From the Longview News-Journal:
Godfrey scores five TDs as Buckeyes beat Cuero, 42-36
From the Tyler Morning Telegraph:
Gilmer Headed To State Finals
From the Victoria Advocate:
THROUGH THEIR FINGERS
Cuero drops close game against Gilmer; Jackson runs for 215 yards
"We showed tonight that we can hang with one of the best," Arndt said. "Gilmer, they have a great team. They're going to try and keep that No. 1 ranking next week and we wish them all the luck."
From The Gilmer Mirror:
Buckeyes win 42-36 semifinal thriller over Cuero
By JOE DODD
The Gilmer Buckeyes overcame three first half turnovers and a two touchdown deficit in a 42-36 Class 3A Division I Semifinal win over the Cuero Gobblers Saturday night at Bowers Stadium in Huntsville before an estimated crowd of 11,000.
“It was almost like a movie,” said Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor, who will coach the Buckeyes in their third state championship game in the past six years Saturday against Abilene Wylie at SMU’s Ford Stadium in Dallas.
“We just made one more play than they did,” said Traylor about the Buckeyes, who stopped the Gobblers on three consecutive plays from the 5-yard line to preserve the 6-point victory.
“You’ve got to take your hat off to Gilmer; they’ve got a great football team. We just came up short,” said Cuero head coach Mark Reeve, who saw the Gobblers lose in the semifinals for the third straight year. “It’s a hard way to lose.”
Gilmer senior quarterback Stump Godfrey led the comeback charge with an amazing performance on the ground, rushing for 166 yards and five touchdowns after starting the game with two turnovers.
“I take total blame for that. I turned the ball over two times; that’s my fault,” said Godfrey, who claimed that he never doubted the Buckeyes would win. “I knew my team wouldn’t get down on me. I had faith in our defense and they gave me the chances. I had to be patient and wait for my chance.”
Godfrey and the Buckeyes had the first chance in the game, taking possession of the football first. Thanks in large part to two offensive penalties, the Buckeyes gained only 14 yards in five plays before punting, giving Cuero the ball at the Gobblers’ 11-yard line.
Cuero showed their offensive game plan immediately handing the football to sophomore running back Trent Jackson, who blew through the Buckeyes’ defense for consecutive gains of 16 and 14 yards, followed by a 14-yard pass from quarterback Tyler Arndt.
After a 7-yard run from Jackson put the Gobblers in scoring position at the Gilmer 38-yard line, Cuero center Logan Pickett sent an early snap to Arndt, who wasn’t expecting it. The football rolled past Arndt, who fell on the ball at the Cuero 42-yard line for a 20-yard loss. After a 4-yard gain by Arndt on third down, the Gobblers had to punt from their 46-yard line.
Gilmer took possession at their 28-yard line. After an incomplete pass, Buckeyes’ running back Gus Osborne excited the Gilmer fans with an impressive 24-yard run to the Cuero 48-yard line. On the next play, the Gobblers’ Ryan Barrientez made a diving interception at the 32-yard line to stop the Buckeyes’ drive.
The Gobblers took advantage of the Buckeyes’ turnover with an 11-play, 68-yard scoring drive capped off by a 14-yard touchdown run by Jackson to give Cuero a 7-0 lead with 2:08 to play in the first quarter.
Gilmer’s next possession lasted three plays, and ended when Godfrey turned into the Gobbler pass rush and had the ball jarred loose by Colton Jacob. Cuero’s Tommy Longoria recovered the fumble at the Buckeyes’ 14-yard line.
It took the Gobblers five plays, before Andrew Thibodeaux scored on a 1-yard run with 10:54 remaining in the second quarter. Tanner Hoffman’s extra point kick was wide left, leaving Cuero with a 13-0 lead.
The Buckeyes finally got things going, starting with a 27-yard kickoff return by Osborne that put Gilmer at the 47-yard line. It took the Buckeyes eight plays to cover the 53 yards, with Godfrey scoring on a 5-yard run. Adan Olivares kicked the first of four extra points to cut Cuero’s lead to 13-7 with 8:25 to go in the second quarter.
Buoyed by the offensive score, Gilmer’s defense stopped the Gobblers on their next possession, forcing an Arndt punt on fourth down- and-5 from the Cuero 35-yard line.
Gilmer’s Paul Chesnut bobbled the catch and the Gobblers’ Barrientez recovered the football at the Buckeyes’ 34-yard line.
It took Jackson four carries to cover the 34 yards, but a 16-yard touchdown run with 4:21 left in the first half gave Cuero a 20-7 lead after Hoffman’s successful extra point kick.
Despite the uncharacteristic turnovers and 13-point deficit, Traylor never felt like the Buckeyes were out of the game. “I was worried,” admitted Traylor. “I was thinking that if we could just survive this thing somehow; I just know those freak things won’t happen to us again.”
Gilmer’s next series looked like it would end in a quick three-and-out punt when the Buckeyes faced a fourth down-and-4 at their own 40-yard line. Instead of punting, Traylor kept the Gilmer offense on the field in a do-or-die challenge. Godfrey delivered a perfect 24-yard strike to Daniel McLaren, who was tackled at the Cuero 36-yard line.
“Coach Traylor had faith in his offense,” said Godfrey. “They made the call and expected us to make the play. Daniel made a great play across the middle.”
“There were just so many great plays in the game,” said Traylor. “I thought one of those plays of the game was that fourth down.”'
Godfrey then took the game over with his legs, rushing for a 19-yard gain on the next play and then finishing the drive with an incredible 17-yard touchdown run over, around and through Cuero defenders, stretching the football over the goal line from three yards out with a defender hanging onto him to cut the Gobblers’ lead to 20-14 with 3:05 remaining in the first half.
Traylor then made another gutsy call, directing the Buckeyes to onside kick the ensuing kickoff. Olivares executed a perfect bouncing kick that ricocheted off a Cuero player into the arms of Chesnut, giving Gilmer the football at the Gobblers’ 42-yard line.
Going with the adage of “If it aint broke don’t fix it” Gilmer put the football in Godfrey’s hands, who responded with runs of 25 and 10 yards, before finishing the 5-play drive with a 5-yard touchdown run with 1:37 to play in the half. Olivares’ extra point gave Gilmer their first lead of the game, 21-20.
“They were giving us the quarterback draw, and he wanted the ball so it was a no-brainer,” explained Traylor. “It’s never a bad idea to let Stump have it.”
Cuero responded to the Buckeyes’ comeback with an impressive 79-yard, 6-play drive highlighted by Jackson’s longest run of the game, a 44-yard scamper to the Gilmer 24-yard line, followed two plays later by a 24-yard touchdown pass from Arndt to Monte Green with 12 seconds left in the half to claim a 27-21 halftime lead.
Encouraged by the 6-point deficit despite the three turnovers, the Buckeyes were confident at halftime. “We were just beating ourselves,” said senior defensive tackle Luis Castro.
Senior receiver Tristan Holt echoed Castro’s feelings. “We knew that we had made some mistakes and that we were beating ourselves, so all we had to do was come back out and execute,” said Holt.
Gilmer’s Black Flag Defense executed perfectly on Cuero’s first possession of the second half, forcing the Gobblers to punt from their 26-yard line after a three-and-out series, giving the Buckeyes’ offense the ball at their 40-yard line.
The Buckeyes covered the 60 yards in 11 plays, mixing up five running and six passing plays. Godfrey completed the drive with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Braylon Webb on third down-and-long, to reclaim the lead, 28-27 with 7:31 to go in the third quarter.
In addition to the touchdown pass, the other big plays of the drive came on third down-and-long situations with Godfrey completing passes to Holt for 14 yards and Ben Griffith for 20 yards. Both Holt and Griffith were questionable with injuries before the game.
“We’ve just got kids gutting it out. It’s huge, just huge,” praised Traylor about the Buckeyes that are playing through injuries.
Holt, who led the Buckeyes with 58 yards on five catches, gave the credit to Gilmer trainer Steve York. “It was Coach York. He treated me every day. I practically lived in the training room this week. He is the best trainer in the world.”
The Gobblers answered the Buckeyes’ score with a plodding, 57-yard, 12-play drive that took 6:46 off the clock. A 2-yard touchdown run by Thibodeaux gave Cuero a 33-28 lead with only 45 seconds remaining in the third quarter after Hoffman’s extra point attempt hit the goal post.
Gilmer’s Holt returned the kickoff to the 45-yard line, then caught a 14-yard pass on the first play to put the Buckeyes in Gobblers’ territory. Three plays later, Marlon Granville took a snap from the swinging gate and picked up 23 yards to the Cuero 5-yard line. The Gobblers’ defense stiffened, but on 3rd down-and-goal from the 3-yard line, Godfrey ran untouched into the end zone for his fourth touchdown of the game with 11:06 left in the 4th quarter. The Buckeyes’ 2-point conversion attempt failed, giving Gilmer a 34-33 lead over the Gobblers.
Once again Cuero responded with a methodical, time consuming drive, this time using 16 plays to run 7:25 off the clock before settling for a 37-yard field goal from Hoffman to retake the lead 36-34 with 3:41 remaining in the game.
Hoffman pinned the Buckeyes deep in their own territory with a touch back on the kickoff. After consecutive incomplete passes and a 9-yard pass from Godfrey to Webb on 3rd down and 10, the Buckeyes faced another possible season-ending fourth down. Godfrey got the call and responded with a tough 3-yard run to pick up the first down.
Two more incomplete passes brought another third down-and-10.
Once again Godfrey got the call, dropping back then taking off up the middle on a perfectly executed quarterback draw. Godfrey made a hard cut to his left, picked up a great block from Holt and outran two defenders down the sideline for a 68-yard touchdown with 2:12 to go in the game.
Godfrey capped off the scoring drive with a stupefying 2-point conversion run, breaking a tackle at the 5-yard line, then leaping over a defender at the goal line and somersaulting in mid-air into the end zone for a 42-36 lead.
It was the sixth consecutive touchdown drive for the Buckeyes after not scoring on their first three series.
Now the Buckeyes’ season was in the hand of the defense. “The offense did their job; they went and scored and got us the lead again. All we had to do was make one more stop,” said senior linebacker Mikey Wilson.
“We knew that it was going to come down to our defense,” said Castro.
The Gobblers started their final series on their 38-yard line. After an 11-yard pass for a first down on the first play, Arndt’s next two passes fell incomplete to bring up a third down-and-10 at the Cuero 49-yard line. Arndt found a wide-open Green downfield for a 41-yard gain to the Buckeyes’ 10-yard line. Jackson picked up five yards on first down, setting up a 2nd down-and-goal from the 5-yard line.
Following a Gilmer time-out, the Black Flag Defense lived up to their motto of never surrendering, stuffing Jackson for no gain on the next play. After another Gilmer time-out, Arndt looked like he would connect on a pass with Hoffman for a touchdown, but at the last possible second, Buckeyes’ senior J.T. Beecham knocked the ball away to force a fourth down-and-goal.
With 46 seconds on the game clock, Cuero went with an empty backfield. Arndt dropped back to pass but Beecham busted through the protection and pressured Arndt into an early throw that landed innocently in the end zone, giving the Buckeyes the win.
“It was the seniors; they just stepped up and made plays. They don’t want to go home,” marveled Osborne.
“Defense wins championships; Coach Traylor has said that forever,” said Griffith.
“Our defense just did a great job. I’ve said all year that the strength of our team is the defense, and I mean that,” said Traylor. “Our defense has carried us, and they were great tonight.”
21 First downs 25
27-251 Rushes-yds 46-237
14-29-1-1 Passing 14-27-1-0
171 Passing yds 175
422 Total yds 412
2 Fumbles lost 0
15:17 Time of possession 32:43
SCORE BY QUARTERS
1 2 3 4 T
Gilmer 0 21 7 14 42
Cuero 7 20 6 3 36
Gilmer Buckeyes Blog
Dear Gilmer football team, coaches and fans,
As heartbreaking as this is to say, I want to congratulate you on your outstanding win Saturday night against the Cuero Gobblers.
I also want to wish you the best of luck in your game against Abilene Wylie for the state championship.
I must also comment on the outstanding sportsmanship exhibited by your players, coaches and fans.
With two strong teams and so much at stake, often the emotions get out of control.
It did not go unnoticed that the boys on the field kept their aggressions to the plays in process while offering helping hands up and pats on the back to their opponents.
As a result the game remained a true contest of sport that both teams should be proud of.
Gilmer can be proud not only of your team’s success, but also of how the boys, coaches and fans represent their school and town.
Gina Zavesky, Cuero
GONADinal fortitude!! SCROTUMosity!! TESTICULAR courage!!
It’s all the same. It is the only way to explain it.
Here’s the situation: The Buckeyes had made three costly turnovers. They were behind 20-7.
It is still in the first half, and the Buckeyes have the ball facing fourth down with several yards to go to make a first down.
I told my Dad, “They need to punt…they need to punt…they need to punt.”
Just think about it…if the Buckeyes fail, then the Gobblers get the ball in our territory and possibly drive for a touchdown to make it 27-7.
The Buckeyes lined up to go for it on fourth and long. I hollered: “No, no, no!” (as if Jeff Traylor could hear me).
And then Daniel McLaren made the fourth down catch that caused a shift in the momentum in the game.
The Buckeyes then drove down the field to score, making the score 20-14.
Then, I hollered for Adan Olivares to kick the ball deep.
Well, Traylor called for an onsides kick. Paul Chestnut recovered the ball…the Buckeyes made the drive…and they scored again (now the Buckeyes are ahead 21-20).
Yes, the two teams swapped scores for the remainder of the game, but those two plays (the fourth down pass and the onsides kick) were the two plays that I believe helped get the Buckeyes back in the game.
Other notable highlights: Darian Godfrey showed that he was on a mission; Ben Griffith caught a key third down pass; Chestnut rocked the receiver, knocking the ball loose; and the final defensive stand by the Buckeyes when the Gobblers had the ball down on our 5- yard line.
Yep. That’s what it is—GONADinal fortitude! SCROTUMosity! TESTICULAR courage! It just goes to show that these guys have steel ones.
Donnie Plant, Pritchett
From KETKnbc.com (1:30 in):
Longview, Gilmer Roll
CUERO FALLS SHORT OF STATE FINALS
Blog of game as it occurred
Gilmer Buckeyes vs Cuero Gobblers Videos
These come up in reverse chronological order. Scroll down to get to the beginning.
From the Abilene Reporter-News:
Wylie scores with 8 seconds left to win
'The Drive' defines Wylie season, prolongs it
Video: Wylie High vs. Lucas Lovejoy
The Class 3A Division I state championship game between the Gilmer Buckeyes and the Abilene Wylie Bulldogs is set for a 6 p.m. kickoff on Saturday, December 12, at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on the campus of Southern Methodist University in University Park, a municipality within the city of Dallas. Gilmer is the visiting team.
Gerald J. Ford Stadium - Wikipedia entry
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