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Buckeyes face La Vega in second round of playoffs

Buckeyes Remain Perfect

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

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

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

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

Like Traylor, Williams is coaching in his hometown. “This is the only place I’ve known. I graduated from here and I’ve coached here for 27 years. I’ve never coached at any other place. I bleed blue and gold. This is my home and it’s been a dream come true for me,” said Williams.

Williams’ tenure has been a dream come true for Pirates’ fans as well. From 1931 to 1989, La Vega made 13 appearances in the playoffs. Since Williams was named head coach in 1990, the Pirates have 11 post season appearances, including a trip to the state title game last season.

“They’ve got a history of being good. They were in the state championship game last year. They’ve been deep in the playoffs many times recently,” said Traylor, who added that his players are looking forward to facing another storied program. “They’re excited. They’ve heard a lot about La Vega.”

“It kind of reminds me of when we played West Orange Stark. They’ve got a good history; they win a lot of games,” said Gilmer running back Gus Osborne, who is coming off a career best 3 touchdown rushing performance in the Buckeyes’ 57-21 win over Jasper last Saturday.

“It’s always fun to play teams you’ve never played before,” added Gilmer linebacker Mikey Wilson, who leads the Buckeyes with 122 tackles.

“That makes it exciting. It’s always good to have a challenge,” said Gilmer safety Paul Chesnut, who helped the Buckeyes’ Black Flag Defense hold opponents to an average of only 14 points per game this season.

Wilson and Chesnut are 2 of the 13 seniors who played major roles on the Buckeyes’ 2007 state finalist team, and have a chance to make history as the most successful senior class to pass through Gilmer High School. In their four years, the Buckeyes are 47-4 and lost in the playoffs to the eventual state champion all three years.

La Vega’s senior class is 42-11 during the same time span, but according to Williams, isn’t as strong as the Buckeyes’ seniors. “We’ve got kids that have gone to the state finals, but they were standing on the sidelines watching as opposed to playing, and Gilmer’s got kids that actually played in that game.” Williams said.

Traylor is quick to point out that the Pirates do return 3 starters from last season’s state finalist team; Lamar Williams, C.J. Williams, and Joe Stevens. “All three of those kids started at linebacker in the state championship game, so you know they’re pretty good,” said Traylor.

“They match up well because they are so athletic,” said Traylor, about the Pirates’ defense that is led by Williams (6-1, 210, 4.6). “He’s probably the best player we’ve played against all year on defense,” Traylor praised. “He kind of looks like DeMarcus Ware of the Dallas Cowboys.”

According to Williams, it might take Ware and the Cowboys’ defense to stop the Buckeyes’ high powered offense. “I don’t think anybody matches up well against Gilmer. They’ll make a good defense look bad,” said Williams.

The Buckeyes’ offense averages 478 yards per game and leads the state in scoring with 55.5 points per game. Gilmer senior quarterback Stump Godfrey has thrown for 109 touchdowns in his career, 6th best in Texas high school football history.

“We’re going to try to contain them and keep them off the field,” said Williams. “I don’t think we’ll be intimidated. We’re going to play hard and see what happens.”

Williams’ confidence comes from the Pirates’ schedule this season. La Vega’s four losses came against perennial state powers Abilene Wylie and Brownwood in non-district play, and district rivals Mexia and Lorena. All four teams are still in the playoffs.

“They’ve played a very tough schedule. They’re battle-tested,” said Traylor, who is concerned with the Pirates’ size advantage. “They are by far the biggest team we’ve played,” marveled Traylor. “Their offensive line is massive all the way across.”

The Pirates’ line is versatile as well. “They’re a power football team at times; they run the ball right at you. And they’re also a spread team at times, so they do a little bit of both,” explained Traylor.

“They’re a good power running team. On defense, they’re very physical. Those are the two things they do the best,” summed up Traylor, who added that the Buckeyes are beat up after their game against Jasper.

“We’ve had some injuries, so we’ve had to move some kids around,” said Traylor. “We’re really working on our depth right now. We’re working hard on our backups just because you know you’re going to need them in these physical games. That’s really our focus.”

Williams said that La Vega’s focus is also internal. “We can’t worry about what Gilmer has,” Williams said. “We’ve got to worry about what we’ve got, and try to take care of our business on our end and try to execute on our end.”

The Pirates’ execution was in question last week as La Vega had to come from behind to beat Athens 21-20 to advance to face the Buckeyes. The game started out well for La Vega, who scored on their first play of the game, a 10-yard run by Lorenzo Davis, to take a 7-0 lead.

But it was all Athens for the next three quarters, as the Pirates fell behind 20-7 going into the fourth quarter. Davis scored his second touchdown of the game with 6:42 remaining, to cut Athens lead to 20-14. La Vega completed the come-back when quarterback Tony Montoya hit tight end Tim Garner on a 65-yard touchdown to take the lead with only 3:19 left in the game.

Traylor said the Pirates won the way most playoff games are decided. “This time of the year it’s always turnovers and big plays. If you win those two categories, you’re going to win the game,” said Traylor. “You’ve got to avoid the big plays on defense and you’ve got to create turnovers on defense. You’ve got to make big plays on offense and take care of the ball.”

Not many teams make more big plays or turn the ball over less than the Buckeyes, stated Williams, who said that the Pirates are excited to face Gilmer. “It’s going to be a great opportunity to go out and try to play with the best.”

From the Longview News-Journal:

Buckeyes at a glance

2009 Gilmer Buckeyes Offense
Statistical Leaders-Thru 11 Games
Darian Godfrey                        187 of 256 for 2,772 yards, 35 TD’S, 5 INT’S
Luke Turner                            4 of 12 for 47 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Jordan Traylor                         2 of 4 for 30 yards, 1 TD
TEAM TOTALS                        194 of 274 for 2,872 yards, 38 TD’S, 6 INT’S
Luke Turner                            31 rec, 361 yards, 6 TD’S
Tristan Holt 27 rec, 672 yards, 11 TD’S
Tevin Godfrey                        25 rec, 465 yards, 4 TD’S
Braylon Webb                           23 rec, 268 yards, 4 TD’S
Kedon Franklin                        15 rec, 184 yards, 2 TD’S
TEAM TOTALS                       194 rec, 2,872 yards, 38 TD’S
Darian Godfrey                        81 carries, 382 yards, 13 TD’S
Vance Green                            51 carries, 682 yards, 6 TD’S
Jeremy Jackson                         41 carries, 316 yards, 1 TD
Marlon Granville                        38 carries, 288 yards, 3 TD’S
Gus Osborne                           25 carries, 301 yards, 7 TD’S
TEAM TOTALS                       281 carries, 2,386 yards, 38 TD’S
First Downs                              213
Passing                                     2,872 yards
Rushing                                    2,386 yards
TOTAL OFFENSE                   5,258 YARDS

Gilmer Buckeyes Black Flag Defense Season Statistics
Rushing Allowed: 1,385 yards
Passing Allowed: 842 yards
Total Allowed: 2,227 yards
Rushing Per Game: 125.9 yards
Passing Per Game: 76.5 yards
Total Per Game: 202.4 yards
Points Allowed: 164
Points Per Game: 14.9
Recovered Fumbles: 11
Interceptions: 11
Forced Turnovers: 22
Team Leaders
Mikey Wilson 122
Luis Castro 86
Braylon Webb 83
Chris Miller 80
Paul Chesnut 61
Forced Fumbles
Braylon Webb 2
Eric Miller 2
Recovered Fumbles
Eric Miller 3
Luis Castro 2
Paul Chesnut 2
Ben Griffith 2
Chris Miller 5
Luis Castro 4
Ty Barr 3
J.T. Beecham 2
Eric Miller 2

November 21- La Vega @ Memorial Stadium, Mesquite
Mascot: Pirates
Colors: Blue & Gold
District: 19-3A
Enrollment: 650
Record: 7-4, 3-2 District
Last meeting: This will be the first meeting between the two teams
Head Coach: Willie Williams (135-84-2 in 20th season at La Vega & Overall)
Returning Starters: 2 Offense/4 Defense
Did you know? The Pirates lost 17-10 to Prosper in last year’s Class 3A Division I Final.
La Vega Pirates 2009 Season Results
Date Opponent Result
08/28/09@ Marlin won: 47-0 09/04/09 Brownwood lost: 7-24
@ Dallas Roosevelt won: 28-0
09/18/09 Abilene Wylie lost: 29-46
@ Crockett won: 42-0 10/09/09
@ Mexia*lost: 28-46 10/16/09
Waco Connally*won: 28-21
@ Robinson*won: 54-46
Groesbeck* won: 31-6 11/06/09
@ Lorena*lost: 7-21 11/14/09 Athens @ Mesquite Hanby won: 21-20
Overall Record: 7-4 *District Record: 3-2
Total Points For: 322 Average Points For Per Game: 29.3 Total Points Against: 230 Average Points Against Per Game: 20.9
Historical Stats, Records, and Program Information
La Vega
2000 5-5-0 Willie Williams
2001 4-6-0 Willie Williams
2002 5-5-0 Willie Williams
2003 7-4-0 Willie Williams
2004 0-10-0 Willie Williams
2005 3-6-0 Willie Williams
2006 10-3-0 Willie Williams
2007 13-1-0 Willie Williams
2008 12-3-0 Willie Williams 2009 7-4-0 Willie Williams
BY DECADES W- L-T 1931-39 38-27-4
1940-49 54-34-7
1950-59 77-30-5
1960-69 35-63-2
1970-79 46-49-3
1980-89 56-48-5
1990-99 69-37-2
2000-09 66-47-0
TOTAL: 441-335-28
Overall Record: 441-335-28
Undefeated Seasons: 1 (1941)
Winless Seasons: 3 (1962, 1985, 2004)
Last District Championship: 2008
Last Playoff Appearance: 2008
All-Time Playoff Appearances: 24
All-Time Playoff Record: 30-22-0
Gilmer has an 11 game winning streak (last loss: 31-28 Carthage, 2008)
Gilmer has a 104 consecutive games scoring streak (last shutout: 10-0 @ Longview to Pleasant Grove, 2001)
Jeff Traylor is 108-17 at Gilmer
Gilmer’s Jeff Traylor’s 86% winning percentage is the 3rd best among all active coaches in Texas
Gilmer has won more games than any other 3A team in the state since 2000
Gilmer is 18-7 under Jeff Traylor in playoff games
La Vega is 13-10 under Willie Williams in playoff games (10-3 since 2006)
Gilmer’s 611 points scored is the 5th best in school history 701 2007 15 games
665 2004 16 games
633 1930 13 games
620 2008 14 games
611 2009 11 games
Gilmer has scored 70 or more points in 3 games this season. The school record is 4 games by the 1929 and 1930 Buckeyes
Gilmer needs 91 points to break the school record of 701 points scored in 2007
Gilmer has scored 47 or more points in the first half 4 times this season
Gilmer’s 611 points is the most points scored in all classifications.
Gilmer’s 55.5 ppg average is the best in all classifications
Gilmer’s 41.1 average margin of victory is best in class 3A and 5th best in all classificationsGilmer’s 555 offensive plays consist of 274 passing attempts (49.4%) and 281 rushing attempts (50.6%)
Gilmer averages 261.1 yards per game passing (54.6%) and 216.9 yards per game rushing (45.4%) for a total of 478 yards per game
Gilmer has receiving touchdowns by 11 different players
Gilmer has rushing touchdowns by 10 different players
Gilmer is 37-3 with Stump Godfrey as starting quarterback
Gilmer quarterback Stump Godfrey has 10,613 total yards for his career
Gilmer’s Stump Godfrey’s 109 career touchdown passes ranks as 2nd best all time in Class 3A and is the 6th best in all classifications. (source: Joe Lee Smith)
132 – G.J. KINNE, Canton, 2003-05; Gilmer 2006
109 - DARIAN GODFREY, Gilmer, 2007-Current
167 – GRAHAM HARRELL, Ennis, 2000-03 (4A)
137 – GARRETT GILBERT, Lake Travis, 2006-08
132 – G.J. KINNE, Canton, 2003-05; Gilmer 2006
116 – COLT McCOY, Jim Ned, 2002-04 (2A)
114 – DREW TATE, Baytown Lee, 1999-02 (5A) 109- DARIAN GODFREY, Gilmer, 2007-Current
Gilmer’s Stump Godfrey’s 8,583 career passing yards ranks as 4th best all time in Class 3A. He needs 1,464 passing yards to pass Chandler Dane of Decatur for 3rd place (source: Joe Lee Smith)
Gilmer quarterback Stump Godfrey needs 417 passing yards to give him 9,000 for his career
Gilmer’s Stump Godfrey’s 46 career rushing touchdowns is the most in school history
Gilmer’s Tristan Holt has scored 19 touchdowns this season including 11 receiving, 3 rushing, 4 on punt returns, and 1 kickoff return for 1,377 all-purpose yards. Holt has 54 all-purpose touches on the season
Gilmer is a 34-point favorite over La Vega according to Jerry Forrest of


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