Buckeyes notch impressive victory
From the Tyler Morning Telegraph:
Gilmer Rolls Over Jasper
No Doubts About Gilmer
From the Jasper Newsboy:
Gilmer rolls to easy win over Jasper
From The Gilmer Mirror:
Buckeyes blast Bulldogs
By JOE DODD
The Gilmer Buckeyes used a ball-hawking defense, great field position, and superior depth to overwhelm the Jasper Bulldogs 56-28 Thursday night (August 28) in the opening game of the Trinity Mother Frances Football Classic in front of almost 6,000 fans at Tyler's Trinity Mother Frances' Rose Stadium.
The Buckeyes' Black Flag defense forced three first quarter turnovers and the Buckeyes' offense started six out of seven first half possessions inside Jasper territory giving Gilmer a commanding 28-7 halftime lead that the Bulldogs could not overcome.
“I'm just happy we won,” said Buckeyes' head coach Jeff Traylor. “We really wanted to get this one. We knew our team didn't have a lot of confidence. They were new and they had listened to a lot of people tell them they were not as good as some of our other teams. So we thought this game was huge and we placed a lot of emphasis on it.”
The Buckeyes' special teams set the tone early with great coverage on the opening kickoff, tackling Jasper's Dominique Bailey at the Bulldogs' 12-yard line to start the game.
Gilmer's defense then forced Jasper to punt five plays later giving the Buckeyes' offense the football at the Gilmer 48-yard line. That would be the only first half possession for the Buckeyes that did not start on Jasper's side of the field.
Junior quarterback Stump Godfrey, Gilmer's only returning starter on offense, led the Buckeyes down the field hitting 4 of 4 passes for 32 yards and rushing for 17 yards setting up a first and goal from the Jasper 3-yard line. Godfrey ran the next play to the right side and dove towards the endzone only to have the football come loose and roll into the endzone where a Bulldog recovered the fumble.
“I was down. My knee went down, then the ball came out,” insisted Godfrey after the game. Traylor said the turnover didn't faze his signal caller. “He just came over to the sideline said he tried to score, he thought he was down,” Traylor said. “I thought his temperament was just wonderful. That was what I was most impressed with.”
Gilmer's defense forced three straight Bulldogs' turnovers on the next three possessions to put the game out of reach. J.T. Beecham got the first turnover just four plays after the Buckeyes' lone turnover when he stepped in front of Jasper quarterback Bailey's pass at the 34-yard line and returned the interception to the Bulldogs' 20-yard line. Gilmer wasted no time, scoring on the next play when Godfrey waited until the last possible second to float a screen pass over several rushing defenders to Jeremy Jackson, who followed a line of blockers into the endzone for a touchdown. Adan Olivares kicked the first of eight successful extra points for a 7-0 Buckeyes' lead with 4:37 to play in the first quarter.
“The biggest play of the game to me was the interception by J.T. Beecham after we had just turned it over. I thought that was huge,” said Traylor who saw his Buckeyes' regular season winning streak go to 24 games with the win.
Gilmer's Mikey Wilson stopped Jasper's next possession when he intercepted Bailey's pass at his own 40-yard line and returned it 28 yards to the Bulldogs' 32-yard line. After the game, Wilson said his interception was just part of the defensive game plan. “We just try to keep them from getting explosive plays, create at least three turnovers, and get the ball back for the offense down in the red zone.”
Once again the Buckeyes' offense struck quickly. After a 5-yard penalty for illegal motion pushed the Buckeyes back to the 37-yard line, Gilmer scored on the next play when Godfrey threw a lateral to Braylon Webb, who then threw down field to a wide open Beecham for a touchdown and a 14-0 advantage with 2:09 remaining in the opening quarter.
Two plays into Jasper's next series, the Buckeyes' Vance Green recovered a Bulldogs' fumble at the Jasper 45-yard line to give the Buckeyes another short field scoring opportunity.
This time the Buckeyes could not take advantage of the turnover, as a 10-yard holding penalty set the tone for a short series that saw Ben Griffith punt for the first time this season.
Jasper returned the favor four plays later, punting to Gilmer's Tristan Holt, who returned it to the Bulldogs' 49-yard line.
After two scoring drives totaling two plays and 18 seconds, the Buckeyes slowed things down a bit by covering the 49 yards on eight consecutive running plays. Godfrey did most of the work, carrying the ball six times for 37 yards, and scoring on a 3-yard run for a 21-0 lead with 8:34 to go in the second quarter.
Jasper's offense finally came to life on the Bulldogs' next possession. A 49-yard pass from Bailey to Kwamé Spikes put the ball at the Gilmer 5-yard line. Three plays later Ben Armstrong punched it in from a yard out for Jasper's first score. Ernesto Medrano kicked the first of four successful PAT attempts to cut the lead to 21-7 with 4:54 remaining in the first half.
Once again the Buckeyes' special teams set the tone for how Gilmer would respond to adversity when Holt took the Jasper kickoff and burst straight up the middle of the field and outran the Bulldogs' defenders for an apparent 83-yard touchdown. However an official ruled that Holt had stepped out of bounds at the Jasper 6-yard line. Two plays later Zach Jones ran the ball in from 5 yards out to increase the Buckeyes' lead to 28-7 with 4:05 left in the half.
Gilmer's defense and special teams stopped Jasper's chance of closing the gap before halftime when the Bulldogs' fake punt attempt was thrown for a loss giving Gilmer the ball back at the Jasper 47-yard line with 1:38 remaining in the half. The Buckeyes ran the clock out, content with a 21-point halftime advantage.
“They had a great game plan,” praised Jasper head coach Thomas Brooks. “They surprised us with their quick-strike offense. They were lining up and just coming real fast and I think it just kind of wore us down. They did a real good job with that. Coach Traylor and his staff do a super job.”
Traylor was happy with the offense, but gave credit to the other units for the offense's success. “Our defense played very well and gave us those three turnovers early in the game,” stated Traylor. “We played on a short field a lot of the night with turnovers and our kick-off return team and our punt return team. So many hidden yards are in those plays that a lot of people just don't pay attention to.”
Gilmer received the second half kickoff and sent a message to Jasper that there would not be a second half comeback like the Bulldogs made in the 2004 state championship game. Webb gave the Buckeyes good field position with his return to the 39-yard line. Gilmer covered the 61 yards in 9 plays, scoring on Jackson's 1-yard run with 9:15 to play in the third quarter to take a 35-7 lead.
The Bulldogs responded five plays later with an 11-yard touchdown run by Bailey to cut the score to 35-14 with 8:07 remaining in the third quarter.
Jasper then forced Gilmer's second punt of the game on the Buckeyes' next series, getting the ball back at their own 37-yard line. Two big plays put the Bulldogs at the Gilmer 25-yard line. Just as momentum looked like it could shift to Jasper, the Buckeyes' defense stepped up and turned back the scoring threat, allowing only three yards on the next three plays. Then on fourth down, the Black Flag Defense dropped Bailey for a 12-yard loss giving the football back to the offense at their own 34-yard line.
Four plays later Jackson exploded through the line and raced 53 yards for another Buckeyes touchdown, pushing the score to 42-14 with 34:02 left in the third quarter.
Despite the big play, Jasper responded well. “They played hard the whole game,” praised Traylor. “They never went away.'' The Bulldogs closed the gap again with an 86-yard drive in 9 plays, scoring as time expired in the third quarter on a 4-yard run by Armstrong to make the score 42-21.
The Buckeyes' next series resulted in Griffith's third punt of the game, a 44-yard beauty that pinned Jasper back at their own 21-yard line. Gilmer's defense pushed the Bulldogs backwards 10 more yards and forced their third punt of the game. The Buckeyes' special teams shined again as Paul Chesnut caught the punt and returned it 22 yards to the Jasper 34-yard line.
Gilmer's offense slowed things down and milked 4:09 off the clock with 8 straight runs, taking a 49-21 lead on Jackson's third touchdown of the game, with 5:50 to play.
The Bulldogs could only gain seven yards on their next series, turning the ball over on downs at their own 42-yard line.
Two plays later, Godfrey made a perfect fake handoff and zig-zagged through the Bulldogs' defense on a spectacular 36-yard touchdown run, giving his Buckeyes a 56-21 lead with only 3:25 left in the game. That scoring run gave Godfrey 125 yards rushing on 20 carries. “I really liked that,” said Godfrey, who had the most carries of his varsity career. “It made me feel like I was in a junior high game.”
Jasper responded one more time going on a 56-yard, 5-play scoring drive ending with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Cameron Stubblefield to Ryan Bronson to make the score 56-28 with 1:46 to go.
It looked like the Buckeyes would add to their touchdown total when Beecham took a handoff and went 55 yards untouched around the left side for an apparent touchdown only two plays later, but an official called a holding penalty against Gilmer on the play and nullified the touchdown. With 1:24 to play, the Buckeyes let the clock run out to win their fifth straight Classic game.
“They came out and were focused and they did a super job,” praised Jasper's Brooks.
The Buckeyes will host Rains for Homecoming on Friday, Sept. 5 at Buckeye Stadium.
Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
QB STUMP GODFREY dives in from a yard out to score Gilmer's third touchdown on Thursday night, Aug. 28, in Tyler during the opener of the annual Trinity Mother Frances Football Classic.
Buckeyes vs Jasper Bulldogs