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Buckeyes roll over Center, 64-6

By JOE DODD
Sometimes a mismatch on paper does translate into a mismatch on the field. Such was the case Friday night at Buckeye Stadium as the Gilmer Buckeyes dominated the Center Roughriders 64-6, behind a team record-tying seven touchdown passes by Buckeyes’ quarterback G.J. Kinne.
The Roughriders entered the game on a 3-game, scoreless losing streak, while the Buckeyes brought an undefeated record, and the state’s top scoring offense into the contest. “Gilmer’s a great football team and they showed it tonight,” said Center head coach Ron Callahan.
Center didn’t do much to slow the Buckeyes’ scoring machine, allowing Gilmer to start every possession, but one, inside Roughriders’ territory. That trend started on the opening kickoff when Gilmer’s Jamell Kennedy caught the football at his own 18-yard line and raced 68 yards down to Center’s 14-yard line. Two plays later, Kinne hit Curtis Brown on the first of three straight touchdown passes to put the Buckeyes on the scoreboard with only 58 seconds off the game clock. Matt Burgin kicked the first of his eight PATs on the night.
Three plays later, Gilmer’s Jeremy Reeves recovered a Roughrider fumble at Center’s 39-yard line. It took the Buckeyes exactly one minute and five plays for Kinne to connect with Brown on touchdown number two. Jules Johnson would run the ball in for the 2-point conversion, giving Gilmer a 15-0 lead with 9:04 remaining in the first quarter.
Gilmer’s next possession started from Center’s 42-yard line after the Buckeyes’ revamped defense forced the Roughriders to punt from their own 26-yard line. That punt went only 16 yards, but Gilmer quickly repaid the favor with only their second punt of the season, giving Center the ball back at their own 20-yard line.
Following another Roughriders’ 3-and-out, and yet another bad punt (10 yards), the Buckeyes took possession at Center’s 31-yard line. Three plays later, Kinne hooked up with Brown from 29 yards out, making the score 22-0 with 1:32 still to go in the first quarter.
Center’s next possession ended with another 3-and-out drive and a punt, this one returned by Brown to the Roughriders’ 33-yard line. Six plays later, Kinne lofted a beautiful pass to Lamar Harris, who made a nice catch in the back of the end zone for a 29-0 lead with 8:05 to play in the half.
Another 3-and-out possession by the Roughriders, brought out the Center punter again, but this time Gilmer’s Wes Wynne broke through the line and blocked the punt. Jules Johnson picked up the football and returned it to the 2-yard line before being tackled. Two plays later, Justin Johnson took it in from five yards out, giving the Buckeyes a 36-0 lead with 6:22 left in the half.
Center started their next possession from their 32-yard line and proceeded to eat over six minutes off the clock before the Roughriders’ drive stalled at the Gilmer 39-yard line after two consecutive sacks by the Buckeyes’ defense forced Center to turn the ball over on downs. With only 17 seconds on the clock, Gilmer took possession of the football on their side of the field for the only time in the game. The long field didn’t faze the Buckeyes as Kinne hit Kennedy on a quick pass, and the former quarterback dazzled the Buckeyes’ crowd with a spectacular 68-yard touchdown run as time ran out, giving Gilmer a 43-0 lead at halftime.
The Roughriders finally got on the scoreboard on their first possession of the second half. Center quarterback Matt Diverdi found Bodrick Hubbard behind the Buckeyes’ secondary twice for big gains; the first time for 22-yards and the second time for a 51-yard touchdown. Dunterious Goodman blocked the Roughriders’ extra-point attempt, but Center still had their first points in the last 4 games.
“I wish they wouldn’t have scored,” said Buckeyes’ head coach Jeff Traylor. “We were hoping for a shutout. The one time we didn’t line up right in the secondary, they got us.” Center also got the football on the ensuing onside kickoff, bringing a cheer to the small contingent of Roughriders’ fans that made the drive from Center. The celebration didn’t last long, as Gilmer’s Zach Jones intercepted a Diverdi pass just two plays later.
Jones’ returned the interception 68 yards for an apparent touchdown, but the officials ruled that the Buckeyes were guilty of an illegal block in the back on the return, so the penalty gave Gilmer the football at the 50-yard line. The Buckeyes took their time on this scoring drive, covering the 50 yards in 3:41 on the clock; scoring on a 1-yard pass from Kinne to Brennan Thompson to push the Buckeyes’ advantage to 50-6 with 4:32 to play in the third quarter.
Center’s offense returned to their first half form, going 3-and-out on their next possession, punting to the Buckeyes from their 23-yard line. Thanks to a personal foul by the Roughriders on the punt return, Gilmer took possession of the ball at the Center 30-yard line. Four plays later, Kinne completed his seventh touchdown pass of the game, hitting Jake Ashley from two yards out, tying the senior quarterback with current Oklahoma Sooner Manuel Johnson who was in attendance.
“He was back in town tonight, so I had to show him something,” said Kinne, who will join Johnson in the Big 12 next year, as the senior quarterback has committed to play at Baylor next season.
Center’s woes continued on their next possession, as the Roughriders fumbled on their third play and the Buckeyes’ Goodman recovered at the Center 29-yard line. Seven plays later, Braylon Hawley scored on a 3-yard run to finish the scoring with 4:04 to play.
Traylor was pleased with his team’s overall performance that extended their home winning streak to 17 games. “We showed up and played well,” Traylor said. “We’re very honest with our kids, and we told our kids that Center was not that good. We played well because their coaches did a really good job of getting the kids to understand that we were concentrating on us; and the kids responded by working hard on themselves.”
Perhaps the hardest work for the Buckeyes came on the defensive side of the ball, as Gilmer shuffled players and positions in an attempt to be faster and more athletic. It seemed to work, as the Black Flag Defense held the Roughriders to only 106 total yards. “I think we did alright, but we have a long ways to go before we are where we need to be,” said Buckeyes’ senior linebacker Arsenial Richardson, who led the defense with nine tackles, three assists, and one sack.
Traylor echoed Richardson ’s assessment of the defense. “We didn’t do a lot of things technically correct, but we ran to the ball and we hit,” Traylor continued. “I was just glad to see us excited and hitting people.”
“We were just a lot more athletic,” said Traylor about the defensive changes, pointing to 3 specific moves. “Dunterious Goodman, who moved from safety to outside linebacker, had 5 tackles, 2 assists, 3 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, and he blocked a kick. Jules Johnson, who moved to outside linebacker from safety, recovered a fumble, had 5 tackles and 2 assists. And Wes Wynne, who was playing outside linebacker, tackle and nose guard; blocked a punt, and had a real good ball game as well.”
Despite 64 points from his offense, Traylor was not overly pleased with their play. “We really didn’t play very well offensively. We had some busted plays, we had some routes not ran correctly, we lined up in the wrong formation on a play or two; we were not real sharp,” stated Traylor, who credited the scoring barrage to his teams average starting position at the Roughriders’ 34-yard line.
“You’ve got to look at how many turnovers Center had; and our defense kept giving us the ball in great situations; and our special teams kept giving us the ball in great situations; so offensively we still have a ways to go,” Traylor said. “We’re not anywhere near where we can be. We are playing good enough, and we are scoring a lot of points, but we can get a lot better offensively.”
Traylor did praise his quarterback for spreading the ball around. “I was excited because so many different kids scored touchdowns,” Traylor said, adding one other offensive player to his praiseworthy list. “Garrett Adkins had his best game on the offensive line. He’s really come on, and we’re excited about Garrett.”
The Buckeyes’ extra-point team also received recognition from the head coach. “Matt Burgin kicked the ball tremendously well. The deep-snappers, Justin Fielden and David Smith, were good,” said Traylor. “I’m just really pleased with our kicking right now.”
Despite Traylor’s assessment of the Buckeyes need for improvement, Center’s Callahan said that Gilmer looked very good from his perspective. “I don’t see anybody that has the overall skill and overall execution that Gilmer has,” adding, “It’s a tough place to come play when you’re a visitor.”
STATISTICS
Center Gilmer
7 First downs 15
35-13 Rushes-yds 25-155
5-13-1 Passing 18-25-0
93 Passing-yds 256
106 Total yds 411
5-43 Penalties-yds 6-52
2 Fumbles lost 1
29:06 Time of possession 18:54
5-17.6 Punts-avg 1-38
SCORE BY QUARTERS
1 2 3 4 T
Center 0 0 6 0 6
Gilmer 22 21 7 14 64

Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
GILMER’S CURTIS BROWN runs through a Roughrider tackle as he returns a punt to set up the fourth touchdown drive in last Friday night’s game against Center at Buckeye Stadium. Brown was on the receivng end of G. J. Kinne’s first three touchdown passes as Gilmer defeated Center, 64-6.

Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
BUCKEYE JUSTIN “Bus” Johnson follows the blocks of Cody Lee (72), Chip Elms (54) and Daniel Jenkins (71) as he heads for the end zone against the Roughnecks Friday. Gilmer defeated Center, 64-6.

Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
BRENNAN THOMPSON scores here last Friday night for the Buckeyes from one yard out after hauling in one of G.J. Kinne’s seven TD passes on the night. The Buckeyes blasted the Center Roughriders,

Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
BREAKING TACKLES as he runs, Braylon Hawley picks up a fourth quarter first down for the Buckeyes. He scored three plays later, giving Gilmer a 64-6 advantage over Center.

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