From the Longview News-Journal:
Godfrey paces Buckeyes to easy victory
From the Tyler Morning Telegraph:
Buckeyes Hammer Panthers, 66-14
Danny's East Texas Wrap (1:55 in)
From The Gilmer Mirror:
Buckeyes dominate Spring Hill
By JOE DODD
Gilmer senior Stump Godfrey became only the ninth quarterback in Texas history to throw for 100 career touchdowns, throwing three touchdowns on his 18th birthday in the Buckeyes 66-14 win over the Spring Hill Panthers Friday night in Longview.
“I just thank God for giving me the opportunity, and thank the coaches and the team. It’s a great feeling to do it on my birthday,” said Godfrey.
Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor praised the senior quarterback. “He has worked so hard; he’s made a lot of sacrifices. He’s put in a lot of time and extra work, so I’m really happy for him.”
The Panthers thought they had a plan to keep Godfrey and the Buckeyes’ high scoring offense off the field. The plan was to keep the clock running, even when players ran out of bounds. Despite the strategy, the Buckeyes scored 49 first-half points. The Panthers plan the second half was to run the clock almost non-stop, even after scores and during player injuries.
The end result was 83 total plays in the game. By comparison, through the first seven games of the season, Gilmer averaged 111 total plays per game.
The Buckeyes made the most of the limited number of plays, but not before the host Panthers shocked the crowd when Garrett Watkins recovered a Godfrey fumble at the Buckeyes 27-yard line and Nathan Griffin scored on a 4-yard run six plays later to take a 7-0 lead only 3:22 into the game.
“I take the total blame for that. I just didn’t take care of the ball. It was my fault,” said Godfrey who missed two open receivers before fumbling the ball.
“You never want to turn the ball over on your first possession,” said Traylor. “Then you’d like your defense to stop them.”
Despite trailing for just the second time all season, the Buckeyes didn’t panic. Tristan Holt returned the Panthers’ kickoff 35 yards to the Spring Hill 46-yard line. Exactly one minute after the Panthers took the lead; Godfrey capped a 4-play drive with a 2-yard touchdown run. Adan Olivares kicked the first of eight extra points to tie the score with 7:38 left in the first quarter.
That touchdown drive cost Gilmer starting running back Vance Green, who was hurt one play before Godfrey’s touchdown. Green, who moved from linebacker to running back after Gus Osborne went down with an ankle injury in the Buckeyes’ first game.
“I was really scared for him because that was basically how I went down,” said Osborne who rushed for 67 yards and two touchdowns on only four carries against the Panthers.
On Spring Hill’s next play, the Buckeyes’ Ty Barr recovered a Kirk Talley fumble at the Panthers’ 27-yard line. Three plays later, Osborne scored on a 9-yard run to take the lead for good with 6:30 remaining in the opening quarter.
The Panthers’ next series ended after 35 yards and seven plays with a Spencer Clark punt that rolled dead at the Gilmer 20-yard line.
It took the Buckeyes’ offense only seven plays and 1:45 to cover the distance. Godfrey connected with Holt from three yards out for the first of his three touchdown passes, giving Gilmer a 21-7 lead as time expired in the first quarter.
Gilmer’s defense came up big again on Spring Hill’s next possession as Xavier Easley intercepted the Panthers’ Dylan Brown on the first play at the Spring Hill 15-yard line.
The Buckeyes’ offense couldn’t take advantage of the turnover and great field position, settling for a 33-yard field goal attempt from Olivares that sailed wide left.
The Panthers’ next series resulted in a quick 3-and-out, with Brown punting from deep in Panthers’ territory. Gilmer’s Paul Chesnut fielded the punt at his own 46-yard line, then broke three tackles on a spectacular return, before being tackled at the Spring Hill 8-yard line.
Buckeye running back Marlon Granville ran for the touchdown on the next play, pushing Gilmer’s lead to 28-7 with 6:34 left in the first half.
Another punt after a 3-and-out series by the Panthers gave Gilmer the ball back at their 48-yard line.
Three plays later, Godfrey hit Braylon Webb for a 1-yard touchdown and a 35-7 lead with 2:08 to play in the half.
On the Panthers’ next offensive play, Tyler Zapata fumbled and the Buckeyes’ Eric Miller recovered the ball at the Spring Hill 15-yard line.
On the next play, Godfrey connected with J.T. Beecham for his 100th career touchdown and a 42-7 lead with 1:44 to go in the half.
The Panthers received a spark on the kickoff when Ashton Everett handed the football to Ryan Lacy on a reverse and the Panther raced down the home sideline 89 yards for the touchdown, cutting the Buckeyes’ lead to 42-14.
“We did a great job of stopping them except for that one time,” explained Traylor. “But when you kick off 11 times in a game I guess you can expect some of that.”
Gilmer answered right back with Beecham’s 20-yard kickoff return giving the Buckeyes the football on the Panthers’ 45-yard line. Three plays later, Osborne scored on a 36-yard run for a 49-14 halftime lead.
Things didn’t get any better for the Panthers in the second half. On the third play from scrimmage, Gilmer’s Ben Griffith stepped in front of a Brown pass at the Spring Hill 10-yard line and returned the interception for a touchdown and 56-14 lead.
“We were in a coverage where we blitz and the ball just showed up and I ran,” said Griffith. “It was the easiest thing I’ve ever done in my life.”
Spring Hill’s next possession resulted in another 3-and-out series and punt that gave Gilmer the football at the Panthers’ 48-yard line.
The Buckeyes’ drive stalled at the 9-yard line, where Olivares connected on a 26-yard field goal to push Gilmer’s lead to 59-14 in the third quarter.
Another 3-and-out series by the Panthers gave the Buckeyes the football at their 29-yard line, where backup quarterback Luke Turner took over for Godfrey. After one pass and a 3-yard gain, the Buckeyes stayed on the ground for the next six plays, scoring on a 25-yard run by Beecham to end the scoring at 66-14 after Carlos Sanchez kicked the final extra point.
“We put 66 on the board, but we weren’t as crisp as we should be. We came out kind of flat and you could tell throughout the game,” said Griffith who caught three passes for 29 yards as the Buckeyes amassed 459 total yards on only 48 plays.
Defensively, the Buckeyes’ had their best statistical game of the season, allowing only 43 total yards, despite not stopping the Panthers’ 27-yard scoring drive to start the game.
“We really wanted our defense to step up and make a play because the offense turned the ball over,” said Osborne, who finished with six tackles on defense. “We didn’t step up to the plate, but after that we came out and hit them in the mouth and did pretty good.”
Gilmer Spring Hill
21 First downs 7
27-323 Rushes-yds 23-33
14-21-3-0 Passing 5-12-0-2
136 Passing yds 10
459 Total yds 43
1 Fumbles lost 2
5-45 Penalties-yds 3-25
SCORE BY QUARTERS
1 2 3 4 T
Gilmer 21 28 10 7 66
Spring Hill 7 7 0 0 14
Mirror Photos / Mary Laschinger Kirby
TRISTAN HOLT scores for Gilmer, assisted by a Luke Turner block, on a pass from Stump Godfrey, while in below photo the Black Flag Defense forces a fumble. Buckeyes pictured below are Ben Griffith, Eric Miller, an unidentified defender, Mikey Wilson, Dakota Cannon and Jordan McCraven, who is stripping the football. After rolling over the Spring Hill Panthers in Longview last Friday night, the top-ranked Buckeyes (8-0; 3-0) stay on the road this Friday night against the Gladewater Bears (3-5; 2-1).
Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
VANCE GREEN of the Buckeyes gets loose on a long run and glances over toward teammate Tristan Holt, who does a nice job of shielding him from a Spring Hill defender giving chase. Gilmer’s 66-14 win keeps the Buckeyes’ record unblemished at 8-0, 3-0 in District 17-3A play.
Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
BLACK FLAG defenders for Gilmer gang-tackle Nathan Griffin (44) of the Panthers. The Buckeyes held Spring Hill to 33 yards rushing and 43 total yards. Buckeyes, pictured from left, are Josh Gordon (41), Braylon Webb (6), an unidentified tackler and Eric Miller (45).
Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
BEN GRIFFITH makes more yardage after receiving a pass from Stump Godfrey. one of three catches on the evening. He also caught a Spring Hill pass and returned the interception for a touchdown.