Saturday, October 28, 2006

Gilmer 62, Mineola 12

From the Longview News-Journal:

From the Tyler Morning Telegraph:

The initials in Gilmer Buckeyes quarterback G.J. Kinne's name must stand for great job.
Kinne exterminated the Mineola Yellowjackets Friday night, flinging three TD throws and hoofing for another score as Gilmer triumphed, 62-12.
Kinne completed 12 of 22 passes for 237 yards in the District 15-3A mismatch. Meantime, Gilmer running back Justin Johnson trodded for 156 yards and three TDs on only nine deliveries.
Gilmer's Devane Clark snagged there passes for 113 yards and a TD, all before halftime.
Ironically, two Mineola runners churned out more than 100 yards each in a 50-point loss.Ray Martin, who scored on late TD runs of 33 and 59 yards, gathered 132 yards on 16 carries.

Gilmer 62, Mineola 12
Gilmer 14 21 14 13 - 62
Mineola 0 0 0 12 - 12
First Quarter
GIL-G.J. Kinne 1 run (Matt Burgin kick)
GIL-Justin Johnson 25 run (Burgin kick)
Second Quarter
GIL-Devane Clark 54 pass from Kinne (Burgin kick)
GIL-Johnson 23 run (Burgin kick)
GIL-Justin Fielden 6 pass from Kinne (Burgin kick)
Third Quarter
GIL-Lamar Harris 5 pass from Kinne (Burgin kick)
GIL-Johnson 19 run (Burgin kick).
Fourth Quarter
MIN-Ray Martin 33 run (kick blocked)
GIL-Darion Godfrey 15 run (kick blocked)
GIL-Braylon Hawley 4 run (Jake Manning kick)
MIN-Martin 59 run (pass failed)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Buckeyes prepare for start of 'real season' with game against Mineola

On the surface, Friday’s game between the Gilmer Buckeyes (7-0, 2-0) and the Mineola Yellow Jackets (2-5, 1-1) wouldn’t seem to be more important than any other district game. You certainly wouldn’t think that the Buckeyes, with the state’s top-scoring offense, would be especially motivated to play a Yellow Jackets’ team that hasn’t beaten the Buckeyes since 1962. If you thought that way, you would be wrong.
“For real football programs, the football season doesn’t even begin until week eight,” said Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor. “You can do whatever you want to the first seven weeks; you win your last three ballgames, you had a good year. We’ve had a good seven, but it really doesn’t matter; we have talked about these three weeks all season. We have focused on the last three games of the year. This is the beginning of the season right now. This is really when football begins.”
Traylor, who sports an impressive 68-13 record as the Buckeyes’ head coach explained his theory. “Most programs right now are tired; and they’re ready to shut it down and go do something else. The good programs, somehow get better right now, because their kids start sensing an end. They’re giving away the trophy on Dec. 16 to somebody; that’s going to happen. It might as well be us; so we have to start thinking on those terms.”
The Buckeyes have been thinking on those terms ever since Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine named them the state’s number one team in Class 3A before the season started. Gilmer has lived up to the hype so far, averaging 55.4 points per game, and winning their first seven games by an average margin of 39.9 points per game.
In addition to this game being the eighth of the season for Gilmer; why the extra motivation to beat Mineola; a team that Traylor’s Buckeyes have outscored 202-20 in the past four meetings? Gilmer’s 26-game district winning streak is one. The fact that first-year Mineola head coach Steve Wells gave Traylor his first loss as a head coach when Wells’ Hooks team bettered Traylor’s Buckeyes 28-14 in 2000 might be one. Hard feelings may be another.
Mineola is the school that voted to deny Gilmer quarterback G.J. Kinne’s transfer request from Canton in April of this year. That vote forced a UIL hearing that ruled Kinne eligible, but left some bad feelings between the two schools. Ironically, two of Mineola’s top players this fall are senior transfers that Gilmer did not oppose when transfer requests were approved at a district meeting in August. Receiver Chris Tuck, a University of Kansas commitment, transferred from Dallas Hillcrest, and Fullback Ray Martin transferred from Arp.
Kinne would like nothing more than to pad his already impressive stats of 1,954 passing yards and 30 touchdowns against the team that tried to make him sit out his senior year. Traylor’s only comment regarding the transfer squabble was, “I’ll let you write something about that.”
Traylor did comment on Wells, who takes over a Yellow Jacket program that hasn’t had a season record above .500 since 1989.
“Coach Wells has been at Hooks and he’s used to winning up there, and he obviously saw something in Mineola or he wouldn’t have taken the job,” said Traylor, who evened his record against Wells in 2001 with a 41-35 win over Hooks.
“He’s trying to turn a program around. They’ve struggled at times, but they’re coming off a win, and we’re playing them at their place. The last time we played there, it was 14-0 at halftime. They gave us all we could handle. That was the state championship year.”
Wells cautioned that the Gilmer team he beat in 2000 was very different from this year’s Buckeyes’ team. “I think Jeff was probably going through a lot of the same stuff that I’m going through right now in my first year at Mineola ,” said Wells. “He’s done an awesome job of putting his system in place; sticking to what he believed in, and now he’s reaping the rewards for it.”
Mineola ’s 28-14 win last week against Sabine showcased the Yellow Jackets’ offensive weapons. Tuck caught a 77-yard touchdown, while Martin scored on a 69-yard run. Tailback Cory Jones also had a 58-yard touchdown run, as Mineola equaled last season’s win total with three games remaining.
“They have a really good tailback in Cory Jones; he’s a good athlete, he can go. The fullback is really good; Ray Martin, he can go. They’ve got a Division One wide receiver in Chris Tuck; and they’ve got a left tackle that is good in Jose Vargas,” Traylor replied after watching game tapes. Wells agreed with Traylor’s assessment. “Offensively we’ve got some weapons we can use,” Wells said, adding that his concerns lie on the other side of the football.
“Defensively is really where we are lacking,” said Wells. “We haven’t been able to stop anybody.” That is not a good problem to have when you face the Buckeyes, who have amassed 3,442 total yards on the season, despite averaging less than 18 minutes of possession time per game. “They deserve to be ranked number one or number two in the state because of all the weapons that they have,” stated Wells.
One of Gilmer’s weapons, Curtis Brown, is expected to miss his third game due to an ankle injury suffered against Atlanta; that has Traylor concerned. “We have yet to play our 22, and I’m worried about that,” said Traylor, who added, “The kids that have stepped in have been great. Zach Jones is starting in place of Curtis Brown; he’s getting to play a lot. Kezie Camp is getting to play a lot with Jake Ashley’s injury. Devane Clark is another sophomore that’s getting to play a lot because of Curtis’ injury. It will help us when Curtis comes back, because we’ll have other kids used to making plays.”
While the Buckeyes will benefit from these younger players gaining experience, Traylor said that now is the time for Gilmer to start paring the roster. “You’ll see playing time reduced for some players, and increased for others. Certain players will take on more of a role.”
While Gilmer’s offensive leaders are clear; the Black Flag Defense is still looking for players to step up and help inside linebackers Arsenial Richardson (91 tackles, 4 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 3 interceptions) and Dominique Buchanan (63 tackles, 1 fumble recovery) anchor the Buckeyes’ defense. After giving up 77 points in the season’s first three games, Traylor and his staff shuffled the defensive deck in an attempt to become quicker and more athletic. Since the restructuring, Gilmer has only allowed 32 points over the last four games.
That stat is another reason Wells isn’t optimistic about his team’s chances against the Buckeyes. “I realize that the alignment of the stars would have to be perfect for things to go our way,” said Wells. “What I told my kids was; I don’t even want you to look at the scoreboard. I want you to play hard for 48 minutes. If you play as hard as you can for 48 minutes then I’m going to be happy.”
Traylor said a large Gilmer crowd will make him happy. “We need to have a good crowd. I like away games because our true fans are there, and they get there early and they stay late. Kids notice that stuff, and it’s a big deal to those kids.”
Did You Know?
Gilmer leads the all-time series against Mineola 30-14-2. The first time these two teams met was 1914, with Gilmer winning 18-0. The Buckeyes have won 11 straight games since the Yellow Jackets 7-0 victory in 1962. Gilmer’s last defensive shut-out came against Mineola in last season’s 51-0 win at Buckeye Stadium.
How to Get There
Go South on State Highway 155; 13 miles to Big Sandy. Turn Right (West) onto U.S. Highway 80; 24 miles to Mineola. Turn Right (North) on Farm to Market Road 564. Stadium is 0.6 miles on the Right.
Scout Team
Players of the Week
Offense: Adam Martin
Defense: Aaron Washington

Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
GILMER’S DOMINIQUE Buchanan heads toward the White Oak end zone on the first break for the Buckeyes. Under pressure, the Roughneck kicker shanked a punt which Buchanan returned to the White Oak 14 . Two plays later Gilmer scored its first touchdown. The fun continues Friday night, Oct. 27, for undefeated Gilmer with a road trip to Mineola. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

Gilmer celebrates Yamboree with 63-7 win over White Oak

The Gilmer Buckeyes continued their perfect season with a 63-7 victory over the White Oak Roughnecks Friday night before a Yamboree crowd at Buckeye Stadium. The win was Gilmer’s 26th consecutive over a district opponent, and the 19th straight at home. The Buckeyes improved their season record to 7-0, while the Roughnecks fell to 1-6.
Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor was pleased with the Buckeyes’ performance. “Our kids got after it, and had a good intensity to play the game; but I knew they would, it being the Yamboree and it being White Oak,” Traylor said. “Our team feeds off of our community, and our community pumped in their ear all week how much they didn’t like White Oak, so my kids came out there with a little bit of a chip on their shoulder.”
Gilmer quarterback G.J. Kinne threw five touchdown passes to lead the Buckeyes to their third 60-plus point game of the season. Receivers Jamell Kennedy and Lamar Harris continued their impressive performance in place of the injured Curtis Brown, who missed his second straight game for Gilmer. Kennedy accounted for four Buckeyes’ touchdowns, while Harris scored three.
Gilmer racked up 529 yards of total offense, but only four of those yards came on the Buckeyes’ first possession, as Gilmer was forced to punt on their opening series for the first time this season. White Oak’s first play was a preview of things to come for the Roughnecks, as the snap sailed high over quarterback Austin Tubbs’ head, for the first of seven fumbles by the Roughnecks. Gilmer recovered four of those fumbles, although White Oak’s Josh Goll managed to recover this one, but the Roughnecks surrendered the ball back to the Buckeyes three plays later on a punt, for the first of five straight 3-and-outs in the first quarter.
Jared Dollison’s first punt was mishandled, and hit a Roughneck lineman in the helmet before Gilmer’s Dominique Buchanan picked up the football and returned it to White Oak’s 14-yard line.
“Our defense really stepped up, because we got off the field in a hurry and our defense gave it right back to us in great field position,” said Traylor. “Our defense was huge in the opening quarter.”
The Buckeyes’ offense would take advantage of the Roughnecks’ 3-and-outs, scoring on their next four possessions. Kinne connected with Kennedy for the first time on a 9-yard touchdown pass with 7:30 remaining in the first quarter. Kennedy then took a short pass from Kinne and put on the after-burners, going 57 yards for the next score with 6:20 left in the quarter. Kennedy scored his third touchdown of the quarter on a 67-yard run with 5:08 to play. That gave Gilmer three touchdowns in their last four plays. The Buckeyes finished the first quarter scoring assault when Kinne hit Harris for a 57-yard touchdown with 2:17 to go.
Traylor praised Kennedy, his former quarterback, for his transition to receiver. “Jamell Kennedy had his best game of the year. He really stood out early,” said Traylor. “He just keeps getting better each week. When he and Curtis ever get back there together, they’ll be a force.”
The SMU commitment finished the game with five receptions for 120 yards, and four carries for another 88 yards. “Jamell is playing like a college player should play like,” said the injured Brown. “It took me getting hurt, for him to start playing like this, and when I come back I hope he keeps playing like this.”
The Roughnecks ended the first quarter with a fumble recovered by the Buckeyes’ Harris at the White Oak 22-yard line. This time the Buckeyes offense stalled, so Traylor called on senior kicker Matt Burgin, who was a perfect 6-for-6 on PAT kicks, to attempt a 40-yard field goal. The kick was good, however the Buckeyes were called for holding on the play, so the points were taken off the scoreboard and Gilmer was backed up 10 yards. Traylor had Burgin stay to attempt the 50-yard field goal, which hit the crossbar of the goal posts and bounced up in the air and fell harmlessly in the end zone.
White Oak managed to string together a short drive on the next possession, but still ended up punting to the Buckeyes from their 41-yard line. This punt rolled all the way to Gilmer’s 1-yard line before the Roughnecks downed the football. Gilmer then proceeded on a 14-play, 99-yard drive, that took 3:36 off the clock, and ended on Justin Johnson’s 2-yard touchdown run, making the score 35-0 with 4:29 remaining in the second quarter. Johnson finished with 100 yards rushing on only 11 carries.
The Roughnecks’ next possession looked to be another 3-and-out, as White Oak lined up in punt formation on their fourth down, needing four yards for a first down. But instead of punting, the ball was snapped to Austin Morgan, who ran right through the middle of the Buckeyes’ defense for 35 yards and a first down at the Gilmer 30-yard line. Four plays later, Tubbs would convert another fourth down with a 1-yard quarterback keeper, to keep the drive alive. Two plays after that, Tubbs lofted a 2-yard pass into the back corner of the end zone for Craig Blankenship, who caught the ball for the Roughnecks only touchdown in the game, with just 22 seconds remaining in the half.
“We’re real frustrated about not getting a shutout, but giving up seven points in today’s football; it’s not a bad thing,” explained Traylor, who praised his defense for holding the Roughnecks to only 121 total yards.
“Defensively we were pleased. The kids ran to the ball real well. The inside linebackers both played good; Arsenial Richardson and Dominique Buchanan both had good games. Defensive line; C.J. Kyle had another good game; he had eight tackles and a forced fumble. Donte Harris had six tackles. Outside linebacker Wes Wynne had his best game; he had 10 tackles and two knocked-down passes. Cornerback Lamar Harris had an interception and recovered a fumble; and Dustin Jones had an interception.”
White Oak got the football to start the second half hoping to whittle away at the Buckeyes’ lead, but thanks to six Roughneck turnovers in the half, Gilmer scored four more touchdowns. Turnover number one quickly became touchdown one, when Harris picked off a Tubbs pass at the 34-yard line and returned it for a score with 10:07 left in the third quarter.
Turnover number two came on the Roughnecks next series, when the Buckeyes’ Jud Murry recovered a fumble at the White Oak 44-yard line. Two plays later Kinne threw a 33-yard pass to the end zone where the Roughnecks’ Dollison jumped up and tipped the ball, only to have it fall into the waiting hands of Jamell Kennedy, for his fourth touchdown of the game.
The Roughnecks’ next series didn’t end on a turnover, but it might as well have, as Dollison’s punt went backwards two yards, giving Gilmer the ball at the White Oak 46-yard line. Two plays later, Braylon Hawley scored from 23 yards out, but the Buckeyes were flagged for an illegal block in the back, so for the second time in the game, points were taken off the board for the Buckeyes. Three straight Kinne incompletions later, Burgin lined up to attempt a 42-yard field goal, but the Roughnecks’ Morgan blocked the kick, and White Oak recovered the football at their 46-yard line.
Turnover number three came seven plays later when the Buckeyes’ Richardson intercepted a pass on another Roughneck fake punt attempt, giving Gilmer the ball at the Buckeyes’ 30-yard line. It took Kinne and company seven plays to cover the 70 yards, with Kinne finding Harris for a 13-yard touchdown with 8:25 to play in the game. Harris finished with three catches for 87 yards. “Lamar had another big game,” praised Traylor. “He caught two touchdowns; recovered a fumble; returned an interception for a touchdown, so he had a part in four touchdowns.”
Turnover number four came three plays later when Gilmer’s Dustin Jones picked off another Tubbs pass and returned it to the Roughnecks’ 5-yard line. Following two straight negative plays, Buckeyes’ backup quarterback Stump Godfrey fired a quick pass in the flats to Ross Stevens who juked a couple of defenders on his way to a 20-yard touchdown, making the score 63-7 with 5:22 left in the game.
Turnover number five came three plays later, when Gilmer’s Justin Fielden recovered yet another Roughneck fumble at the White Oak 40-yard line. The Buckeyes failed to score on this series, as Godfrey was sacked on a 4th-and-goal from the 3-yard line, giving the ball back to the Roughnecks at the 6-yard line. White Oak promptly gave the ball back to Gilmer two plays later with their sixth turnover of the half when Godfrey recovered the fumble at the 10-yard line with 10 seconds to play. Godfrey took a knee on the next play, giving Gilmer their first victory over White Oak since 1991.

White Oak Gilmer
10 First downs 20
34-57 Rushes-yds 27-248
11-26-3 Passing 13-24-0
64 Passing yds 281
121 Total yds 529
4-30 Penalties-yds 7-78
4 Fumbles lost 0
30:48 Time of possession 17:12
1 2 3 4 T
White Oak 0 7 0 0 7
Gilmer 28 7 14 14 63

Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
GILMER’S JUSTIN JOHNSON brushes aside White Oak’s Michael Fillmore as he looks for running room. Johnson picked up 100 yards on 11 carries in three quarters of play to lead all rushers as Gilmer defeated White Oak, 63-7, at Buckeye Stadium last Friday night. The Buckeyes (7-0; 2-0) play Mineola (2-5; 1-1) there Friday night, Oct. 27, as the District 15-3A schedule reaches its midpoint.

Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
GILMER’S DEXTURE CARR (78) prepares to block White Oak’s Austin Morgan as ROSS STEVENS (84) heads for the end zone from 20 yards out. Buckeye GARRETT ADKINS (73) follows the action in the fourth quarter as Stevens scores the final touchdown in Gilmer’s 63-7 win over the Roughnecks.

Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
LOSING THE handle, White Oak’s Austin Morgan tries unsuccessfully to recover the fumble as Gilmer’s C.J. Kyle (40) and Dakota Bickerdike (25) close in on him late in the game.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Congratulations to Curtis Brown, first Buckeye ever selected to play in Army All-American Bowl

Gilmer's Brown picked for Army All-American Bowl

Gilmer Buckeyes’ senior Curtis Brown has been selected to play in the 2007 Army All-American Bowl scheduled for Jan. 6, 2007, at the Alamodome in San Antonio. The game will be broadcast live by NBC.
Brown received his West Team jersey from Army representatives at a presentation before the Buckeyes’ game against White Oak.
Brown is one of only 78 players from across the nation selected to play in the game. Brown, along with teammates G.J. Kinne and Dominique Buchanan were among 400 players nominated to participate in the event.
The 6-foot, 175-pounder has verbally committed to the University of Texas to play football for the Longhorns next season. Brown started at cornerback on the Buckeyes’ 2004 state championship team, totaling 42 tackles, five interceptions and nine passes broken up, before moving to receiver his junior year. Last season, Brown was named District 13-3A Offensive MVP after racking up 1,724 yards and 18 touchdowns for the season on 63 receptions and 47 carries.
So far this season, Brown has totaled 680 yards and 12 touchdowns in only five games. Brown injured an ankle early in the Atlanta game, and has not played since. He is expected to be back in the Buckeyes’ lineup before the end of regular season play.
Brown joins an impressive list of game alumni that includes Adrian Peterson, Reggie Bush and Ted Ginn Jr.
“I would have never thought this could happen to me, but I’m glad that it did,” Brown said. “I’m representing Gilmer now. I’m the first one to get this honor, so I’ve got to represent my school right.”
“It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving kid. He’s for sure one of the greatest football players I’ve ever coached. He’ll get to show his stuff on national TV now, so that will be exciting for Curtis, and for our program, and for Gilmer,” said Gilmer Buckeyes’ head coach Jeff Traylor.
According to the game’s website, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl is a celebration of high school football. During Bowl week the U.S. Army puts on a Cheer Bowl, a national coaches convention featuring an on-field coaching clinic and seminars with some of the NFL’s greatest coaches, and the only National Combine featuring high school football’s top underclassmen. The public is encouraged to participate in the events throughout the week including a Pep Rally and Fan Fiesta along with the game day activities.

Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
LT. COL. JEFF PIKE congratulates CURTIS BROWN on his selection to the U. S. Army All-American Bowl team. Brown and his West teammates will play on January 7, 2007, in the Alamodome in San Antonio. Brown is one of 80 players from across the country to be selected. Participating in the pregame ceremonies Friday at Buckeye Stadium are from left, Sgt. Rex Alford, Army National Guard, Sfc Antonio Holmes, Lt. Col. Pike, Brown, Gilmer Athletic Director Jeff Traylor, and Daniel Mochen, a producer of the game.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Gilmer 63, White Oak 7

From the Tyler Morning Telegraph

GILMER - As the East Texas Yamboree carnival rides swirled just blocks away, the White Oak Roughnecks got taken for a rib-rattling ride by Gilmer Buckeyes quarterback G.J. Kinne Friday night.

Kinne continued his weekly slinging sprees with five TD tosses, including three to Jamell Kennedy, as the No. 2-ranked Buckeyes drilled the Roughnecks, 63-7, in a District 15-3A confrontation.

Kennedy notched another TD on an end-around, while teammate Lamar Harris snagged two TD tosses and swiped an interception for another score.

The Gilmer defense also bludgeoned the Roughnecks by claiming seven turnovers, six of them after halftime.

The Buckeyes (7-0) have topped the 60-point mark thrice this year, and remain unvanquished at home since 2002. Although they didn't score on their opening possession, they still led 28-0 at first quarter's end and 35-7 at twirling time.

Kinne finished the night 11-of-21 for 218 yards before yielding to backup Darian Godfrey, who himself flung a TD pass. Kennedy meantime consumed 120 yards on five receptions for the night.

Gilmer tallied first on Kinne's aerials of 9 and 57 yards to Kennedy within a 70-second span of the first quarter, then on Kennedy's 67-yard end-around with 5:08 left in that period.

Before the first quarter ended, Kinne slipped a 58-yard TD throw to Harris, who then ran for two points with 2:17 left.

Justin Johnson, who had 100 yards on 11 rushes, nabbed his lone TD on a 2-yard run. White Oak then scored its single TD on QB Austin Tubbs's 2-yard heave to Craig Blankenship with only 22 seconds left in the half.

Gilmer ruled the second half as well, making the scoreboard weary on Harris's 27-yard interception return of a Tubbs throw; Kinne's 33-yard scoring spike to Kennedy, and two fourth-quarter tallies. They were Kinne's 13-yard heave to Harris, and Godfrey's 20-yard aerial to Ross Stevens with 5:22 left.

Matt Burgin, who had a 50-yard field goal try hit the crossbar and another field goal attempt blocked, made all six PAT kicks he attempted, while Jake Manning airlifted the Buckeyes' other PAT.

From the Longview News-Journal

GILMER — Gilmer transfer G.J. Kinnie thrilled a Yamboree crowd with a five-touchdown, 218-yard passing performance as the No. 2 ranked Buckeyes coasted to a 63-7 rout of the White Oak Roughnecks Friday night at Buckeye Stadium.

Kinnie connected on scores of 9, 57, 57, 33 and 13 yards as the Buckeyes improved to 7-0 on the year and 2-0 in District 15-3A play.

Gilmer stormed out of the gate in the opening stanza, posting four tallies and building a comfortable 28-0 advantage.

Kinnie paired up with Jamell Kennedy on a 9-yard crossing route to cap a two-play, 14-yard drive set up after a botched White Oak punt. Kennedy, who hauled in five passes for 121 yards, crossed the goal line again on a 57-yard pitch-and-catch at 6:30 of the quarter.

Kennedy was not finished quite yet as he skated around right end for 67 yards to paydirt on the next Buckeye possession. All totaled, Gilmer scored three times in a matter of 2:22, giving credence to its high-octane offensive attack.

Kinnie and Lamar Harris teamed up for Gilmer's fourth score from 57 yards out at 2:17. This completed a four-play, 80-yard drive that used just 1:10 of the game clock.

White Oak got its initial first down at 10:20 of the second quarter when Cullen Heim bulled his way forward on third-and-one. Jared Dollison would later boom a beautiful 58-yard punt that was downed on the Gilmer 1.

The Buckeyes were unfazed by the 99 yards of real estate and drove to paydirt in 14 plays, using 4:18 of the second quarter. Justin Johnson did the honors from two yards out at 3:37. Johnson led all rushers with 98 yards on just 10 carries.

White Oak finally got it in gear on its final drive of the half. Austin Morgan raced 35 yards on a fake punt on fourth-and-four. The Roughnecks converted another fourth down in the drive when Heim plowed forward on fourth-and-inches.

Austin Tubbs then pegged Michael Fillmore with a 17-yard pass to move the ball to the Buckeye two. Tubbs then found Craig Blankenship in the corner of the end zone with 0:22 left before intermission.

Harris picked off a Tubbs pass three plays into the third quarter and returned it 35 yards for a score to make it 42-7 with 10:07 showing.

The Buckeyes weren't done by a good stretch. Kinnie continued to air it out on the next drive as he found Kennedy for a 33-yard score at 6:48 to make it 49-7.

Early in the final period with a six-score advantage, Kinnie found Kennedy for 21 yards and a first down and capped a six-play, 69-yard drive with a 13-yard peg to Harris.

Midway through the fourth quarter Kinnie took a seat as backup Brett Frase took his turn at flinging the ball around. Frase and reserve wideout Ross Stevens accounted for a 20-yard score following a Dustin Jones interception.

It was Gilmer's 26th consecutive district win. The Buckeyes are at Mineola Friday, while the Roughnecks (1-6, 0-2) play host to Gladewater.

As for our upcoming bi-district playoff opponent, here's an account from the Texarkana Gazette of how they did on Friday night.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Gilmer renews rivalry with White Oak during Yamboree

The White Oak Roughnecks were a familiar foe when Gilmer Buckeyes’ head coach Jeff Traylor donned an orange and black uniform for his alma matter back in the mid-1980s. But when the Buckeyes host the Roughnecks at Buckeye Stadium Friday night, it will be the first time a Traylor coached team has played White Oak since he came to Gilmer in 2000.
Traylor has been looking forward to this game since Gilmer and White Oak were placed in the same district this past February. “White Oak is an old district rival that’s knocked Gilmer out of the playoffs for many years; so I think our fans have been dying to play White Oak for a while,” said Traylor.
Gilmer owns an 11-8-1 advantage over White Oak since the teams first met in 1943, but the Roughnecks bettered the Buckeyes in their last two meetings in 1998 and 1999. Gilmer’s last win over White Oak was a convincing 55-6 victory in 1991.
Traylor has brought the Buckeyes the kind of success that the Roughnecks enjoyed in the 1940s when White Oak recorded 58 consecutive district wins and seven consecutive district championships. Traylor’s teams have gone 67-13, and currently sport a 25-game district winning streak, along with five consecutive district championships. Those are accomplishments that Traylor challenges his team to improve. “That’s something that we talk about every week,” said Traylor. “It motivates them to practice harder during the week; and if you practice hard during the week, you’re going to play better on Friday.”
There is another reason that Traylor hopes to extend the streak. “What I like about our district winning streak is that it ties back to my very first group. My group in 2000 is still a part of something in this program,” Traylor said. “That group is special to me, so I really feel obligated to that group to keep the streak going.”
To keep the streak alive, Gilmer will have to defeat a program that is well-known for their pride. “They’re a very proud community. They think White Oak is the best. They think they’re the best school, the best sports, the best everything. That might rub you wrong if you’re not from White Oak, but I have tremendous respect for the people of White Oak for that very reason; and that’s something that we hope we have here. You don’t want to ever be arrogant, but you do want to be proud of where you’re from.”
No one is prouder of where they’re from than Traylor; but White Oak head coach Tracy Blankenship might argue that. Like Traylor, Blankenship now coaches at the school he played for, having graduated in 1981, and returning to coach there in 1988. In 2003, Blankenship was named the Roughneck’s new head coach, and has guided White Oak to a 16-22 overall record since then.
Following a playoff appearance last season, the Roughnecks are struggling this year, winning only one of six games, and being outscored 151-39 in the process. Despite White Oak’s record, Traylor doesn’t think his team will have a let down against the Roughnecks. “I think our kids will respect the fact that White Oak is a very proud program with a lot of tradition,” stated Traylor, who added, “They’re scrappy; they play hard, they compete; they just haven’t won very much yet.”
Traylor also pays no credence to the theory that the Yamboree distracts his team. “I just trust my kids,” Traylor said. “They know what’s at stake.” Blankenship agreed with Traylor, going so far as to call it an advantage for Gilmer. “I don’t think the Yamboree will be much of a factor during the game. They’ll want to shine in front of a good crowd,” said Blankenship.
The Buckeyes do enjoy a tremendous home-field advantage, having won their last 18 games at Buckeye Stadium dating back to 2002. Blankenship admitted that ending that streak will be hard for the Roughnecks. “That’s the most athletic team I have ever seen in 3A football,” Blankenship stated. “They have got unbelievable athletes. I’ve never seen that many good ones wear the same color uniform in one season.”
“We’ll approach it as a game that can make our season,” stated the Roughneck coach.
When White Oak has the football
Blankenship would like to run the spread, but said that he switched to a traditional I formation to better accommodate his personnel. The Roughnecks have struggled on offense so far this season, averaging only 41 yards rushing and 80 yards passing per game. Freshman Austin Tubbs (5-10, 180) starts at quarterback for White Oak, and has impressed Traylor. “He’s gotten better each week,” Traylor said. “He throws the ball pretty good for a freshman.” Tubbs is joined in the backfield by senior running backs Austin Morgan (5-7, 155) and Josh Goll (6-1, 165).
Coach Blankenship’s son Barrett anchors the Roughneck line from the center position, while his nephew, Craig Blankenship (6-2, 195) starts at tight end.
White Oak plans to keep the football away from the Buckeyes. “We’ll gamble some, but at the same time we’ll have to play close to the vest, and keep the clock running. We’ll have to find a way to run the ball and keep that clock ticking to keep it from being a track meet,” said Blankenship.
The Buckeyes will counter with a defensive unit that is allowing 241 yards total offense and 17 points per game. Senior linebackers Arsenial Richardson (82 tackles), and Dominique Buchanan (52 tackles) lead the Black Flag Defense. Gilmer will probably be without the services of starters Jeremy Reeves and Jules Johnson, who are nursing injuries.
When Gilmer has the football
The Buckeyes are led by senior quarterback G.J. Kinne who has passed for 1,724 yards and 25 touchdowns in Gilmer’s first six games. Kinne’s favorite target, Curtis Brown, is expected to miss the game as he continues his recovery from an ankle injury suffered against Atlanta two weeks ago, along with receiver Jake Ashley who suffered a broken collarbone against Atlanta. Lamar Harris and Jamell Kennedy have taken over the bulk of the receiving duties. Harris has 29 catches for 489 yards and eight touchdowns. Kennedy has 327 yards on 16 receptions and three touchdowns.
Justin Johnson leads the Buckeyes’ ground attack with 523 yards and 6 touchdowns on only 49 carries. Josh Thompson is the next leading rusher with 150 yards and two touchdowns on only 27 carries.
The Buckeyes’ 295 passing yards and 190 rushing yards per game have helped make Gilmer the most prolific scoring offense in the state of Texas, averaging 54.2 points per game.
White Oak counters with a defense that has allowed 1837 yards in six games, most of it on the ground; as opponents average 233 yards rushing and only 73 yards passing. Despite the 306 yard per game average, Traylor said that the Roughnecks defense plays hard. “Their defense moves around quite a bit. They loop, twist, stunt, slant; they do a lot of stuff on defense, so we’ll have to work.”
The Roughnecks operate out of both the 4-3 and the 4-2 defensive scheme. The linebacker corps of Craig Blankenship (6-2, 195), Ryan Grantham and Cullen Heim (5-10, 195) is White Oak’s strength. The Roughneck defensive front is anchored by returning all-district end Nick Thompson (5-10, 175).
Offense: Michael Pearson
Defense: Colton Gage

Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
GILMER’S DONTE HARRIS dives over a hapless Cardinal to scoop up the loose pigskin and slide to the one yard line. Justin Johnson scored for Gilmer on the next play as Gilmer went on to win the Homecoming and opening district game with Sabine 49-7. Next up for the Buckeyes is another District 15-3A opponent, the White Oak Roughnecks, who will travel to Buckeye Stadium Friday night.

Buckeyes go to 6-0 with 49-7 win over Sabine

Legend has it that Friday the 13th is an unlucky date, full of strange happenings. Both held true Friday night at Buckeye Stadium, as the Gilmer Buckeyes jumped out to a 28-0 first quarter lead, then coasted to a 49-7 win over the Sabine Cardinals to open District 15-3A play. The victory was Gilmer’s 25th straight win against district foes, and the 18th straight win at Buckeye Stadium.
Despite the 42-point win, Buckeyes’ head coach Jeff Traylor and his players fielded postgame questions with answers normally reserved for the losing team. “We didn’t play near as bad as it seems like we did,” said Traylor; who continued by saying, “It’s kind of like being on an airplane where you have a rough landing; but you got down, and you walked off the airplane. Well as long as you walk away; it’s good. And that’s kind of how this game was. It was a rough landing, but we walked away.” Offensive tackle David Snow echoed his coach’s thoughts, “We just wanted to be physical, and we just faded away it seems.”
Sabine suffered from most of the bad luck, as two of the Cardinals’ three turnovers were converted into Buckeyes’ touchdowns just one play later. Those two one-play touchdown drives weren’t the only strange happenings on the night. Gilmer actually totaled three one-play touchdown drives; while the Cardinals failed to score on a field goal attempted after time had expired in the first-half, and on an almost 12-minute drive that saw Sabine at the Gilmer 1-yard line with a 1st and goal.
“It still feels good, but it wasn’t like we wanted it to be,” said Buckeyes’ receiver Lamar Harris, who scored Gilmer’s first two touchdowns on passes from G.J. Kinne. The first touchdown came on a 20-yard pass with 8:41 to play in the 1st quarter. The second score was on a 10-yard pass with 4:20 remaining in the 1st quarter. Matt Burgin added the first two of his seven extra-points of the game.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Buckeyes’ Donte Harris recovered a Cardinals’ fumble at the Sabine 6-yard line. Justin Johnson carried the football into the end zone on the next play, making the score 21-0 just 11 seconds after Harris’ second touchdown.
After two straight three-and-out series by Sabine to start the game, Gilmer’s Black Flag defense forced another quick series, stopping the Cardinals’ fake punt attempt on fourth down, giving the ball to the Buckeyes’ offense at the 50-yard line. After a 5-yard false start penalty that moved the ball back to Gilmer’s 45-yard line, Kinne flicked a quick pass out to Jamell Kennedy who darted up the far sideline, out-running defenders, and eluding another with a 360-degree spin at the 10-yard line, finishing the spectacular 55-yard touchdown with 1:32 left in the 1st quarter.
The Cardinals and Buckeyes exchanged punts on the next three series before Gilmer’s got back on the board when sophomore running back Josh Thompson scored from 1-yard out with 3:21 to go in the half, making the score 35-0.
The bad luck shifted on the next series, as Sabine was forced to punt after another three-and-out stand by the Buckeyes’ defense; but Gilmer’s Dustin Jones fumbled the punt to a Cardinal defender at the Buckeyes’ 31-yard line. After a 5-yard penalty on Sabine, and a 1-yard run; the Cardinals’ Josh Herod lofted a pass to Desmond Perry, who caught the ball over a falling Buckeyes’ defender, for a 35-yard touchdown with only 43 seconds to play in the half.
Gilmer’s bad luck continued on the next series, with five Kinne passes in a row falling incomplete, including Kinne’s final throw on fourth down under heavy pressure from Sabine defenders as time ran out on the clock. Officials called Kinne for intentional grounding on the play, awarding the ball to Sabine at the Gilmer 17-yard line for one play, despite there being no time remaining on the clock. The Cardinals lined up for a 34-yard field goal attempt, but Taylor Grey’s kick sailed wide left, leaving the score at 35-7 as both teams retreated to the locker room for half-time.
“We fumbled the punt return and gave them a cheap 7. Now it’s 35-7, instead of 42-0 at halftime,” Traylor said. “People remember the 40 seconds we had right before halftime. That series stuck in everybody’s mind because of the way it unfolded. That left a bad taste in our mouths.”
“I wanted a shutout, and we didn’t get the job done,” stated Gilmer linebacker Dominique Buchanan, who finished with 10 tackles for the Buckeyes. Traylor was still impressed with his defense. “Our defense got after it. They were flying around and hitting people. They played really well except for a bust in coverage on that one play.”
Traylor was also quick to praise his defensive standouts. “Our defensive linemen; Kodey Wear had seven tackles, C.J. Kyle had six tackles. Arsenial Richardson had 15 tackles. Dominique Buchanan had a couple of big hits in the ball game. Stump Godfrey had six tackles and an interception. Dustin Jones played hard at cornerback; so our defense really got after it.”
The Buckeyes tried to get rid of that bad taste on the opening possession of the second half, as Kinne finished a 5-play, 69-yard drive, with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Dustin Jones with only 2:03 off the clock.
Sabine’s first possession of the second-half saw the Cardinals gain five yards on seven plays, before Gilmer’s Stump Godfrey intercepted a Herod pass at the Buckeyes’ 10-yard line and returned it to the 29-yard line. Two plays later the Buckeyes returned the favor, when Devane Clark fumbled to Sabine’s John Miller at the Cardinals’ 43-yard line. The strange happenings continued three plays later when Gilmer’s Dominique Buchanan tipped a Herod pass and Goodman intercepted the ball and returned it to the Sabine 39-yard line.
Justin Johnson covered those 39 yards on the next play, for his second touchdown of the game, ending the scoring with 2:23 remaining in the third quarter. Johnson finished with 130 yards on only 10 carries, helping the Buckeyes to a season-best 269 rushing yards.
Even though the scoring had ended; the strange happenings did not. Sabine took possession of the football with 2:23 left to go in the third quarter and kept it away from the Buckeyes’ until only 2:48 remained in the game. The Cardinals took the ball down to the Buckeyes’ 1-yard line, converting two fourth down conversions along the way, and taking advantage of two penalties against the Gilmer defense. But with first and goal from the Buckeyes’ 1-yard line, Gilmer’s defense pushed the visitors back to the 10-yard line, before forcing the ball over on downs when Herod’s fourth down pass fell incomplete in the end zone.
Gilmer closed the game out with one final spectacular play, when freshman quarterback Stump Godfrey sprinted up the home sideline for 60 yards, before being tripped up at the 9-yard line. The Buckeyes’ quarterback took a knee on the next play and time ran out, improving Gilmer’s season record to 6-0.

Sabine Gilmer
11 First downs 22
33-44 Rushes-yds 25-269
10-23-2 Passing 9-16-0
102 Passing yds 159
146 Total yds 428
5-45 Penalties-yds 7-70
1 Fumbles lost 2
33:53 Time of possession 14:07
5-37.8 Punts-avg 1-37
1 2 3 4 T
Sabine 0 7 0 0 7
Gilmer 28 7 14 0 49

Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
GILMER’S JAMELL KENNEDY (5) screens Sabine’s Josh Herod away from his teammate, Justin Johnson (22), as the Buckeye running back head for an open field during Gilmer’s 49-7 win over the Cardinals.

Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
BUCKEYE LINEBACKER Arsenial Richardson lifts the Cardinal quarterback Josh Herod off his feet as Gilmer’s Wes Wynne closes in on the action. Gilmer defeated Sabine, 49-7.

Mirror Photo
G.J. KINNE receives a commemorative plaque from Dean Haws of Mike Craig Ford at last Friday’s pep rally before the Sabine game at the Gilmer High School gym. At left is Loy DeMoss of Mike Craig Ford and at right is Gilmer Head Coach/Athletic Director Jeff Traylor. The Gilmer QB was recently named the “Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Player of the Week” for his performance against Daingerfield on Sept. 15. He completed 21 of 27 passes for 384 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran five times for 31 yards and three more scores. Off the field G.J. is an excellent student and a member of the basketball and track teams. He’s also a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Gilmer 49, Sabine 7

From the Tyler Morning Telegraph

GILMER - Friday the 13th turned into a night of Cardinal sins for the winless Sabine Cardinals at the unvanquished Gilmer Buckeyes' happy homecoming Friday night.
Gilmer quarterback G.J. Kinne flicked four touchdown tosses onto the Cardinals as No. 2 Gilmer beat Sabine, 49-7, in the teams' District 15-3A opener.
No. 2 Gilmer (6-0, 1-0), which hasn't lost at home since 2002, tucked this one in the treasure chest early, streaking to leads of 28-0 at first quarter's end, and 35-7 at halftime.
Kinne continued his series of weekly rampages with three TD tosses in the first quarter alone, two of them to Lamar Harris. The field general, a transfer from Canton, finished the evening 9-of-17 for 158 yards.
Gilmer running back Justin Johnson, meanwhile, hoofed for two TDs, gathering 89 yards on only nine carries.
The Buckeyes scored on their first possession, having to journey only 29 yards in four plays after a 21-yard Sabine punt. Kinne rifled a 20-yard scoring sling to Harris with 8:41 left in the opening period, and Matt Burgin banged the first of seven PAT kicks.
Kinne then sent a 10-yard TD throw to Harris with 4:20 left in the first period.
The earth began seemingly swallowing the Cardinals (0-6, 0-1) as they fumbled away the ensuing kickoff at their 6-yard line. On the next play, Johnson bopped into Beulah land with 4:09 left in the first.
And the Buckeyes added yet another opening-period tally when Kinne lofted the ball to Jamell Kennedy, who made a stupefying run down the left sideline for a 55-yard TD connection. That came with 1:32 to go in the period.
Josh Thompson trod a yard for Gilmer's next TD with 3:21 left to halftime. Sabine then briefly rebounded on QB Josh Herod's 37-yard TD throw to Desmond Perry with 43 seconds left to the break.
Taylor Grey kicked the PAT, but missed a 34-yard field goal at the half's end.

Gilmer 28 7 14 0 - 49
Sabine 0 7 0 0 - 7

Gil Sab
First Downs 23 10
Yards Rushing 263 42
Yards Passing 158 105
Comp.-Att.-Int. 9-17-0 10-22-2
Fumbles-Lost 3-2 3-1
Punts-Avg. 1-37 5-27.6
Penalties-Yards 7-70 5-45

From the Longview News-Journal

GILMER — Gilmer quarterback G.J. Kinne threw for 158 yards and four touchdowns in leading the No. 2-ranked Buckeyes to a 49-7 victory over Sabine in the District 15-3A opener for both teams.
Kinne was 9 of 17 with touchdowns passes of 20 and 10 yards to Lamar Harris and 55 yards to Jamell Kennedy as Gilmer built a 28-0 first quarter lead.
Justin Johnson rushed for 89 yards and two touchdowns and Josh Thompson also scored for the Buckeyes (1-0, 6-0), who finished with 421 yards of total offense.
Sabine quarterback Josh Herod, who was 10 of 22 for 105 yards, hooked up with Desmond Perry on a 37-yard scoring strike and kicker Taylor Grey added the extra point with 43 seconds remaining in the second quarter for the Cardinals lone score.

In another game closely followed by Buckeye fans, our soon-to-be bi-district playoff round opponent, Liberty-Eylau defeated Pittsburg, 35-14, in the District 16-3A opener at Harris Field in Texarkana.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Buckeyes prepare for district play; face Sabine for Homecoming

Gilmer Buckeyes’ head coach Jeff Traylor has said the same thing all season, “The truth is, that when we play Sabine, we’re going to be 0-0; and that is all that really matters,” said Traylor, who emphasized that the District 15-3A schedule is the start of the real season.
Traylor’s Buckeyes begin district play against the Cardinals Friday night during homecoming festivities at Buckeye Stadium. Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. Gilmer will attempt to add to a home winning streak of 17 straight games, dating back to 2002; as well as a 24-game district winning streak that dates back to 2000. The Buckeyes have claimed five straight, undefeated district championships since their last district loss.
“We have three of our next five games at home,” stated Traylor. “That’s exciting.” The Buckeyes will also host White Oak next Friday, Oct. 20, at Buckeye Stadium during the Yamboree, before traveling to Mineola on Oct. 27. Spring Hill visits Buckeye Stadium Nov. 3, before Gilmer finishes district play at Gladewater on Nov. 10.
“We really feel good about our football team right now,” said Traylor, summing up his team’s 5-0 start. The Buckeyes are the top scoring team in Texas , averaging 55 points per game; and winning by a margin of 36 points per game. Now the Buckeyes go up against district foes that have a combined record of 5-20. Traylor believes that despite their district rivals records, his team will still be motivated. “Because of the proximity of Spring Hill, White Oak and Gladewater; I think all three of those games are going to be pretty intense ball games,” Traylor said. “I expect our kids are going to show up and play well.”
Traylor expects the Buckeyes to play well despite a rash of injuries; that will likely have four starters out for the Sabine game. “I wish we were healthy but we’re not. We have really been through the injury bug this year.” Curtis Brown is nursing a severely sprained ankle and is likely to miss 1-2 games. Jake Ashley’s broken collarbone suffered against Atlanta will force him to miss 4-6 weeks. Jeremy Reeves is expected to miss 2-4 weeks to illness; while Dominique Buchanan is doubtful with a stomach ulcer.
“We have so much depth that we’ve been able to handle it,” said Traylor. “In years past, we’d lose certain kids, and it was hard for us to replace them. This year we just keep having somebody else step up.” Traylor also credits the Buckeyes’ medical team of Dr. David Buller, Dr. Lewis King and Dr. Steven Murry for the care received by the players. “We are so lucky to have the medical staff that we have in Gilmer. I’m very appreciative to all three of those men,” Traylor stated.
Traylor said that most of the Buckeyes’ success in treating players’ injuries can be attributed to one man. “We have the best trainer in the country,” said Traylor. “When my trainer tells me he’s ready to go, that’s when he’ll play. That’s the way it’s been in this field house as long as Steve York’s been here, and that’s the way it’s going to be as long as Steve York is here.”
Despite the Buckeyes injuries, Sabine doesn’t seem to pose much of a threat in stopping Gilmer’s winning streaks. The Cardinals are 0-5, and have lost each game by an average score of 48-5. The Cardinals have played a tough schedule; their opponents combined record is 21-4, including 3 undefeated teams. Second-year Sabine head coach Greg Anderson knows the Cardinals face a tough challenge. “Gilmer; just from a talent stand point, is way out there in front of anybody that we’ve faced,” said Anderson .
“Greg Anderson does a good job over there,” said Traylor. “Sabine has struggled through the years, and Greg’s trying to turn the program around.” The Cardinals’ last playoff appearance was in 1985, and the program has managed just 14 wins since the 2000 season. “Unfortunately it hasn’t shown up on the scoreboard on Friday nights yet, but I think we’re getting closer,” Anderson said. “We’ve made a lot of strides, and feel good about where we are.”
Anderson is hoping that the Cardinals can take advantage of last week’s open date. “Two weeks to prepare for Gilmer; that’s always a good thing,” said Anderson, who scouted Gilmer’s win over Atlanta and came away impressed. “One thing you never hear about is that offensive line,” stated Anderson. “That offensive line is as good as just about any that I’ve seen on the high school level. It’s more about G.J., Curtis Brown and Justin Johnson. What they do up front goes a long way to what the quarterback, receivers and running backs are capable of.”
Anderson said that a win against Gilmer would bring instant credibility to the struggling Cardinals. “They’re known all over the state. With the winning tradition they’ve had over the past few years and the expectations for this year, that’s been circled on our schedule for a long time.”
Sabine Offense
The Cardinals operate out of multiple formations, including the option and the shotgun. Senior Shannon Anderson (5-10, 175) switches to running back after starting at quarterback last season. He is one of seven offensive starters returning for Sabine. Anderson ’s replacement at quarterback is junior Josh Herod (6-0, 175). Seniors Travis Hatt (5-10, 160) and Josh Miller (5-10, 170) provide experienced receivers. The Cardinals’ offensive line consists of all juniors.
Sabine Defense
The Cardinals operate out of the same 50 defense that Gilmer employs. Sabine also welcomes back 5 defensive starters, including first-team all-district cornerback Ryan Kennedy (6-0, 170). Other returnees on the unit include linebackers Miller and junior Justin Wingate (5-10, 205), along with sophomore Cody Smith (5-10, 195).
Scout Team
Players of the Week

Offense: Jared Harborth
Defense: Tyrone Fort

Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
ARSENIAL RICHARDSON (44) and Darian Godfrey haul down an Atlanta Rabbit ball carrier just shy of the goalline last Friday night as the rest of the Black Flag defense rushes to their aid. From left are Brennan Thompson, Evin Wilson, Donte Harris, C.J. Kyle, Jud Murry and Dunterius Goodman. Gilmer defeated Atlanta, 49-12, in Rabbitland to improve its record to 5-0. The Buckeyes celebrate Homecoming at Buckeye Stadium Friday night, Oct. 13, against the Sabine Cardinals (0-5) in the District 15-3A opener for both schools.

Outside the Huddle: Football traditions ward off bad luck for the superstitious

Buckeyes pay heavy price for 49-12 win at Atlanta

The Gilmer Buckeyes lost senior receivers Curtis Brown and Jake Ashley to early injuries before dominating the Atlanta Rabbits 49-12 Friday night in Atlanta.
“I couldn’t have drawn it up any better; other than Curtis and Jake getting hurt,” said Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor, when asked to summarize the game. “It was our most complete game. Our kids were really ready to play.”
The Buckeyes (5-0) took the opening kickoff to the 15-yard line and proceeded on their longest possession of the season; a 14-play drive that consumed 6:01 on the clock. The opening drive included two fourth down conversions, before G.J. Kinne connected with Curtis Brown from 8-yards out for the game’s first touchdown. Matt Burgin kicked the first of his seven straight extra-point attempts, giving Gilmer a 7-0 lead.
Gilmer’s Black Flag defense responded to Traylor’s pregame challenge for 3-and-out series, on the Rabbits’ (0-6) first play when Wes Wynne sacked Atlanta quarterback Donta McNeely for a 9-yard loss. Two more Rabbit plays gained only a yard, so the Rabbits were forced to punt on fourth down.
The Buckeyes started their second possession at the Rabbits 47-yard line. Kinne hooked up with Brown on the first play for a gain of 32 yards. After a 10-yard completion to Brennan Thompson, Kinne connected with Brown again, but Brown would stay down on the ground, unable to get up. “My foot was sliding and somebody landed on the very back of it, and it went straight down,” said Brown, who had to be carried off the field, ending his night with 84 total yards on eight touches.
On the next play, Kinne would run it in from two yards out, giving the Buckeyes a 14-0 lead with 2:32 left to play in the first quarter.
The Buckeyes’ defense answered the challenge again on Atlanta ’s second possession, forcing another 3-and-out by the Rabbits. But with Brown being attended to by medical personnel, Gilmer’s offense managed only nine yards before punting for only the third time this season.
Atlanta took advantage of the Buckeyes’ woes three plays later when Roosevelt Falls scampered 65 yards for a touchdown. The Rabbits’ extra-point snap was bad, and the Buckeyes’ Arsenial Richardson intercepted the errant throw, but the damage was done, as the Rabbits had closed the score to just 14-6 with 9:39 left in the first half.
Traylor and the offense had to re-group. “We had a huge emphasis on Curtis,” Traylor stated. “We were going to try and get the ball to him 20 times in this game. So that eliminated about one-half the game plan. We had to really start focusing on what plays went to the other kids.”
Facing a critical 3rd-and-13 from his own 19-yard line, Kinne hit Ashley for a 49-yard gain down to the Atlanta 32-yard line. As the team celebrated, Ashley clutched his arm and went to the sideline, where doctors determined he had a broken collarbone. Traylor listened to the news in disbelief. “To lose two players at the same position, in about a 7-play span on offense; that was really tough.”
Just two plays after Ashley’s injury, Lamar Harris took a short pass from Kinne and turned it into a 31-yard touchdown, leaving Rabbits defenders grasping at air. That gave Gilmer a 21-6 advantage with 7:29 to play in the half and gave Brown a comforting feeling as he watched his teammates. “When I got hurt, the ball started to get spread around, and they did their job and made big plays,” said Brown. “We’ve got enough players to make big plays without me in there.”
If big plays determine the outcome of a game, then none were bigger than the play that stopped Atlanta ’s next drive. Facing 4th-and-2 from the Gilmer 29-yard line, the Rabbits’ Falls seemed to pick up enough yardage for the first down, but the ball squirted loose and the Buckeyes’ Zach Jones scooped it up and returned it to the Atlanta 48-yard line. On the very next play, Kinne connected with Jamell Kennedy for 41 yards, and two plays later, Justin Johnson scored on a 9-yard run, giving Gilmer a 28-6 lead with 3:08 remaining in the half.
“That was the biggest play in the game,” said Traylor of Jones’ fumble recovery. “Instead of Atlanta scoring and making the score 21-14, just three plays later we were up 28-6. That was huge.”
The Buckeyes’ defense continued their impressive play on the Rabbits next possession, holding Atlanta to another 3-and-out, and giving the offense the football at the Gilmer 22-yard line. 27 seconds later, the Buckeyes were celebrating in the end zone following a 17-yard run by Justin Johnson and a 56-yard touchdown pass from Kinne to Kennedy, giving Gilmer a commanding 35-6 halftime lead.
The Rabbits came out in the third quarter and made one last attempt to get back in the game, driving 60 yards in eight plays, finishing with Falls’ 1-yard touchdown run, cutting the Buckeyes’ lead to 35-12 just 4:09 into the second half.
Gilmer’s offense responded with two more touchdowns in the second half. Kinne fired a missile to Harris for a 44-yard touchdown, making the score 42-12 with 2:14 left in the thirrd quarter; and sophomore running back Josh Thompson scored his first varsity touchdown with 8:42 remaining in the game on a 15-yard run.
Kinne finished with 338 yards passing and four touchdowns, prompting Traylor to say, “He had his best game. At halftime he was 17 out of 18, and we had a busted route on the one play he had to throw away. He has gotten better every single week.It’s just scary to think how good he is going to be, because he’s just humble, he goes to work every day, he wants to be the best quarterback in the state of Texas; and he’s working towards it.”
While Traylor expected Kinne to perform at a high level, he was pleased to see several other players match Kinne’s effort. “I was extremely proud of how we had so many kids step up and start making plays,” stated Traylor. Harris and Kennedy more than made up for Brown’s absence, combining for 181 yards and 3 touchdowns receiving. “I thought both those kids were due a break-out game. Those two kids really stepped up,” Traylor said.
“I guess it was my time to step up when Curtis got hurt and take some leadership and go make some plays,” said Kennedy, whose sentiments were echoed by Harris. “I knew he would want me to play hard, and I didn’t want to let him down. I knew he would play hard if he were in the game, so I said I might as well step up and play hard for him.”
Despite playing with a severely bruised ankle, Justin Johnson’s rushing was a big factor for the Buckeyes’ offense, as the junior back totaled 144 yards rushing on only 12 carries, including a spectacular 56-yard run that set up the Buckeyes’ final score. “I was frustrated because I could see the hole where I needed to go, but I didn’t have the speed and the quickness to get there,” said Johnson. “It bothered me, but I knew I would get there sooner or later.”
Traylor said that most of the credit for the Buckeyes’ 529 yards of total offense should go to the men in the trenches. “The offensive line played their best game this year,” said Traylor. “David Snow played really well. Garrett Atkins played good again, and Cody Lee responded with a good game. Those three offensive linemen played really well.”
In addition to praising the offense, Traylor gave his defense high marks, calling the defensive performance the best of the season after holding the Rabbits to only 188 yards of total offense; all of it on the ground. “Arsenial Richardson really played well,” said Traylor. “His grade was high, and he had 13 tackles. Keezie Camp graded out 85 percent at the safety position, he had four tackles and an assist; and the defensive tackles; Donte Harris and Wes Wynne played well down in there.”
Traylor had special praise for Jules Johnson, who was forced to change positions for the second straight game due to starting tackle Jeremy Reeves, and starting linebacker Dominique Buchanan, missing the game due to illness. Jules Johnson moved last week to outside linebacker from safety, and this week moved to inside linebacker. “Jules Johnson might be the smartest player we’ve ever coached on defense,” Traylor stated. “He never skipped a beat at all three positions.”
“A lot of people stepped up tonight that usually don’t get to play,” said Wynne. “They did a great job stepping up and taking a leadership role.”
Brown finished the game watching his teammates from the bench and said, “They made me proud. Now it’s their turn.”

Gilmer Atlanta
18 First downs 5
27-191 Rushes-yds 33-188
20-24-0 Passing 0-8-1
338 Passing-yds 0
529 Total yds 188
2-20 Penalties-yds 4-35
0 Fumbles lost 1
2-36 Punts-avg 6-33.7
25:53 Time of possession 22:07
1 2 3 4 T
Gilmer 14 21 7 7 49
Atlanta 0 6 6 0 12

Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
MATT BURGIN kicks one of his seven PATs against Atlanta.

Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
JOSH THOMPSON clears the corner as he heads for his first varsity toucdown. Scoring the final tally in the fourth quarter, the running back raised Gilmer’s score to 49-12 over Atlanta.

Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
JUSTIN JOHNSON follows the blocks of Garrett Adkins (73), Daniel Jenkins (71) and Cody Lee (72) the strong offensive line for the Buckeyes. Gilmer defeated Atlanta, 49-12, Friday in the last game before District 15-3A play begins Friday night here against Sabine.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Curtis Brown highlight video

Manuel Johnson shines for OU in losing effort against Longhorns

From The Gilmer Mirror

The Oklahoma Sooners needed more players from Gilmer last Saturday in Dallas when they played the Texas Longhorns in the annual Red River Shootout at the Cotton Bowl.
Former Gilmer Buckeyes phenom Manuel Johnson, who quarterbacked Gilmer to its only state championship in 2004 and is now a sophomore wide receiver at OU, caught four passes for 55 yards, all of which went for first downs in 3rd-and-long situations, and also carried nine yards on a reverse.
Texas won the game, though, 28-10.

Massey Ratings (through Oct. 7 games)

Homefield Advantage: 1.12 Points
Standard Deviation: 14.14 Points

Chng Team W L T Rating Power Offense Defense Sched

1 Giddings 5 0 0 2.352 49.48 ( 1) 49.33 ( 3) 21.70 ( 1) 30.21 ( 4) 3A III-23
2 + 1 Gilmer 4 0 0 2.136 45.90 ( 2) 54.63 ( 1) 12.82 ( 26) 24.39 ( 19) 3A II-15
3 - 1 Celina 5 0 0 2.070 45.10 ( 3) 46.81 ( 4) 19.84 ( 3) 17.88 ( 46) 3A II-9
4 + 2 Wimberley 5 1 0 2.047 42.70 ( 4) 45.21 ( 6) 19.03 ( 4) 33.26 ( 3) 3A IV-25
5 - 1 W Orange Stark 5 0 0 1.989 42.04 ( 5) 44.66 ( 8) 18.92 ( 5) 22.57 ( 26) 3A III-21
6 - 1 Decatur 5 0 0 1.917 39.28 ( 7) 45.90 ( 5) 14.93 ( 15) 24.57 ( 18) 3A I-8
7 + 1 Cuero 6 0 0 1.848 37.54 ( 9) 43.20 ( 10) 15.88 ( 13) 20.41 ( 35) 3A IV-29
8 + 3 Carthage 5 0 0 1.813 36.21 ( 13) 39.91 ( 14) 17.85 ( 8) 24.14 ( 22) 3A III-20
9 + 3 Liberty Hill 3 2 0 1.790 40.62 ( 6) 51.66 ( 2) 10.51 ( 45) 34.90 ( 2) 3A III-18
10 + 4 Hutto 4 1 0 1.775 38.62 ( 8) 44.83 ( 7) 15.34 ( 14) 26.19 ( 11) 3A III-18

Chng Team W L T Rating Power Offense Defense Sched

11 - 2 Sweetwater 5 1 0 1.747 36.50 ( 11) 41.80 ( 12) 16.25 ( 11) 27.57 ( 8) 3A I-7
12 - 2 Palestine 4 1 0 1.682 36.25 ( 12) 43.83 ( 9) 13.97 ( 17) 25.71 ( 12) 3A III-19
13 - 6 Abilene Wylie 4 2 0 1.654 36.63 ( 10) 37.51 ( 22) 20.67 ( 2) 29.45 ( 5) 3A I-7
14 + 4 Gatesville 4 1 0 1.566 32.28 ( 15) 42.50 ( 11) 11.33 ( 38) 26.34 ( 10) 3A III-17
15 - 2 Burkburnett 4 1 0 1.541 31.64 ( 17) 35.04 ( 32) 18.15 ( 7) 25.56 ( 14) 3A I-6
16 + 4 Liberty Eylau 4 2 0 1.511 32.14 ( 16) 34.80 ( 34) 18.88 ( 6) 29.34 ( 6) 3A II-16
17 - 2 Dal Madison 4 0 0 1.492 30.47 ( 19) 35.70 ( 30) 16.32 ( 10) 15.06 ( 64) 3A II-11
18 - 2 Bellville 4 1 0 1.467 32.88 ( 14) 41.75 ( 13) 12.68 ( 29) 16.12 ( 58) 3A III-23
19 - 2 Robinson 4 1 0 1.433 28.56 ( 20) 38.64 ( 18) 11.47 ( 35) 24.37 ( 20) 3A III-17
20 + 1 China Spring 5 0 0 1.382 27.45 ( 21) 38.32 ( 20) 10.68 ( 41) 13.23 ( 79) 3A III-17

October 10 AP top 10

Class 3A
Team Rec Pts Pvs
1. Cuero (11) 6-0 187 1
2. Gilmer (6) 5-0 181 2
3. Giddings (2) 5-0 160 3
4. West Orange-Stark (1) 5-0 148 4
5. Celina 5-0 117 5
6. Dallas Madison 4-0 81 6
7. Decatur 5-0 71 7
8. Wimberley 5-1 51 8
9. Hutto 4-1 33 9
10. Carthage 5-0 22 10
Also receiving votes: Sweetwater 12, Midland Greenwood 10, Palestine 8, Hondo 5, Rio Hondo 5, Liberty Hill 4, Snyder 4, Van 1.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Jamell Kennedy gives verbal commitment to SMU

Jamell Kennedy of the Gilmer Buckeyes, a senior at Gilmer High School, has verbally committed to play football for the SMU Mustangs. The SMU (Southern Methodist University) campus is located within Dallas in the city of University Park.
He becomes the fourth NCAA Division I commit on the 2006 Buckeyes, joining Curtis Brown (UT), G.J. Kinne and Dominique Buchanan (both Baylor).
Kennedy, who quarterbacked the Buckeyes to a 10-2 record last season as a junior, chose SMU over UTEP, Rice, Tulsa, Wyoming and Arkansas State, among others.
He received honorable mention on several all-state teams at QB.
He switched to wide receiver before the start of the 2006 season.
Kennedy is 5’10”, weighs 165 lbs. and runs a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash.
Gilmer Coach Jeff Traylor praised Kennedy, citing his unselfishness, versatility and intelligence.
“He'll do great at SMU. He's a great kid and a great student,” said Traylor.
The Mustangs compete in Conference USA.

Gilmer's Kennedy commits to SMU

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Gilmer 49, Atlanta 12

From the Longview News-Journal

ATLANTA — Quarterback G.J. Kinne threw four touchdown passes — two to Lamar Harris — and he scored once on the ground as Gilmer rolled past Atlanta 49-12 on Friday night at Rabbit Stadium.

Kinne tossed an 8-yard scoring toss to Brown and then ran in from two yards out as the Buckeyes (5-0) took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. Roosevelt Falls put the Rabbits on the scoreboard in the second frame following a 58-yard run.

Gilmer tallied three times in the second quarter as the Buckeyes built a 35-6 halftime margin. Kinne connected with Harris on a 32-yard scoring toss, which was followed a Justin Johnson run of 9 yards and 56-yard Kinne-to-Jamell Kennedy touchdown pass.

Falls scored Atlanta's second touchdown, before Kinne and Harris connected again for 44 yards — all in the third quarter.

The Buckeyes wrapped up the scoring as Josh Thompson scored on a 15-yard carry in the fourth stanza. Matt Burgin converted all seven extra point attempts for Gilmer.

From the Texarkana Gazette

ATLANTA, Texas — Gilmer quarterback G. J. Kinne threw for 333 yards and four touchdowns as the second-ranked Buckeyes handed Atlanta its sixth straight loss.

Kinne completed 19 of 23 passes with touchdown throws of 32 and 44 yards to Lamar Harris, 8 yards to Curtis Brown and 56 yards to Jamell Kennedy.

The Buckeyes (5-0), who led 35-6 at halftime, also got touchdown runs of 9 yards by Justin Johnson and 15 yards by Josh Thompson, the latter coming with 8:42 left in the game.

Fullback Roosevelt Falls led an Atlanta ground attack that churned out 211 yards on 33 carries. Falls also scored both Rabbit touchdowns, thundering 58 yards in the second quarter and blasting over from the 1 with 7:51 left in the third period.

Atlanta failed to complete any of its seven pass attempts. Gilmer had 181 yards rushing.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Buckeyes prepare to face Rabbits

Turn back the clock to December, 2003. The undefeated Gilmer Buckeyes, and their high-scoring offense, took the field against the Atlanta Rabbits; a team with four losses, and a plodding, ball-control offense. All Buckeyes’ fans know what happened. The Rabbits dominated the Buckeyes 34-14, on their way to capturing the Class 3A state championship two games later.
In the 3 seasons since that meeting, the two teams have gone in opposite directions. Gilmer is 30-2, and won the Class 3A state championship the following year. Atlanta is 6-19, and hasn’t made the playoffs since.
Back to the present. The 4-0 Gilmer Buckeyes are the state’s highest scoring team, at 57 points per game. The Atlanta Rabbits are 0-5, losing each game by an average of 25 points. Looks like Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor should be writing his post-game victory speech, right?
“There’s not a better team in the state, that hasn’t won a game, than the Atlanta Rabbits,” said Traylor, who pointed out that all of Atlanta’s losses are to 4A teams with a combined record of 17-4. “They’re playing great 4A’s; they’re not just playing average 4A’s.” The Rabbits have lost to Dallas Woodrow Wilson, Hallsville, Kilgore, Mount Pleasant and Texarkana Texas High.
“I tell my team when [an opponent] is bad, and I tell my team when [an opponent] is good,” Traylor stated. “This is why I do it; when I tell my kids that [an opponent] can play, they believe me. They know Atlanta can play.”
If they don’t believe him, he just reminds them of that 2003 game. “We were 13-0, and Atlanta was 9-4, and they kicked our tails. They physically beat us up,” Traylor continued. “Every one of these kids in the program, except for [quarterback] G.J. [Kinne], grew up wanting to be a Buckeye. They were all sitting in those stands.”
In Traylor’s seven seasons at the Buckeyes’ helm, his team has never lost back-to-back games to an opponent. That’s a streak that Atlanta head coach Ben Scharnberg would like to change. “He’s an excellent coach, and his staff does an excellent job,” Scharnberg said. “We’d love to put a new asterisk in there, but we know it’s going to be awfully tough.”
Traylor sounds just as cautious. “You would think, as much as they’re getting beat, these kids at some point would shut down, and they don’t. They just keep playing hard, and that concerns me.”
Another concern is that Atlanta’s big game experience is equal to the Buckeyes. “We’re just lining up again against another number one ranked team in the state of Texas,” said Scharnberg, who faced 4A’s top-ranked team, Texas High just last week. “We’ve got to accept the challenge and get after it.”
Traylor said that the Buckeyes face a similar challenge. “I would compare them to Tatum, in how fast they run. But their physical toughness I would compare to a Celina,” said Traylor, who looks to improve on his 65-13 record at Gilmer. “We better play better than we have on offense and defense this year, or we won’t leave there with a victory,” Traylor predicted.
“If we can win this game, it will be a big win. To go into Atlanta and finish off our non-district schedule 5-0 would be huge,” continued Traylor, who played a hand he rarely shows. “We need our crowd to be there, and we need to be loud. This is a big game, and I don’t ask our crowd very often to be somewhere, but we’re going to need them Friday night.”
When Atlanta has the football
“We make no bones about it; we’re not a throwing football team. Everybody knows that around here. We’re a ball-control offense,” said Scharnberg, whose statement is backed up by the Rabbits’ offensive averages of 188 yards rushing and only 34 yards passing per game. Atlanta may call it ball control, but Traylor has another name for it. “Very hard-nosed, physical, old-fashioned style of football.”
The Rabbits line up in the traditional “I” formation, and sophomore quarterback Donta McNeely hands off to senior fullback Roosevelt Falls or senior tailback Brandon Stiger. They run behind an all-senior offensive line. Atlanta ran for 264 yards against Hallsville and put up 306 rushing yards against Mt. Pleasant.
Scharnberg admits that his offensive philosophy also plays a role in his defensive strategy against Gilmer. We want to control the football, and keep the ball out of [Gilmer’s] hands, because they are so quick-strike oriented, they can score in a heartbeat, with No. 3 [Curtis Brown] and No. 5 [Jamell Kennedy], and Kinne is an outstanding athlete.”
Gilmer will counter Atlanta ’s ground attack with a reorganized defense that debuted last week by limiting Center to only 106 total yards. The defensive changes followed the Buckeyes giving up 42 points and 546 total yards against Daingerfield. Traylor said that his defense still has a lot to learn but, “I feel our upside is a lot greater with this group. We have more potential here. But understand that word ‘potential’ is also very dangerous. Technically, we’re nowhere near where we need to be, but athletically we’re a lot better.”
When Gilmer has the football
The Buckeyes couldn’t be more different from the Rabbits if they tried. Using a balanced attack of 99 passes and 103 rushes, Gilmer averages 308 yards in the air and 168 yards on the ground. Senior quarterback Kinne, has completed 66 of 91 passes, accounting for 1,182 yards and 17 touchdowns through the first four games. Senior receiver Curtis Bown has 596 combined rushing and passing yards, and 10 touchdowns on only 33 touches. Junior running back Justin Johnson has battled injuries, but leads the team with 239 rushing yards and three touchdowns on only 26 carries, while adding four receptions for 85 yards and two touchdowns on the receiving end.
“You better be really good on offense to score on their defense. They’re really good on defense,” stated Traylor, whose team has averaged 3.44 points for every minute of possession time this season.
Scharnberg knows how to beat the Buckeyes. “We’ve got to stop the quick-strike. We’ve got to stop the kickoff return, the punt return and the quick pass-and-run. We’ve got to stop the easy touchdowns, and make them work for every yard that they get. That’s our whole game plan; we’ve got to do that.”
The Rabbits have struggled defensively, allowing an average of 36.4 points per game and over 364 yards of total offense in their first five games. Despite those numbers, Scharnberg is confident his defense will rise to the challenge Friday night. “We’re just going to try to take care of business and just play extremely hard.”

Directions to Rabbit Stadium
From Gilmer; take SH 155 North 39 miles to Linden. Turn left (north) on US Highway 59 for 13 miles to Atlanta , where US 59 becomes FM 249/W. Main St. for 1.1 miles. Turn left on N. Williams St./FM 251 for 1.4 miles. N. Williams St. will turn into Holly St. just before you turn right onto Rabbit Blvd. Stadium will be on the left.

Scout Team
Players of the Week
Offense: Hunter Harrison
Defense: Dustin Varnado

Buckeyes roll over Center, 64-6

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.”
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
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.