From the Longview News-Journal:
Buckeyes leap over La Vega
From the Tyler Morning Telegraph:
Gilmer Captures Win Over La Vega, 44-16
From the Waco Tribune-Herald:
Gilmer 44, La Vega 16
From The Gilmer Mirror:
Buckeyes too much for La Vega
By JOE DODD
The La Vega Pirates gave the Gilmer Buckeyes all they could handle on the opening drive of the Class 3A Division I second round playoff game Saturday at Mesquite’s Memorial Stadium. After that, it was all Gilmer, as the Buckeyes rolled to an impressive 44-16 win over last season’s state finalists.
The Pirates took the opening kickoff and played keep-away from the Buckeyes for 7:15 of the first quarter, driving 53 yards in 13 plays before settling for a 22-yard field goal by Eddy Gonzales to take a 3-0 lead against the top-ranked Gilmer Buckeyes.
The Pirates tried to keep Gilmer’s offense off the field even longer, attempting an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff but the football didn’t travel the required 10 yards, so the Buckeyes started from the La Vega 45-yard line.
The Buckeyes had to settle for a 25-yard field goal after a glaring no-call on a defensive interference penalty in the end zone left Gilmer with a 4th-and-goal from the 8-yard line. Adan Olivares nailed the kick to tie the score 3-3 with only 57 seconds to play in the first quarter.
“I don’t like it, because I like to score touchdowns,” said Gilmer quarterback Stump Godfrey about settling for a field goal on the Buckeyes opening drive. “But we had to score somehow, and Adan does a great job kicking field goals. That was a great job by him.”
Concerned about La Vega’s first time-consuming drive, the Buckeyes’ Black Flag Defense made adjustments before the Pirates’ next series. “We knew they were going to come out and try to run it at us, because that’s what every team does,” said Gilmer cornerback Tristan Holt.
The adjustments worked, as the Buckeyes held the Pirates to 14 total yards on their next eight possessions.
“The coaches came up with a new scheme and it kept working, so we kept running it,” explained Gilmer safety Braylon Webb.
“Our kids believe in our coaching staff, and our coaching staff does a good job making adjustments, and our kids do it,” said Buckeyes’ head coach Jeff Traylor, who praised the defense for their performance. “They were totally out-manned and out-sized. They just played good technique and sacrificed their bodies for each other. We just out-gutted them.”
La Vega head coach Willie Williams was also quick to praise the Buckeyes’ defense. “They have no weaknesses. We knew they were strong defensively. We figured if we spread them out we couldn’t block them because they’re so quick, so our only chance was to get them in tight and try to power them,” said Williams. “They put the big boys in there and kind of shut down our running lanes. They did a great job and had a great scheme. They proved to be the better team.”
With the Pirates’ offense bottled up, the Buckeyes’ offense enjoyed great field position provided by the defense, starting their next three series in Pirates’ territory.
Gilmer took a 10-3 lead on their second series; a 4-play, 42-yard drive highlighted by a 27-yard completion from Stump Godfrey to his cousin Tevin Godfrey that set up Gus Osborne’s 3-yard touchdown run with 10:50 left in the second quarter.
Two plays later, the Buckeyes’ defense forced their only turnover of the game when Braylon Webb stripped the football from Devonte Jones at the La Vega 28-yard line.
Gilmer returned the favor three plays later when Vance Green coughed up the football after a crushing hit from Pirates’ linebacker Lamar Williams at the La Vega 17-yard line.
The Buckeyes’ defense made quick work of the Pirates again, forcing a 3-and-out punt. Holt caught the punt at the Buckeyes’ 47-yard line and dazzled the crowd with an amazing 53-yard return for a touchdown. But the touchdown was called back on a penalty against Gilmer.
The Buckeyes and Pirates traded punts on the next two series before Gilmer’s offense got back on track their final possession of the first half with a 9-play, 67-yard scoring drive kept alive by a Godfrey to Luke Turner catch and run of six yards on 4th-and-5. “I thought Luke Turner made a great effort to make that first down. That was a big play in the game,” said Traylor.
Godfrey completed the drive with a 13-yard touchdown run to give the Buckeyes a 17-3 lead with just 21 seconds remaining until halftime.
“Scoring right before the half, that was huge,” said Traylor. “If we hadn’t of scored there, the game might have been a little different.”
La Vega’s Williams agreed that the difference in the game was Gilmer made plays when the Pirates’ did not. “We had to play a perfect game because they are such a great ball club. We should have punched it in down there on our first drive and we didn’t. Right before half they score,” lamented Williams.
The Pirates made one last attempt to regain the momentum, starting the second half with an onside kick recovery at the Gilmer 33-yard line. But an offside penalty against the Pirates negated the recovery and forced a re-kick. La Vega tried another onside kick, but this time the Buckeyes’ Tevin Godfrey recovered the football at the Pirates’ 45-yard line.
It took the Buckeyes just four plays to score, as Osborne did the honors from 10 yards out just 69 seconds into the third quarter. Gilmer’s 2-point conversion attempt was stopped short of the goal line, leaving the score 23-3.
La Vega’s first series of the second half went nowhere fast as the Pirates faced a 4th-and-6 from their 39-yard line. The Buckeyes’ defense stopped the Pirates’ conversion attempt and gave the football back to the offense at the La Vega 41-yard line.
An impressive 20-yard run by Stump Godfrey and a 20-yard pass completion from Godfrey to Daniel McLaren, highlighted the Buckeyes’ next drive that ended with Braylon Webb’s 3-yard touchdown run. Olivares’ extra point kick made the score 30-3 with 7:03 to play in the third quarter.
After trading punts on the next two series, Holt got another chance to return a punt when the Pirates punted for the fifth time in the game. Jose Fajardo’s punt sailed over Holt, who sprinted back towards his own goal, and caught the football off a bounce at the 26-yard line. Holt turned around and proceeded to glide up the field like an ice skater surrounded by a force field for a 76-yard touchdown, giving Gilmer a 37-3 lead with 10:52 left in the fourth quarter.
“I try to go in thinking that I’m going to score,” said Holt, who now has five punt returns for touchdowns on the season. “They overpursued one way, so I just ran back the other way.”
Thanks in large part to major substitutions by the Buckeyes on defense, the Pirates finally got across the goal line on their next series when Lorenzo Davis broke loose for a 52-yard touchdown run, making the score 37-10 with 8:07 to play in the game.
The Buckeyes answered back with their longest drive of the game, going 80 yards in nine plays and using 5:20 off the clock. Backup quarterback Jordan Traylor completed the Gilmer scoring with a screen pass to J.T. Beecham, who followed a wall of blockers 15 yards for the touchdown, and a 44-10 lead with only 2:47 left in the game.
La Vega took advantage of the Buckeyes’ backups once more, this time with a 34-yard touchdown pass from Tony Montoya to Caleb Hobbs with 2:06 to play, making the final score 44-16 after a failed 2-point conversion attempt.
“We’re happy with the win, but we could have played a little better. We had some penalties and turned the ball over, so that’s always bad,” said Holt after the game.
Despite not throwing a touchdown pass for only the second time in his 41 games as a starter, Stump Godfrey was pleased with the Buckeyes’ play. “It just shows that we’ve got a great team,” said Godfrey. “We’ve got great running backs and a great line and receivers.”
“He’s much more concerned with what his record is,” said Traylor concerning Godfrey’s no touchdown passes in the game. “They played a lot of coverage. That’s just what they dictated, so we just adjusted.”
Osborne, who finished with 2 rushing touchdowns, said the Buckeyes can play better. “To tell the truth, we played so-so. Offense wasn’t as crisp as usual,” said Osborne. “But I will say the defense; that was some good ball playing. We held them all game to three points until the end. I was impressed.”
Traylor was quick to remind his team that their goal was still in reach. “That’s the name of the game; to advance. I know from doing this for a long time that you don’t ever complain about winning a playoff game; you’re just glad to still be in it.”
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total
Gilmer 3 14 13 14 44
La Vega 3 0 0 13 16
Gilmer La Vega
First Downs 18 12
Passing-Comp/Att/TD/Int 13-17-1-0 3-4-1-0
Passing-Yards 183 43
Rushes-Yards 35-201 45-151
Total Yards 384 194
Time of Possession 21:32 26:28
Fumbles Lost 1 1
Penalties-Yards 10-62 9-60
Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
GILMER’S BLACK FLAG DEFENSE wraps up La Vega QB Tony Montoya last Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium in Mesquite during the Buckeyes’ 44-16 win over the Pirates in the second round of the UIL Class 3A Division I playoffs. Making the stop are Ty Barr (26) and Eric Miller (45) with Luis Castro (5) closing in. Other Buckeyes from left are Ben Griffith (19), Harvey Horton (24), Marlon Granville (20), Mikey Wilson (34) and Xavier Easley (12). Gilmer (12-0) moves on to play the Navasota Rattlers (9-2) Saturday at 2 p.m. at Lufkin’s Abe Martin Stadium.
Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
GUS OSBORNE takes advantage of some good blocking by the Gilmer offensive line to score one of his touchdowns against La Vega.
Mirror Photos / Mary Laschinger Kirby
STUMP GODFREY didn’t throw for any TD passes, but he ran for one and expertly guided the Gilmer offense to another win. Other Buckeyes pictured in the photos above and below are linemen Jacob Jenkins (71), Beau Blair (70) and Caleb Denton (52).
Mirror Photos / Mary Laschinger Kirby
TRISTAN HOLT leaps over a La Vega defender, above, while J.T. Beecham below scores from 15 yards out. Other Buckeyes pictured are Daniel McLaren (4) and Dustin Hardin (55).
Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
VANCE GREEN runs for good yardage for the Buckeyes last Saturday in Mesquite. He and his teammates will be giving thanks that they’re still in the playoffs on Thanksgiving weekend, but they’ll not be spending much time relaxing as they must prepare for Saturday’s quarterfinal game against the Navasota Rattlers in Lufkin.
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LA VEGA won the coin toss, elected to receive and drove downfield to draw first blood on a field goal, but as the scoreboard indicates, it was all Gilmer the rest of the way until the starters took their rest in the fourth quarter. After the game, Gilmer Coach Jeff Traylor congratulates La Vega's leading rusher, Lorenzo Davis, on a game well played.
Gilmer Buckeyes vs La Vega Pirates Videos
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