar Harris from 14 yards out, giving Gilmer a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Daingerfield would tie the score less than 3 minutes later when Johnie Hurndon ran the ball in from 5 yards out, completing an 8-play, 80-yard drive.
62 seconds later, Kinne would score the first of his three straight rushing touchdowns, following his offensive line, untouched up the middle, from a yard out. That drive covered 56 yards in only four plays. The Buckeyes would never trail after taking the 21-14 lead.
Following a Tiger fumble recovered by the Buckeyes’ Jud Murry at Gilmer’s 43-yard line, the Buckeyes went on their longest drive of the night, covering the 57 yards in six plays and a snail’s pace of 2:14 on the clock before Kinne scored from nine yards out on a nifty run with 5:35 remaining in the first half.
The Buckeyes defense came up big again on Daingerfield’s next possession, when Arsenial Richardson dropped Tiger quarterback Matt Whorton for a 9-yard loss on 4th-and-1 from Gilmer’s 23-yard line, giving the Buckeyes’ the football at the 32.
After big passes to Harris and Brown, Kinne stayed on the ground the final yard, crossing the goalline untouched behind the escort of his offensive line. That drive took four plays to go 68 yards in only 52 seconds, giving the Buckeyes a comfortable 35-14 lead at halftime.
After Gilmer recovered a Tiger fumble on the opening kick-off of the second half, it looked like the rout was on. But the Tiger defense managed to stop the Buckeyes’ offense for the first time in the game; as Kinne was sacked for a 7-yard loss on the first play, and then threw two incomplete passes, forcing Gilmer’s first punt in four games, dating back to the Buckeyes’ last meeting with Daingerfield in the second round of last year’s playoffs.
The Tigers took over at their own 20, and proceeded on an 8-play, 80 yard drive, consuming 3:13 on the clock, before Hurndon scored from five yards out, closing the score to 35-21.
That’s when Gilmer answered the question, “What can Brown do for you?” as Curtis Brown scored the next three Buckeyes’ touchdowns on a 25-yard catch, an 82-yard kick-off return and a 43-yard catch. Those touchdowns came on scoring drives of 33 seconds, 16 seconds and 1:38, and gave Gilmer a 55-28 lead with 7:56 to play in the game.
Daingerfield responded less than 2 minutes later when Whorton scored the second of his three rushing touchdowns on a 1-yard scamper.
Gilmer would finish their touchdown barrage with a final scoring drive covering 48 yards in three plays, when Kinne hit Harris for a 43-yard strike with 4:01 left in the game.
The Tigers wrapped up the scoring on Whorton’s 34-yard touchdown run, and 2-point conversion with only 1:40 to play.
That left Gilmer’s coaches and players shaking their heads over the 104 total points scored. “I guess they were real riled up to play us, because they put on a show,” said the Buckeyes’ Brown, who put on quite a show himself, totaling four touchdowns and 328 total yards on only 13 touches. “Curtis played just amazing again,” said Traylor. “We’re just becoming used to that. He was sick all last week, but he showed up every day. What a leader he has become.”
Traylor also complimented the Tigers for their effort. “Daingerfield was really up for the game. They’re the Daingerfield Tigers; they’ve got a lot of pride in their program. You’ve got to give Daingerfield a lot of credit. I thought their kids played well,” Traylor said, specifically referring to Whorton’s performance that included 278 yards passing and 160 yards rushing for the Tigers’ senior quarterback.
Traylor’s own senior quarterback, Kinne, was equally impressive, throwing for 384 yards and four touchdowns, and rushing for another 31 yards and three touchdowns. “G.J. Kinne had his best game,” said Traylor. “He really played the position of quarterback well. You can tell he’s starting to understand what’s going on.”
Gilmer needed big games from Kinne and Brown, due to junior running back Justin Johnson’s absence. Johnson, who had 6 touchdowns in the Buckeyes’ first 2 games, suited up, but didn’t play. “He could have played,” said Traylor. “He’s just been bruised up, and I just decided to hold him out. We’ve got an open week, so we’ll try to get him well.”
Johnson was replaced in the backfield by sophomore Josh Thompson, who earned Traylor’s praise. “Josh Thompson stepped in and played every snap. His pass protection was wonderful; he picked up a lot of good blitzes. He only carried the ball five times, but he picked up 35 yards, so that’s seven yards a carry. I was very proud of him.”
Traylor is confident that his defense will improve. Couple that with an offense that is averaging 497 yards and 54 points per game, and you can understand why he is ready to get this off-week behind him. “If you would have told me before the season that we would be 3-0; beating Las Vegas, Tatum and Daingerfield all by 20 points or more, I would have said you were crazy. I remember saying that we could go 8-3 and it be a good year; well now it’s looking like we could be better than that.”

Offense: Prentice Bell
Defense: Kirby Spencer

Gilmer Daingerfield
17 First downs 33
16-104 Rushes-yds 50-268
21-27-0 Passing 19-28-0
384 Passing-yds 278
488 Total yds 546
4-35 Penalties-yds 9-60
2 Fumbles lost 2
1-23 Punts-avg 2-25
1 2 3 4 T
Gilmer 14 21 13 14 62
D’field 7 7 14 14 42

Gilmer Mirror Photos / Mary Laschinger Kirby
THOSE BUCKEYES PICTURED in ascending order include Lamar Harris, Curtis Brown, G.J. Kinne, G.J. Kinne again and finally Jamell Kennedy.


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With only 16 teams left in the Class 3A Division I playoffs, the Gilmer Buckeyes are just one of many teams with impressive résumés.

“They’re all good this time of the year,” stated Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor, who has led his alma mater to a 108-17 record and one state championship in his 10 years at the helm of the Buckeyes.

Take La Vega, the Buckeyes’ opponent Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Mesquite. The Pirates have gone at least three rounds deep in the playoffs every year since 2006, sporting an impressive 10-3 playoff record in that span.

“We do have some experience and tradition,” admitted La Vega head coach Willie Williams, who has a 135-84-2 record in his 20th season as Pirates’ head coach.

Like Traylor, Williams is coaching in his hometown. “This is the only place I’ve known. I graduated from here and I’ve coached here for 27 years. I’ve never coache…