Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gilmer 43, Abilene Wylie 26


Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
STATE CHAMPIONS Class 3A Division I for 2009 include, from left, front row, Christian Nation, manager, Kedon Franklin, Dylan Bowman, Tristan Holt, Justus Cheatham, Daniel McLaren, Luis Castro, Braylon Webb, Casey Shelton, Luke Turner, Tim Cregler, Renoire Horton, Vance Green, Adan Olivares, Coach Randall Canady, Darian “Stump” Godfrey, Alec Bradshaw, Paul Chesnut, Xavier Easley, Slade Morris Jordan Abron, Caleb Mosley, Traylon Webb, Jamar Todd, Ben Turner, Tre Washington, Chris Miller, Tevin Godfrey, Darius Parker; second row, Coach Tommy Edwards, Kavin Patton, Brandon Barnes, Ben Griffith, Marlon Granville, Vondrick Nelson, J.T. Beecham, Travis Carter, Eddie Fluellen, Gus Osborne, Harvy Horton, MarQualon Tate, Ty Barr, Tamil Harris, Chad Tennison, Jordan McCraven, Sam Davidson, Gavin Holt, Ricky Hohnson, Jeremy Jackson, Dakota Cannon, John Stone, Mikey Wilson, Duncan Goodrich, Jordan Traylor, Matt Fluellen, Lelon Montgomery, Ben Martin, Coach Alan Metzel, Nolan Hagler; third row, Coaches Matt Turner, Steve York, Tim Russell, Joey Hector, Joe Ed Bowin, Juan Lopez, Coach Wayne Coleman, Josh Gordan, Coach Kurk Traylor, Kris Elder, Coach Keith Tate, Jeremy McMillan, Coach Todd Fenton, David Oliveres, Carlos Sanchez, Chase Spencer, Eric Miller, Ricardo Quezada, Sam Haynes, Colton Hill, Adam Witcher, Devonte Brooks, Justin Vestal, Anthony Villafuerte, Caleb Denton, Cory Davis, Jasper Cox, Alex Vick, Dustin Hardin, Barry Kennedy, Wesley Lambert, Allen Wilkerson, Cody Davidson, Coach Max Low, Hayden Stansbury, Coaches Todd Barr, Elvis Jackson, Joey Jackson, Lance Gamble, and Ryan Pate; fourth row, Jordan Goodrich, Jason Thorpe, Zach Davidson, Beau Blair, Jacob Jenkins, Brady English, Branson Parker, Kole Lawhorn, Nathan Shelton, Nick Richardson, Mark Fluellen, Athletic Director and Head Coach Jeff Traylor; Markus Reid, Brian Boyd, Michael Boddie, Dillon Sampson, Hurashio Morgan, Brett Williams, T.J. Boyle, Austin Hollingsworth, John Reynoso, Darrion Pollard, Brice Rawls, Jarrett Finney.




From the Tyler Morning Telegraph:

Gilmer Captures Second State Title



From the Longview News-Journal:

Buckeyes bring home state title

From the Abilene Reporter News:

3A title: Wylie can't catch Gilmer after fast start

From the El Paso Times:

Gilmer beats Abilene Wylie 43-26



Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
GILMER COACH JEFF TRAYLOR and senior players Stump Godfrey, Luis Castro and Mikey Wilson accept the state championship ball from University Interscholastic League executive director Charles Breithaupt. NIKE representative Brandon Williams, a Gilmer native, is to the right of Breithaupt and is about to award the Buckeyes the state championship trophy. The ceremony was held in the middle of Gerald J. Ford Stadium on the SMU campus last Saturday night after Gilmer’s 43-26 victory over the Abilene Wylie Bulldogs.


From The Gilmer Mirror:

Buckeyes bring home second state championship



The Gilmer Buckeyes finished a perfect 15-0 season as the number one ranked team in Class 3A with a decisive 43-26 victory over the Abilene Wylie Bulldogs Saturday night at SMU’s Ford Stadium in the Class 3A Division I State Championship.

The title is the Buckeyes’ second in school history, following the school’s 2004 Class 3A Division II championship. That team was quarterbacked by Manuel Johnson, who spoke to the team before the game.

“I just told them that Coach Traylor has prepared them for this opportunity,” said Johnson, now with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. “They’ve been preparing all year with the Buckeye Maker and summer workouts. This is not a game that is bigger than the rest of the ones they have played.”

Gilmer senior quarterback Stump Godfrey said Johnson challenged the seniors saying, “It’s the last game; why not go out and win it all? “He shared that with the team and we took it and came out and played hard,” said Godfrey.

“It’s kind of a sense of relief to be honest with you,” said Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor about fulfilling the expectations after being ranked in the preseason as Class 3A’s number one team. “I’m just happy for my kids and coaches.”

Abilene Wylie entered the game with one of the state’s top-ranked defenses, but it was Gilmer’s defense that stole the show, limiting the Bulldogs to only 58 yards and no points in the first half.

“Everybody talked about their defense being number one in the state and we thought our defense was pretty good too. We just felt like we got overlooked and the Black Flag showed up tonight and just played amazing,” said Traylor.

“We read all of the articles written about their defense. We didn’t have any articles written about our Black Flag Defense, so we just came out here and showed them who is the number one defense,” said safety Braylon Webb.

“Everything was about Abilene Wylie’s defense, nothing about Gilmer’s Black Flag Defense and that just added fuel to the fire and made everybody mad and made us want to prove a point,” said cornerback Ben Griffith.

“It was a great motivation for us,” confirmed safety Paul Chesnut.

That motivation was evident from the first series of the game, as Abilene Wylie won the coin toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff. Starting from their 38-yard line, the Bulldogs managed only 14 yards in five plays before punting to the Buckeyes.

When Gilmer’s offense took control at their 21-yard line, it was quickly evident why the Buckeyes’ offense leads the state in scoring. Gilmer went 79 yards in 11 plays, scoring on a 15-yard screen pass from Stump Godfrey to Gus Osborne, who followed his blockers untouched into the end zone for the touchdown. Adan Olivares kicked the first of four successful extra points to give Gilmer a 7-0 lead with seven minutes left in the first quarter.

Olivares pinned the Bulldogs with his kickoff that went into the end zone for a touchback, giving Abilene Wylie the football at their own 20-yard line. This time, Gilmer’s defense gave up only two yards on three plays, forcing the Bulldogs to punt.

The Buckeyes’ offense traveled 25 yards in six plays, but Traylor played it safe on 4th down-and-2, punting the football back to the Bulldogs from the Abilene Wylie 43-yard line. The punt rolled into the end zone, giving the Bulldogs the football at their 20-yard line.

Abilene Wylie moved the football to their 38-yard line on the first three plays, but back-to-back sacks by the Buckeyes pushed the Bulldogs back to their 14-yard line and forced another punt.

The Bulldogs’ punt gave Gilmer the football at their 44-yard line. Four plays later, from the Gilmer 29-yard line, Godfrey hit Kedon Franklin on a wide receiver screen that Franklin took to the 7-yard line before getting hit by a defender and fumbling the football. Buckeyes’ lineman Caleb Denton picked up the loose ball and ran it into the end zone for a touchdown and 14-0 lead with nine seconds remaining in the first quarter.

“I was like a kid in a candy store when I saw the ball pop out,” said Denton, who scored the first touchdown of his career. “It’s the most amazing feeling I’ve ever had in my life.”

Despite the 2-touchdown lead, Godfrey was quick to recall the last time these two teams met. “As soon as we scored I told everyone that we were up 14-0 in 2007 and they came back and made it a ball game. The next series is crucial; we need to take care of business and score,” Godfrey said.

The Buckeyes’ defense took care of business on the next series, allowing 29 yards on four plays before Luis Castro intercepted Matt Preston’s attempted screen pass at the Bulldogs’ 47-yard line to give the ball back to the Gilmer offense.

The Buckeyes’ offense took advantage of the turnover, scoring on Braylon Webb’s 1-yard touchdown run with 8:12 left to play in the second quarter for a commanding 21-0 lead.

Gilmer’s defense kept up the pressure on the Bulldogs’ next possession, limiting Abilene Wylie to 19 yards on five plays before forcing the Bulldogs to punt again.

The Buckeyes took over at their 28-yard line, and looked poised to make the game a blowout until Gilmer’s Vance Green fumbled the football on the first play of the series to Abilene Wylie’s Kolter Wright who returned it 28 yards for a touchdown, cutting the Buckeyes’ lead to 21-7 with 5:33 left in the first half.

Despite a 42-yard kickoff return by Tristan Holt, Gilmer’s offense stalled on the next series, punting to the Bulldogs from the Abilene Wylie 47-yard line.

The Bulldogs took over at their 17-yard line. Seven plays later, Ben Griffith intercepted a Preston pass with his cast-covered left hand and returned it to the Abilene Wylie 11-yard line. “It was just a rail route and I just kind of sat on it and it was an underthrown ball. It hit my cast and bounced around but it stayed up long enough for me to grab it with my other hand,” explained Griffith.

Gilmer took advantage of the turnover, but had to settle for a 19-yard field goal from Olivares as time expired in the first half for a 24-7 lead.

The Bulldogs had six possessions in the first half which resulted in four punts, two turnovers and only six first downs against the Buckeyes’ defense.

“They came in motivated. They were focused. They were unbelievable. We knew they were going to come out and have a great game,” said Godfrey about Gilmer’s defense.

“I think we came out with a little more intensity and we got the job done,” said linebacker Mikey Wilson. “It felt great, but we knew that last week they were down and we had to seal the deal.”

“We knew they wouldn’t go away. We just had to keep playing,” said Traylor.

Abilene Wylie did not go away. In fact the Bulldogs made things very interesting to start the second half, holding Gilmer to 15 yards on five plays on the first series, forcing another Buckeyes’ punt.

After a nice punt return by the Bulldogs’ Cary Ramos to the 47-yard line, Abilene Wylie finally got their offense cranked for a 53-yard, 6-play scoring drive capped by a 3-yard touchdown pass from Preston to Austin Gray with 7:15 to go in the third quarter that made the score 24-14.

The Buckeyes were not surprised or overly concerned about the momentum shift. “We knew they were a good team. They fought hard and never gave up,” said defensive tackle Luis Castro.

Gilmer responded like true champions despite starting their next possession at their own 7-yard line. Godfrey connected with Franklin for a 20-yard gain on first down, then Godfrey turned in a spectacular effort two plays later when chased to the sideline, he heaved a throw deep downfield to Daniel McLaren, who made the catch for a 52-yard gain down to the Bulldogs’ 21-yard line.

Godfrey completed the 93-yard scoring drive with back-to-back quarterback draws up the middle for gains of 11 yards and then 10 yards for the touchdown to give the Buckeyes a 30-14 lead with 6:01 to play in the third quarter, after Olivares’ kick was wide following a high snap.

“I thought the play of the game was the long throw to Daniel,” said Traylor, who credited the Buckeyes’ touchdown drive with regaining the lost momentum.

The Bulldogs’ next series proved to be more like the first half, as Gilmer’s defense limited Abilene Wylie to only 15 yards on seven plays, forcing Abilene Wylie to punt for the fifth time in the game.

Thanks to a 15-yard penalty on the first play of the series, the Buckeyes could not take advantage of the opportunity, punting the football back to the Bulldogs 4 plays later.

Abilene Wylie’s Ramos returned the punt 14 yards to the Gilmer 35-yard line, giving the Bulldogs’ great field position. Once again the Black Flag Defense rose to the challenge, dropping running back Jon Miller for a 1-yard loss on first down and then pressuring Preston into three straight incomplete passes to return the football to the Buckeyes’ offense at the 36-yard line.

Gilmer kept it on the ground for this drive, handing the football to their version of a baseball closer in running back Marlon Granville. Other than a single carry by Godfrey for 13 yards, Granville kept the clock running with six carries for 51 yards, finishing the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run with 10:17 remaining in the fourth quarter, giving the Buckeyes a 37-14 lead.

“It feels great,” said Granville about scoring a touchdown in the state finals. “I’ve got a job and that’s what I do.”

Down by 23 points, the Bulldogs made quick work of their next possession, going 70 yards in seven plays and taking only 1:47 off the clock. More than half of the yards came on the first play when Preston connected with Rayce Burks for a 42-yard gain down to the Buckeyes’ 28-yard line. Preston and Burks completed the drive with a 3-yard touchdown pass with 8:30 to play in the game. Preston’s 2-point conversion attempt was stopped short of the goal line, leaving the score 37-20.

The Bulldogs’ onside kick attempt bounced out of bounds at the Gilmer 47-yard line, giving the Buckeyes the football at the Abilene Wylie 48-yard line to start their final drive of the game.

Gilmer stayed on the ground for 8 plays of the 9 play drive, eating up another 5:03 off the clock. Granville and Godfrey took turns carrying the football on this drive. Granville had 5 carries for 7 yards, while Godfrey picked up 27 yards on 3 carries, including a 2-yard touchdown run with 3:27 to play. Gilmer’s extra point attempt missed, but the Buckeyes had an overwhelming 43-20 lead.

Abilene Wylie’s last grasp was a 73-yard, 10-play drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by Preston on a quarterback keeper with only 1:07 left in the game. The Bulldogs’ 2-point conversion failed again.

The Bulldogs’ on-side kick attempt was not successful, and Gilmer took over at their 49-yard line. Godfrey sealed the victory with a 13-yard run on first down, before kneeling on the final play to run the time out on a 43-26 victory.

“It’s the greatest feeling in the world. We came out number one and we’re leaving number one,” said Mikey Wilson.

“It’s every high school football player’s dream to win a state championship,” said Tevin Godfrey.

“It’s the greatest feeling ever. I’ll never forget this moment,” Paul Chesnut replied.

“It’s the perfect way to end it,” summed up Luis Castro.



Mirror Photos / Mary Laschinger Kirby
KEDON FRANKLIN is hit hard inside the Wylie 10-yard line after taking a screen pass for big yardage from QB Stump Godfrey. He coughs up the football, but “it’s all good” as moments later lineman Caleb Denton picks it up and takes it into the end zone for the Buckeyes’ second touchdown.

STATISTICS

Gilmer Wylie

25 First downs 16

37-232 Rushes-yds 30-70

20-28-2-0 Passing 14-34-2-2

295 Passing yds 188

527 Total yds 258

1 Fumbles lost 0

23:07 Time of possession 24:53

7-70 Penalties 4-26

SCORE BY QUARTERS

1 2 3 4 T

Gilmer 14 10 6 13 43

Wylie 0 7 7 12 26

2009 Season in Review

Gilmer

Mascot: Buckeyes

Colors: Orange & Black

District: 17-3A

Enrollment: 701

Record: 14-0

Head Coach: Jeff Traylor (112-17 in 10 seasons at Gilmer)

Did you know? Jeff Traylor was an assistant coach at Big Sandy and Jacksonville before becoming Gilmer head coach.

Gilmer Buckeyes 2009 Season Results

Aug. 28 Jasper @ Nacogdoches, won: 42-14

The Buckeyes started the 2009 season with a trip to Homer Bryce Stadium on the SFA campus and came away with an impressive 42-14 victory over Jasper. Leading only 8-7 at the half, the Buckeyes erupted for 328 yards and 34 points after intermission.

Sep. 3 Rains @ Tyler, won 76-12

The Buckeyes made their annual trek to TMF Rose Stadium play in the Trinity Mother Frances Football Classic against a former district opponent. QB Stump Godfrey passed for 291 yards in only 17 attempts, completing 14 of them as Gilmer cruised to a 76-12 win after amassing a 48-0 halftime lead.

Sep. 11 @ Texarkana Liberty-Eylau, won 35-17

The Buckeyes trailed 17-9 as late as the third quarter, but finished strong. Stump Godfrey ran for three touchdowns, but the key play was his screen pass to Tristan Holt, who broke it for a 68-yard score, giving Gilmer a commanding 28-17 lead with 5:15 left in the third quarter.

Sep. 18 Kilgore, won 70-27

The 2009 motto “Code Red” was partially based on avenging Gilmer’s two losses in 2008 to teams featuring the color red and this was one of them. The Buckeyes stunned the 4A school by scoring on nine of their first 10 possessions before a standing-room only crowd of 5,000 for Homecoming.

Sep. 25 Daingerfield, won 43-20

In a game that pitted the state’s No. 1-ranked Class 3A and 2A teams against each other, Stump Godfrey passed for 279 yards to surpass 9,000 in his career as the Buckeyes closed out their predistrict schedule with a record of 5-0.

Oct. 9 @ Bullard, won 71-0

The Buckeyes began District 17-3A play on the road and cruised to their largest margin of victory since 1930. Gilmer’s Black Flag Defense held the Panthers to -7 on the ground and 77 total yards.

Oct. 16 Tyler Chapel Hill, won 45-7

Gilmer jumped out to a 28-0 lead by early in the second quarter and coasted to victory. Stump Godfrey passed for 283 yards and three TDs, crediting his receivers for making him look good during the Yamboree.

Oct. 23 @ Longview Spring Hill, won 66-14

Stump Godfrey celebrated his 18th birthday in style by passing for three TDs, becoming only the ninth QB in Texas high school history to pass for 100 TDs in his career. The Buckeyes scored 49 points in the first half.

Oct. 30 @ Gladewater, won 67-12

Tristan Holt scored on a 55-yard screen pass on the Buckeyes’ opening possession, setting the tone for another high-scoring win. The score after just one quarter of play was 32-12.

Nov. 6 Tatum, won 39-20

The Buckeyes jumped out to a 31-0 lead and wound up with the win to close out a perfect 10-0 regular season and a ninth consecutive undefeated district title. Tatum had the ball for about five times longer than Gilmer, frustrating the team’s quest to break its own state regular season scoring record.

Nov. 14 Jasper @ Tyler, won 57-21

“Code Red” failed to materialize for the second opponent as Chapel Hill missed the playoffs by a single point and Gilmer went into Division I, preventing a rematch with Division II “Red” Carthage. The first round was a rematch with Jasper, this time at TMF Rose Stadium. Gus Osborne, injured for much of the season, returned to run for 152 yards and three TDs as the Buckeyes seniors destroyed any supposed bi-district jinx from being ranked No. 1 all season.

Nov. 21 Waco La Vega @ Mesquite, won 44-16

The Pirates played the Buckeyes to a 3-3 tie for one quarter at Memorial Stadium, but after that, it was all Gilmer. Despite throwing no TD passes for only the second time in 41 games as starter, Stump Godfrey was pleased with the win and his coach, Jeff Traylor, said that winning was always his QB’s top priority.

Nov. 28 Navasota @ Lufkin, won 42-35

The Rattlers gave the Buckeyes a severe test as Gilmer came back to tie the game up right before halftime, 28-28. Halftime adjustments, though, worked in mostly shutting down Rattler QB Kye Hildreth’s high-octane offense. The Buckeyes lost Tristan Holt to an ankle injury after one quarter. Gus Osborne didn’t play at all and Vance Green was not healthy, but Marlon Granville took up the slack, running for most of the yardage on a time-consuming, game-clinching TD drive which came about after DB Ben Griffith had made a brilliant stop on 4th-and-5 on Navasota’s Thomas Sweed.

Dec. 5 Cuero @ Huntsville, won 42-36

The Buckeyes have played in a lot of exciting games over the last decade, but this one at Bowers Stadium on the campus of Sam Houston State University ranked with the best of them. Cuero jumped out to leads of 13-0 and 20-7, taking advantage of three Gilmer turnovers. At halftime, it was 27-21 in favor of the Gobblers, only the second time all year the Buckeyes had trailed at the half. But Stump Godfrey willed his team to victory in the second half, running for five TDs in all and passing for the other one. The Black Flag Defense came up big after Godfrey’s 68-yard TD run late in the game gave Gilmer a precarious lead, bending but not breaking as it held the Gobblers on downs at the Gilmer 5.

Dec. 12 Abilene Wylie @ University Park, won 43-26

In the Class 3A Division I state championship game at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on the campus of Southern Methodist University, Gilmer jumped out to a 21-0 lead over Wylie seemingly before the Bulldogs realized what had hit them. The game at first resembled a semifinal matchup at Texas Stadium against Snyder, a team in Wylie’s district, during the Buckeyes’ run to their first state title in 2004 (a 53-20 Gilmer rout), but Wylie closed the gap to only 24-14 midway through the third quarter. However, Stump Godfrey continued to be a man on a mission, passing for 295 yards and a TD and rushing for 148 more and two TDs. The Black Flag Defense proved the adage “defense wins championships” by stifling Wylie QB Matt Preston and his multiple offense most of the night. After University Interscholastic League officials awarded Gilmer the trophy after the game, Godfrey held the plaque up high for all to see. A few moments later he was heard to be on another mission. “Mrs. Camp! Mrs. Camp! Where’s Mrs. Camp,” Godfrey called out, amongst the hysteria. “Where is she?!” Finally, he found Diedra Camp, the widow of Buckeyes play-by-play man Matt Camp. “This is for you, Mrs. Camp,” Godfrey said, lowering the trophy from over his head and extending it toward her. “This is all for you.” Eyes watered as the two embraced in a heart-felt hug of gratitude, surrounded by the applause of Buckeye fans that knew the significance of the scene. (Thanks to Buck Cargal of HuddleUpTexas.com for his poignant description.)

From KLTV:

Gilmer wins state championship

From KTAB, Abilene:

Bulldogs Fall in Finale

From KTAB, Abilene:

DAVID BACON and DAVID ROBINETT do the broadcast.
ktabstream Archive

From KETKnbc:

Gilmer beats Abilene Wylie 43-26

From the Abilene Reporter News:

Video: Wylie High vs. Gilmer High

From kilroy2009:

Gilmer Buckeyes 2009 State Championship Highlights

Videos of Gilmer Buckeyes vs Abilene Wylie Bulldogs

These come up in reverse chronological order. Scroll down to get to the beginning.




Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
GILMER HEAD COACH JEFF TRAYLOR holds the championship trophy flanked by the two state-winning quarterbacks of the Buckeyes, Manuel “Manny” Johnson (2004) of the Dallas Cowboys at left and Darian “Stump” Godfrey (2009) at right.

Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
GILMER QB STUMP GODFREY is surrounded by adoring kids wanting to look at the plaque the Buckeyes have just been awarded for winning state, but none is more important to him at the moment this was taken than Cade Camp (wearing the orange-billed Gilmer cap), son of the late Matt Camp, who broadcast the Buckeyes games since 2004 before passing away in September after a courageous battle against cancer.

Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
COACH KURT TRAYLOR goes over blocking schemes with the Buckeyes offensive line. Players pictured from left are Jacob Jenkins, Beau Blair, Barry Kennedy, Dustin Hardin (mostly hidden), Michael Boddie and Caleb Denton. The schemes must have worked because the Buckeyes piled up well over 500 yards of total offense.

Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
MARLON GRANVILLE has been the man the Buckeyes have called on when they need to run time off the clock during the playoffs and the title game was no exception. Those blocking for him include, from left, Luke Turner, Beau Blair, Dustin Hardin, Tevin Godfrey, Barry Kennedy and Jacob Jenkins.

From The Gilmer Mirror:

Team of destiny
2009 Gilmer Buckeyes were ALWAYS No. 1



The Gilmer Buckeyes won it all in Class 3A Division I Saturday night at Ford Stadium on the SMU campus in convincing fashion with a 43-26 victory over the Abilene Wylie Bulldogs.

In doing so, the senior-laden team completed a perfect 15-0 season during and even before which they were always the No. 1-ranked Class 3A football team in Texas in the Associated Press Poll and every other one of any significance.

In fact, Dave Campbell’s Texas Football correctly predicted both that Gilmer would win state in Division I and that its opponent in the final would be Wylie.

It is probably even more difficult to win a title when you have a bullseye on your back like that. But the Buckeyes took it all in stride and set about on a businesslike march to the championship most expected would be theirs in the end.

Head Coach Jeff Traylor and his staff once again proved they could never be outcoached. Gilmer’s players once again proved they were extremely “coachable” and, above all, disciplined.

This team was behind at the half only twice all season. In retrospect, the Cuero Gobblers came the closest to being able to “tug on Superman’s cape,” in the words of the old song.

But Stump wasn’t wearing a cape and no one got close enough to tug on it even if he had been when he dashed 68 yards to the winning touchdown in that game, one of the most electrifying plays in the history of Gilmer football.

The theme for this year’s team was Code Red, inspired by the late Matt Camp’s positive attitude as he battled cancer. “Think it, say it, do it” was how the Buckeyes broadcaster described his philosophy. That was the Code part of it. The Red part came from the colors of the two teams Gilmer had lost to in 2008, the Bulldogs of Kilgore and Carthage.

The Buckeyes more than avenged their loss to Kilgore with a 70-27 win on Homecoming. But the rematch with Carthage was not meant to be, as Gilmer went into Division I and Carthage into Division II.

While some may still wish some sort of sick vicarious vengeance on the Carthage Bulldogs, we think most will join us in hoping they bring the other Class 3A state championship back to East Texas with a win over the Graham Steers Saturday night at Ford Stadium.

East Texas may be hidden out here behind the “Pine Curtain,” but it is more and more evident that some of the best high school football in the nation is played in this region year in and year out, often at our own Buckeye Stadium.

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