Saturday, October 31, 2009

Gilmer 67, Gladewater 12


Courtesy Photo / KETKnbc
TRISTAN HOLT leaps over a would-be tackler during Gilmer's 67-12 win over Gladewater there.

From the Tyler Morning Telegraph:

Gilmer Buckeyes Hammer Arch-Rival

From the Longview News-Journal:

Top-ranked Gilmer rolls past Gladewater

From The Gilmer Mirror:

Buckeyes blast Bears



By JOE DODD

The Gilmer Buckeyes and Gladewater Bears put on a first-quarter show that any Las Vegas promoter would have been proud of. Combining for 343 total yards and 44 points, the two teams exploded for a first-quarter frenzy of big plays and big talk.

Gilmer received the opening kick and scored on the first big play when Stump Godfrey dumped a screen pass to Tristan Holt who weaved his way through the Gladewater defense 55 yards for a touchdown just three plays later. Adan Olivares kicked the first of his six extra points of the game for a 7-0 lead just 37 seconds into the game.

The Buckeyes then caught the Bears asleep with a perfectly executed onside kick recovered by Gilmer’s Chris Miller at the Gladewater 45-yard line.

That would be the first of four consecutive possessions in the first quarter that the Buckeyes would start on the Bears’ side of the field.

Despite the great field position, the Buckeyes had to settle for an Olivares 23-yard field goal and a 10-0 lead with 9:28 to play in the first quarter.

Gilmer’s Black Flag Defense got into the scoring column on the Bears’ next series when the Buckeyes’ Gus Osborne tipped a Cortney Davis screen pass that Eric Miller intercepted at the Bears’ 49-yard line and returned for a touchdown. Gilmer led 17-0 with 7:10 still remaining in the first quarter.

Just as it looked like the Bears would go into an early hibernation, Gladewater responded with two quick scores of their own.

“We were trying to go for the knockout punch, but it didn’t work,” confessed Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor. “We knew they were going to score tonight. That’s why we onside kicked right off the bat. They rallied back and that’s a credit to Gladewater.”

The rally began with a Corey Davis 70-yard touchdown run, which saw the district’s 200-meter sprint champion hit the corner and run untouched down the Gilmer sideline, all while taunting the Buckeyes.

The Bears 2-point conversion came up short, and Gilmer led 17-6 with 5:29 remaining in the opening quarter.

The Bears’ Austin Brown intercepted a Godfrey pass on the Buckeyes’ next series. Two plays later, Corey Davis took a handoff up the middle, hit the seam, and sprinted untouched 48 yards for another touchdown. The Buckeyes’ defense stopped the Bears’ 2-point conversion attempt again, making the score 17-12 with 4:15 to go in the first quarter.

“We needed that because we came out kind of lax and that helped us know that they were ready to play. After that, we were ready to play,” said Gilmer receiver Daniel McLaren.

And play they did, as Gilmer scored 50 unanswered points to claim their 43rd district win in a row. “They got our juices going. It was good for us to play an exciting half,” said Traylor. “Our kids just played longer than theirs did.”

Marlon Granville replied to the Gladewater challenge with a big kickoff return to the Bears’ 34-yard line. Godfrey scored on a 9-yard run 3 plays later to increase the Buckeyes’ lead to 24-12 with 3:17 left in the first quarter.

The Bears’ offense stalled on their next possession forcing Cortney Davis to punt from deep in his own territory. The punt rolled dead at the Bears’ 38-yard line.

Gilmer scored four plays later when Godfrey connected with Luke Turner on a 25-yard touchdown. Chris Miller scored on the 2-point conversion for a 32-12 Buckeyes’ advantage with 8 seconds remaining in the opening quarter.

The Bears responded with a time-consuming drive that took 5:16 off the clock, but only managed a total of 18 yards in nine plays before the Bears were forced to punt again. The Buckeyes’ Paul Chesnut signaled a fair catch at the Gilmer 32-yard line.

After a 19-yard run by J.T. Beecham, Godfrey hit McLaren in stride across the middle of the field and the senior receiver turned the corner, thanks to a block by Ben Griffith, and raced 49 yards for a touchdown and 39-12 lead with 6:20 to go in the first half.

Gladewater went 3-and-out on their next possession and punted from their 27-yard line. Holt caught the punt at the Gilmer 35-yard line, broke three tackles and went 65 yards for the touchdown giving the Buckeyes a 46-12 advantage with 4:05 left in the second quarter.

Gilmer’s defense stopped the Bears again, forcing another 3-and-out that gave the Buckeyes’ offense the football back at the Gilmer 31-yard line.

The Buckeyes covered the 69 yards in seven plays, scoring on another Godfrey-to-Holt screen pass, this time from 14 yards out for a 53-12 halftime lead.

To stop the Buckeyes’ offensive onslaught, the Bears took a page from Spring Hill and Bullard’s play book and ran the clock non-stop the entire second half.

Gilmer’s defense dominated the Bears in the shortened second half, allowing only three yards of total offense on Gladewater’s three possessions.

“Other than the two touchdown runs, our defense played really well,” said Traylor about the Black Flag Defense that gave up only 72 total yards, not including the 118 yards on the Bears’ two scores.

“The defense did a great job in allowing just those two touchdowns,” praised Godfrey, who benefited from an average starting field position at the 46-yard line.

The Buckeyes’ offense made good use of their shortened second half, going 64 yards on their first series. Granville scored on a 1-yard run with 6:22 remaining in the third quarter, set up by Griffith’s amazing 49-yard, diving catch at the Bears’ 5-yard line.

“He made a great catch. He did a great job,” said Godfrey, who finished with 291 yards and four touchdowns while completing 17 of 23 passes. The senior quarterback also added 63 rushing yards and a touchdown on only four carries.

Gilmer finished the scoring when sophomore Jordan Traylor threw his first varsity touchdown on a 17-yard pass to Beecham with 8:36 to play in the fourth quarter.

“He’s worked hard and he deserved a chance,” said Traylor, describing his emotions watching his son Jordan. “Honestly it was no different from when Stump was out there or Luke. I just know how much work those kids put in and that’s why I am so happy because I know the sacrifices they make to play quarterback in our offense.”

McLaren said the Buckeyes worked hard to prepare for the Bears. “We’ve put in a lot of hard work in practice, so it felt good to come in here and play well.”

STATISTICS

Gilmer Gladewater

21 First downs 6

20-220 Rushes-yds 31-169

19-26-5-1 *Passing 2-6-0-1

321 Passing yds 21

541 Total yds 190

0 Fumbles lost 0

4-35 Penalties-yds 11-89

* Completions, Attempts, TDs, Interceptions

SCORE BY QUARTERS

1 2 3 4 T

Gilmer 32 21 7 7 67

Gladewater 12 0 0 0 12

GilmerBuckeyes.com


Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
TRISTAN HOLT breaks three tackles on this 65-yard punt return for a touchdown during the second quarter of Gilmer’s 67-12 victory over Gladewater there last Friday night. While the Buckeyes have clinched a playoff berth regardless of the outcome of Friday night’s game here against Tatum, Gilmer’s bi-district opponent is still up in the air pending the outcome of Friday night’s action, which will determine whether Gilmer goes into Division I or Division II of the UIL Class 3A playoffs.


Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
GILMER’S BEN GRIFFITH stops Gladewater’s Corey Davis for a loss. Coming up fast to help out defensively is Ty Barr at right.

From KETKnbc:

Friday Football Fever (1:35 in)

From KLTV's Red Zone:

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Buckeyes travel to Gladewater to face rival Bears

By JOE DODD

The Gilmer Buckeyes and the Gladewater Bears meet Friday night at Jack V. Murphy Stadium in Gladewater for an event that has become known as the Battle of G-Town.

The 54th game in the series between the Buckeyes and the Bears is set to kickoff at 7:30 p.m.

Gilmer took a 26-25-2 lead in the series after last year’s 43-8 win over Gladewater. The last time the Buckeyes could claim the series lead was in 1965, but the balance of power has shifted to the team 15 miles farther north up U.S. 271.

“Our communities are so close to each other, our kids know them and they know our kids,” explained Gladewater head coach Scott Callaway. “I think it’s fun for both sides to get to play against each other. It gives the kids personal bragging rights.”

Those bragging rights have gone to the Buckeyes in 16 of the last 18 years. The Buckeyes claim that the rivalry is as intense as ever despite their dominant run.

“It’s the G-Town rivalry; everyone talks about that. No matter how good Gladewater is, or no matter how good we are, everybody still talks about it,” said Gilmer’s Ben Griffith.

“Our kids are excited about playing them. They like playing them,” confirmed Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor, who is 8-1 against the Bears. “It’s because our kids know their kids so well. We are so close and we compete against them in everything.”

Another motivating factor is the Buckeyes’ 42-game district-winning streak that ranks as the fourth best in Class 3A history. Seven more consecutive wins will push Gilmer past Daingerfield’s record of 48 set from 1983-1989.

“We really want to keep it going. We don’t want to be the team that ends it,” admitted Gilmer’s Gus Osborne.

Traylor is quick to point out that the rivalry and district winning streak are not the Buckeyes’ main motivation this season. “They all know we’re playing for a bigger prize,” Traylor said. “This class has been beaten by the state champion for three years in a row. They’re tired of losing that last game.”

Gladewater’s Callaway can see the Buckeyes’ intensity to make amends for the past three seasons. “They’re definitely the best team in the state,” said Callaway. “They are playing really well. They are hitting on all cylinders.”

That doesn’t bode well for Callaway’s Bears, who have struggled to a 3-5 record this season. But after a 0-4 start, Gladewater has won three out of their last four to put them in the middle of the playoff race.

“We’ve eliminated our turnovers and that has helped us win a few games,” explained Callaway about the Bears’ turnaround.

“They’ve gotten better every week,” said Traylor, who warned that the Bears are a dangerous opponent. “They’re very talented. They’ll get after us. I fully expect them to get after us.”

Traylor points to the Bears’ scoring improvement from a 7-0 loss to Center in game one to Gladewater’s 91 total points against Spring Hill and Bullard in the past two weeks.

“Their tailback, Corey Davis, is the 100-meter champion in our district. He can fly,” said Traylor about the Bears’ junior who has 849 rushing yards and five touchdowns. “The Davis kid can score every time he touches it. You have to identify where he is.”

Traylor is probably referring to Corey Davis, but you can’t be sure since identical twin brother Courtney Davis is also a triple threat on the Bears’ offense. Courtney has thrown for 349 yards and two touchdowns, rushed for 382 yards and 4 touchdowns, and caught five passes for 125 yards and another touchdown.

The Davis twins lead the Bears’ offense that averages over 350 yards per game. Callaway credits his young offensive line, consisting of only one senior, for the impressive number.

“We’ve made a lot of strides since the start of the year,” said Callaway. “We feel like we’ve gotten a lot better in some areas and the offensive line is one of them. A lot of those kids were playing on Thursday nights last year.”

In addition to starting only 4 seniors on offense, the Bears are still getting comfortable with the Wing-T offense that was introduced to them at the start of last season.

“Our kids like the system. It suits our kids’ talent best,” explained Callaway for the switch from the spread offense to the more run-heavy Wing-T.

“We want to establish the run and do well there, but we know we’re going to have to be able to throw the ball and keep it away from their offense. Our goal is to score points,” said Callaway, who admitted that scoring points will be tough to do against the Buckeyes.

“They have a reputation of being so offensive-minded, but their defense is playing so well it’s giving the offense the ball more,” Callaway said.

Gilmer’s Black Flag defense has dominated district foes, giving up an average of 29 rushing yards and 53 passing yards per game, while allowing only 21 total points.

The Buckeyes’ offense is just as dominant, averaging over 490 yards and 56 points per game.

“Gilmer is hard to defend because they work the width of the field and the length of the field, so we’ve got a lot of area that we’ve got to cover,” said Callaway.

Traylor admits that the Bears’ defense can cause problems for offenses. “They are very fast and athletic so it will be a physical game so you have to focus on ball security,” Traylor said. “You have to take care of the football against teams that can really run, because they can separate you from the ball.”

Gilmer quarterback Stump Godfrey, who needs 198 total yards to reach 10,000 for his career, expects a battle. “We know that when you play Gladewater it’s going to be a great game,” said Godfrey. “They’re going to come out and play hard. The stands are going to be packed.”

“I know their staff and their kids are not overlooking us,” said Callaway. “We’ll get Gilmer’s best.”

Traylor has a 3-part plan to keep his team focused on the Bears. “Eliminate the big play from Corey Davis, make sure we take care of the ball, and focus on the bigger objective, which is we want to play for all of it so we have to get better now, today.”

GAME NOTES

Gilmer has a 14-game regular season winning streak (last loss: 28-14 @ Kilgore, 2008)

Gilmer has a 7-game winning streak over Gladewater (last loss: 20-14 in 2001)

Gilmer has a 101-consecutive games scoring streak (last shutout: 10-0 @ Longview to Pleasant Grove, 2001)

Gilmer’s Jeff Traylor’s 86 percent winning percentage is the third best among all active coaches in Texas

Gilmer’s 42-game district win streak is currently the longest among all schools in the state of Texas. (source: Joe Lee Smith)

Gilmer has outscored their district opponents 1,925-393 during their 42-game district winning streak.

Gilmer needs 107 points to break the school record of 554 points scored during the regular season by the 2006 team

Gilmer has scored 70 or more points in three games this season. The school record is four games by the 1929 and 1930 Buckeyes

Gilmer’s 448 points is the most points scored in all classifications

Gilmer’s 56 ppg average is the best in Class 3A and second best in all classifications. Class 1A Wellington has a 59.28 average in seven games

Gilmer’s 42.1 average margin of victory is best in Class 3A and tied for third best in all classifications

Gilmer has receiving touchdowns by 10 different players

Gilmer has rushing touchdowns by 10 different players

Bounty Hunter of the Week: Kedon Franklin

Special Teams Player of the Week: Adan Olivares

Scout Team Players of the Week:

Austin Hollingsworth, Offense; Vondrick Nelson, Defense

October 30- @ Gladewater

Mascot: Bears

Colors: Orange & Black

District: 17-3A

Enrollment: 568

Stadium: Jack V. Murphy Stadium

Stadium Capacity: 5,000

Stadium Surface: Safe Play

Stadium Address: 2201 W. Gay Ave., Gladewater, TX 75647

2008 Record: 6-4, 2-3 district

2009 Record: 3-5, 2-1 district

Last meeting: 2008, Gilmer won 43-8

Series Record: Gilmer leads 26-25-2

Head Coach: Scott Callaway (4th season, 16-23, 67-37 overall)

Returning Starters: 4 Offense/6 Defense

Did you know? Gladewater’s last shutout of Gilmer was in 1986 when the Bears beat the Buckeyes 34-0.

BUCKEYE TICKET LINE:

841-7777

LUNCH WITH THE COACH:

Noon Wednesdays, Buckeyes Booster Club meets at Gilmer Country Club

LIVE WEBCAST:

www.GilmerBuckeyes.com

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Gilmer 66, Spring Hill 14



From the Longview News-Journal:

Godfrey paces Buckeyes to easy victory

From the Tyler Morning Telegraph:

Buckeyes Hammer Panthers, 66-14

From KETKnbc:

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.”

STATISTICS

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.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Spring Hill plays host to Buckeyes Friday night

By JOE DODD

After watching video of his number one ranked Gilmer Buckeyes’ dominating 45-7 win over Chapel Hill last week, Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor had a scary assessment of his undefeated team. “We’re getting better every week,” said Traylor.

That should be cause for concern for the Spring Hill Panthers (2-4; 1-1 district) who host the Buckeyes Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Longview.

“We’ve got our hands full, just like everybody else that’s played them,” conceded Panthers head coach Robert Bero who saw his Panthers knock off Chapel Hill 29-28 two weeks ago before getting hammered 40-28 in Gladewater last week.

“We’ve kind of been on a roller coaster and we’ve got to get more consistent these next three weeks, or we won’t have a chance of making the playoffs,” admitted Bero.

Traylor believes that last week’s loss to the Bears will inspire the Panthers. “Spring Hill is going to give a great effort because they got beat by Gladewater last week. So you know they are going to rally the troops,” Traylor said. “They’ll come out and play us hard; they always do over there.”

Bero expects nothing less. “Our kids are going to go out and they’re going to play hard and they’re going to get after it. I don’t doubt that at all. We’re going to get after Gilmer.”
Traylor is convinced that week 8 is a turning point in the football season. “This is really when football season begins,” explained Traylor. “You could have done everything bad so far this year and get right these last three weeks and win a state championship.”

“This is when a lot of people stop playing football and the good ones start playing,” stated Traylor. “This is an exciting time of the year.”

Bero confirmed that the Panthers are excited. “I think any time you get to play the number one ranked team in the state it’s a great opportunity for your football program,” Bero said.

“Gilmer is an outstanding football team. They are very well coached,” said Bero who added that this Buckeyes’ team is different than any he’s seen in the past. “I think the biggest difference that I see at Gilmer is defensively they’re a lot better than they have been over the years. They are a lot more consistent. They chase the football real well. Their down linemen are playing the inside run well.”

The Buckeyes defense is allowing only 197.6 total yards per game and 13.9 points per game with 17 sacks, eight fumble recoveries and seven interceptions on the season. “I’ve said it from the beginning that I think they are the strength of our team,” agreed Traylor.

Spring Hill should provide a strong test for the Buckeyes’ defense, as the Panthers average 22 points and 297.5 total yards per game.

Bero traced his offense’s rise back to the open week before district play started against Chapel Hill. “We changed running backs,” explained Bero. “We felt like when we found Nathan Griffin and put him back at tailback that resolved a lot of our problems in the running game. And then we lost him in the third quarter when he had over 90 yards rushing for us. We felt like he was the missing link that we needed in our running game.”

The junior tailback only had seven carries for 33 yards against Gladewater. “We haven’t had him on a consistent basis since we made the change, so we’re still inconsistent running the football so that puts pressure on our passing game,” Bero stated.

That could cause a problem for the Panthers, who are 0-3 against Gilmer since Bero became head coach in 2005.

“In the past we’ve gone in and tried to slow the game down and take possessions away from them,” said Bero. “That doesn’t work. And I don’t think it especially works now with how good they are defensively. You’re just going to find yourself in a hole. You can try all you want to slow the game down. I don’t think that works. You want to try and make first downs and keep their offense off the field, but you’ve got to be able to put points on the board.”

That’s been a problem for Spring Hill in the last three games against the Buckeyes, as the Panthers have scored only seven points in each game while Gilmer has averaged over 58 points in each of those games.

“The key for our football team is that we have to go out and try to play error free football and then try to stop some of their big plays,” Bero said. “Gilmer gets six or seven big plays a game, and most of the time for scores and we’ve got to try and eliminate that as much as possible.”

Gilmer quarterback Stump Godfrey directs the Buckeyes’ quick strike offense and said the key to success is consistency. “We know that we’ve got to play hard no matter who we play,” said Godfrey.
Senior defensive lineman Luis Castro added, “We realize that we’re playing ourselves every game, especially now in district. So we still come out and practice hard every day.”

That seems improbable for a team that is riding a 41-game district winning streak that dates back to 2000, and has outscored district opponents 1,859-379 during that time. But senior safety Paul Chesnut claimed that streak keeps the Buckeyes motivated.

“We stay hungry. We’ll go out there and play our hardest,” said Chesnut.

That type of attitude makes the Buckeyes an easy team to coach, according to Traylor, who expects to see improvement next week when he watches video of the Spring Hill game.

“We’ll take our weaknesses this week and try to fix those,” said Traylor. “We need to have fewer penalties, correct some mistakes in the kickoff team and continue to throw the ball downfield. Things that we think we’re not good at; we’ll hammer the most. All of those things that make you get better.”

GAME NOTES

Gilmer’s 41-game district win streak is currently the longest among all schools in the state of Texas. (source: Joe Lee Smith)
Gilmer’s 41-game district win streak is the fifth best all-time in Class 3A (source: Joe Lee Smith)
Gilmer is 65-2 in regular season games since 2003
Gilmer has scored 70 or more points in three games this season. The school record is four games by the 1929 and 1930 Buckeyes
Gilmer’s Stump Godfrey’s 97 career touchdown passes ranks as fourth best all time in Class 3A and is the ninth best in all classifications. He needs four touchdown passes to tie Stephen McGee of Burnet for eighth place (source: Joe Lee Smith)
Gilmer’s Stump Godfrey’s 7,753 career passing yards ranks as eighth best all time in Class 3A. He needs 125 passing yards to pass Derek Thompson of Glen Rose for seventh place (source: Joe Lee Smith)
Gilmer quarterback Stump Godfrey needs 247 passing yards to give him 8,000 for his career
Gilmer quarterback Stump Godfrey needs 86 rushing yards to give him 2,000 for his career
Gilmer quarterback Stump Godfrey needs 333 total yards to give him 10,000 for his career

Bounty Hunter of the Week: Mikey Wilson
Special Teams Player of the Week: Ty Barr
Scout Team Players of the Week:
Zach Davidson, Offense; Renoire Horton, Defense

October 23- @ Spring Hill
Mascot: Panthers
Colors: Royal Blue & White
District: 17-3A
Enrollment: 524
Stadium: Panther Stadium
Stadium Age: 27 yrs.
Stadium Capacity: 5,844
Stadium Surface: Grass
Stadium Address: 3101 Spring Hill Rd., Longview, TX 75605
2008 Record: 3-7, 1-4 district
2009 Record: 2-4, 1-1 district
Last meeting: 2008, Gilmer won 55-7
Series Record: Gilmer leads 11-2
Head Coach: Robert Bero (5th season, 22-26, 115-63-3 overall)
Returning Starters: 8 Offense/9 Defense
Did you know? The Buckeyes’ 684 total yards against the Panthers in 2006 is the most in team history.

BUCKEYE TICKET LINE:
841-7777
LUNCH WITH THE COACH:
Noon Wednesdays, Buckeyes Booster Club meets at Gilmer Country Club
LIVE WEBCAST:
GilmerBuckeyes.com


Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
GILMER QB STUMP GODFREY scrambles out of trouble against Chapel Hill. The senior signal-caller and 3-year starter has already broken numerous school records and is among the state’s all-time statistical leaders in several categories.


Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
GUS OSBORNE scores on a 4-yard run last Friday night against Chapel Hill at Buckeye Stadium. The junior returned to action after a 5-game absence due to an injury. Other Buckeyes pictured are Barry Kennedy (56) and Beau Blair (70).


Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
VANCE GREEN gets loose for a long run here last Friday night against Chapel Hill.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Gilmer 45, Chapel Hill 7


Courtesy Photo / KLTV.com
TEVIN GODFREY dashes into the end zone, finishing a 62-yard touchdown play which started with a short pass from QB Stump Godfrey only 37 seconds after the game had begun between Gilmer and Chapel Hill at Buckeye Stadium.

From the Tyler Morning Telegraph:

Gilmer 45, Chapel Hill 7: Buckeyes' District Win Streak At 41

From the Longview News-Journal:

Around East Texas

From The Gilmer Mirror:

Buckeyes cruise past Chapel Hill, 45-7



By JOE DODD

The top-ranked Gilmer Buckeyes put it in overdrive for a 35-0 first half lead against district rival Chapel Hill, and then shifted to cruise control in the second half of a 45-7 win over the Bulldogs Friday night at Buckeye Stadium.
The victory was the Buckeyes’ 41st straight in district play and the 33rd consecutive for the Buckeyes at home.

“I had heard before that when you got off the bus it was already 14-0,” said first year Chapel Hill head coach Thomas Sitton. “I felt like we were intimidated a little bit just playing over here.”

It wasn’t 14-0 when the Bulldogs got off the bus, but it was close, as the Buckeyes scored twice in their first three offensive plays to take a 14-0 lead with only 2:44 off the clock.

“They are, without a doubt, the best team we’ve played all year,” said Sitton after the game. “It’s hard to match their intensity. It’s hard to match the speed. We tried to, but we just didn’t get it done tonight.”

“The speed of the game is so different against Gilmer. Their operational time is so fast; they snap the ball so quickly. You can’t simulate it in practice,” said Sitton, who saw the Bulldogs fall to 0-2 in district play.

Gilmer quarterback Stump Godfrey started the Buckeyes’ offensive onslaught on the game’s second play when he hit Tevin Godfrey with a quick pass out on the right sideline. The senior receiver did the rest, taking it 68 yards for a touchdown just 37 seconds into the game. Adan Olivares kicked the first of six extra points for a 7-0 lead.

“We practiced that all week, and I just gave him a little fake, caught the ball, and went for the end zone,” said Tevin Godfrey, who finished the game with 99 yards on four catches.

After the Buckeyes’ Black Flag Defense set the tone with a 3-and-out series on the Bulldogs’ first possession, Gilmer’s offense took over at their own 38-yard line.

After two consecutive false starts by the Buckeyes, that pushed the ball back to the 28-yard line, Godfrey dropped back and hit Tristan Holt down field for a 72-yard touchdown. The senior receiver split two defenders at the Bulldogs’ 34-yard line and ran untouched for a 14-0 advantage with 9:16 remaining in the first quarter.

Gilmer’s defense pushed the Bulldogs backwards eight yards in three plays on their next possession, giving the Buckeyes’ offense the ball back at their 45-yard line.
This time, Gilmer kept it on the ground, covering the 55 yards on five rushes and scoring on a 5-yard touchdown run from receiver Ben Griffith for a 21-0 first quarter lead.
“They have some great athletes and if their chili stays hot, they can run with us, so we had to get them down early,” explained Tevin Godfrey about the importance of the Buckeyes’ offensive explosion.

The large deficit seemed to awaken the Bulldogs on their next offensive series, as they moved the football deep into Gilmer territory on a 10-play drive that took 5:27 off the clock. The threat was stopped when Buckeyes’ senior linebacker Mikey Wilson intercepted a Jordan Williams pass in the end zone and returned it to the 13-yard line.

Gilmer responded with their own long drive, going 87 yards in nine plays, scoring on a 5-yard wide receiver screen from Stump Godfrey to Braylon Webb, who bulled his way into the end zone carrying three Chapel Hill defenders with him for a 28-0 lead with 10:02 left in the second quarter.

“Our receivers have the ability to make plays after the catch,” praised Stump Godfrey, who finished the game with 283 yards and three touchdowns while completing 16 of 22 passes. “It’s great to have receivers like them that make the quarterback look good.”
Chapel Hill’s next series lasted only two plays thanks to Buckeyes’ safety Paul Chesnut who made an amazing sideline hugging interception at the Bulldogs’ 46-yard line.

Six plays later, Gilmer running back Vance Green took the handoff on a perfectly executed draw play straight up the middle, untouched into the end zone from eight yards out for a 35-0 lead with 6:43 to play in the first half.

Another 3-and-out effort from the Buckeyes’ defense gave Gilmer the football back at the 50-yard line.

The Buckeyes got to the Bulldogs’ 9-yard line before settling for a 32-yard field goal attempt from Olivares that missed just left of the uprights right before half time.
That was the only thing that didn’t go the Buckeyes’ way in the first half as Gilmer dominated with a 350-58 total yardage advantage.

“We played real well, I was very pleased,” said Buckeyes’ head coach Jeff Traylor, who credited his 28 seniors. “Our seniors really focus. They come out ready to play every game. They just don’t have letdowns. They’re a lot of fun to coach.”

Gilmer kept the intensity high at the beginning of the second half as the Black Flag defense started with another three-and-out against the Bulldogs on their opening series, giving the football to the offense at the 50-yard line.

Five plays later, junior running back Gus Osborne scored from four yards out for a 42-0 Gilmer lead with 8:32 to play in the third quarter. It was Osborne’s first touchdown of the season after missing five games from an injury suffered in the season opener against Jasper.

“It felt real good,” said Osborne. “Sitting on the sideline watching everyone else motivated me to get better.”

The Bulldogs started their next possession in great field position thanks to a 50-yard kickoff return by KeAndre Goss to the Buckeyes’ 38-yard line. The Bulldogs would get down to the Gilmer 13-yard line before the Buckeyes’ defense sacked quarterback Avery Saenz three consecutive plays to take over on downs at their own 49-yard line.

The Buckeyes’ offense took the football down to the Chapel Hill 24-yard line before Olivares hit a 41-yard field goal with 2:29 left in the third quarter for a 45-0 lead.

Chapel Hill’s next series ended after the Bulldogs gained 32 yards on six plays, giving Buckeyes’ backup quarterback Luke Turner the football at the Gilmer 25-yard line.

The Buckeyes’ offense was out of sync, suffering a quick 3-and-out, allowing Turner to punt for the first time since the Daingerfield game.

Chapel Hill took over at their 45-yard line and quickly moved deep into Buckeyes’ territory on a 15-yard pass from Williams to Kedray Hollins and a 39-yard keeper by Williams. Two plays later, Williams scored on a 1-yard keeper. Alberto Lopez kicked the extra point to make the score 45-7 with 6:35 left in the game.

“It would have been nice to get another shutout, but we’ll take the win,” said Chesnut, who helped the Gilmer defense hold Chapel Hill to only 128 total yards.

Gilmer’s offense got back on track their final possession, going 55 yards in eight plays before taking a knee at the Bulldogs’ 6-yard line to run out the clock.

“They play hard. They play fair. They play tough. And they’ve got some kids that can really play the game,” summed up Sitton.

STATISTICS
Chapel Hill Gilmer
9 First downs 20
31-62 Rushes-yds 30-270
6-10-0-2 Passing 17-25-3-0
66 Passing yds 284
128 Total yds 554
0 Fumbles lost 0
24:28 Time of possession 23:32
6-43 Penalties-yds 6-30
SCORE BY QUARTERS
1 2 3 4 T
CHill 0 0 0 7 7
Gilmer 21 14 10 0 45


Mirror Photos / Mary Laschinger Kirby
GILMER’S MIKEY WILSON (34) spins as he intercepts a pass in the end zone to thwart a second quarter drive by Chapel Hill.


BUCKEYES Chris Miller and Luis Castro sack Bulldog QB Jordan Williams.


GILMER’S BRAYLON WEBB uses a block by Dustin Hardin to barge his way over Chapel Hill defenders as he lowers the boom toward the end zone for Gilmer’s fifth touchdown in the first half.


From KLTV's Red Zone:



From KETKnbc's Friday Football Fever:

Buckeyes Win

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Buckeyes' streaks on the line against Chapel Hill

By JOE DODD

This Friday’s game matching the Gilmer Buckeyes and the Chapel Hill Bulldogs is a classic case of who has more to lose.

The Bulldogs (3-3, 0-1 in district play) have few expectations under first-year head coach Thomas Sitton. “Right now we’re trying to put it all together as far as learning the offense and learning the defense,” said Sitton.

The number-one ranked Buckeyes (6-0, 1-0) are trying to extend the state’s longest district winning streak, now at 40 games, and their 32-game home winning streak, all during the Yamboree, a 4-day celebration that closes school and provides unlimited distractions to the Gilmer players.

“It’s definitely a challenge. There’s a lot that goes on. You’re working around the pageant schedule, pageant practice and the livestock show,” said Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor. “I think that because I’m from here, I refuse to lose my focus.”

That focus is mirrored in his players, who refuse to let the streaks end under their watch. “It’s something the seniors want to pass down to the lower classmen,” said senior linebacker Mikey Wilson, who leads the Buckeyes with 63 total tackles.

“We have to keep the streaks alive; the home and district winning streaks, so of course it’s a big game,” confirmed senior wide receiver Ben Griffith, who has helped the Gilmer offense average almost 485 total yards per game this season.

Traylor admits that there is one advantage to playing at home during the Yamboree. “The good thing is that our Friday night crowds are amazing. It’s like another Homecoming,” said the 10th year head coach, who has won the last eight Yamboree games after losing his first one.

Griffith confirmed that this week’s game is special. “It’s always great to have all the fans there and for it to be loud. It’s like a playoff environment; it helps you a whole lot.”

Traylor concedes that all the pressure is on the Buckeyes, who are 103-17 since he arrived here in 2000 after being an assistant in Jacksonville.

Ironically, it was Sitton who replaced Traylor in Jacksonville. “I got the opportunity to coach with Matt Turner for three years, and of course Jeff and his staff were around us all the time, so I got the chance to pick their brain and find out what they liked doing,” said Sitton.

Sitton stayed in Jacksonville for five years before leaving to become the defensive coordinator at New Braunfels for the past four seasons. A desire to come home to East Texas, led Sitton to accept his first head coaching job at Chapel Hill in March.
“Coach Sitton is a good coach. I know his kids really like him, and they will play hard for him,” said Traylor, who added that the Bulldogs look very familiar.

“They remind me of us, our first year,” said Traylor. “They’ve won a few games. They’ve looked good at times, and they’ve looked bad at times. They’ve got some pretty good athletes. You look at them and think they could be good. It’s just kind of like what we used to look like. It just takes time to get it all together.”

Sitton considers that a complement, and hopes that the Bulldogs can continue to follow the Buckeyes’ path under Traylor. “Gilmer’s just playing at a different level than everybody else is right now,” admitted Sitton. “That’s a tribute to the tradition there, and the coaches there. We hope to be there one of these days.”

The talent is there according to Traylor. “I think they’re dangerous in the sense that they have a lot of athletes,” Traylor said. “Because of the transition they’ve obviously stumbled here and there, but you know that they could put together a game that could challenge you. They have the athletes to play us. As a coach, you are fearful that they might put it all together the night you play them.”

To do that, the Bulldogs will have to do something that has eluded them all season.

“We’re just going to have to execute on both sides of the football,” said Sitton. “We’ve played good on offense and we’ve played good on defense, but we’ve never been able to truly put a full game together.”

That was evident in the Bulldogs’ district opener last week at home against Spring Hill. After taking a 28-14 lead into the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs gave up 15 unanswered points to the Panthers, including the game-winning 2-point conversion with 54 seconds left in the game.

“Last week, we ended up shooting ourselves in the foot,” said Sitton. “We’ve done that throughout the year. We’re just not consistent right now at all.”

“They haven’t put it together yet, but you can see signs. They’ve gotten better every week,” praised Traylor, who is impressed with the Bulldogs’ spread offense.

“Their quarterback Jordan Williams is a really good athlete. He runs around and can make plays. Their tailback Lairamie Lee is a great athlete,” stated Traylor, who added. “They’ve got a huge offensive line. I don’t know what their weight is, but they are big kids.”

Sitton said don’t expect the Bulldogs to come out and run a gadget offense and defense in an attempt to confuse the Buckeyes. “I don’t agree with doing any of that crazy stuff, because I know that throughout the years Gilmer has seen pretty much everything you can throw at them as far as offensive schemes and defensive schemes,” Sitton said. “We’re just going to go out and try to do what we do and execute it.”

Traylor said the Buckeyes’ game plan also includes trying to execute better. “We’ve just got to clean ourselves up,” Traylor stated. “We’re going to try to get more physical on defense, eliminate penalties on offense, and become automatic on special teams.”

If Gilmer can do that, expect the Buckeyes to add to their winning streaks, and to the expectations.

GAME NOTES

Gilmer’s 40-game district win streak is tied for fifth best all-time in Class 3A (source: Joe Lee Smith)
Gilmer has outscored their district opponents 1,814-372 during their 40-game district winning streak
Gilmer’s 56.2 ppg average is the best in Class 3A and second- best in all classifications
Gilmer’s 41.2 average margin of victory is best in Class 3A
Gilmer’s 333 offensive plays consist of 168 passing attempts (50.5 percent) and 165 rushing attempts (49.5 percent)
Gilmer averages 284 yards per game passing (58.6 percent) and 201 yards per game rushing (41.4 percent)
Gilmer has receiving touchdowns by nine different players
Gilmer has rushing touchdowns by seven different players
Gilmer’s Stump Godfrey’s 94 career touchdown passes ranks as fourth best all-time in Class 3A and is tied for 10th best in all classifications with Chavis McCollister of Tenaha and Matthew Stafford of Highland Park. He needs two touchdown passes to tie Tyrik Rollison of Sulphur Springs for ninth place (source: Joe Lee Smith)
Gilmer quarterback Stump Godfrey needs six touchdown passes to give him 100 for his career. Only eight Texas quarterbacks have ever thrown for 100 touchdowns in their career. (Graham Harrell, 167; Garrett Gilbert, 137; G.J. Kinne, 132; Colt McCoy, 116; Drew Tate, 114; Chandler Dane, 104; Riley Dodge, 102; Stephen McGee, 101) (source: Joe Lee Smith)
Gilmer’s Stump Godfrey needs 24 rushing yards to pass Derek McKenzie as Gilmer’s career leader in rushing yards by a quarterback
Gilmer’s Stump Godfrey needs four rushing touchdowns to pass Justin Johnson as Gilmer’s career leader

October 16- Chapel Hill
Mascot: Bulldogs
Colors: Blue & Gold
District: 17-3A
Enrollment: 885
2008 Record: 9-2, 4-1 district, Div. I Regional Semi-finalist
2009 Record: 3-3, 0-1
Last meeting: 2008, Gilmer won 35-6
Series Record: Gilmer leads 5-0
Head Coach: Thomas Sitton (3-3 1st season; 3-3 overall)
Returning Starters: 4 Offense/4 Defense
Did you know? Gilmer is 8-1 under Jeff Traylor during Yamboree games. Daingerfield beat the Buckeyes 35-14 in a Yamboree game in 2000, Traylor’s first year at Gilmer.

Bounty Hunter of the Week: Vance Green
Special Teams Player of the Week: Tristan Holt
Scout Team Players of the Week:
Renoire Horton, Offense; Colton Hill, Defense

BUCKEYE TICKET LINE:
841-7777
LUNCH WITH THE COACH:
Noon Wednesdays, Buckeyes Booster Club meets at Gilmer Country Club
LIVE WEBCAST:
wwww.GilmerBuckeyes.com

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Gilmer 71, Bullard 0


Courtesy Photo / KETKnbc.com
BEN GRIFFITH scores Gilmer's second TD in its win over Bullard on a 29-yard pass from Stump Godfrey.

From the Tyler Morning Telegraph:

Buckeyes Hammer Bullard, 71-0

From the Longview News-Journal:

Late Friday Football

From the Jacksonville Daily Progress:

No. 1-ranked Gilmer steamrolls Bullard

From The Gilmer Mirror:

Buckeyes blow past Bullard, 71-0



By JOE DODD

High winds from a storm that moved through Bullard Friday morning knocked over the scoreboard at the Panther’s one-year-old stadium. That turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the Gilmer Buckeyes’ lopsided 71-0 score was never on display to the Panther faithful.

“I thought it was a blessing,” said Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor, about the absence of a scoreboard. “I thought it helped us stay focused because we didn’t know the score.”

The Panthers were gracious hosts, giving Gilmer the football on Bullard’s side of the field for the Buckeyes first five possessions, helping Gilmer to their largest margin of victory since 1930.

“That’s a great feeling,” said Buckeyes’ quarterback Stump Godfrey. “The defense came out and played a great game. They kept us in scoring position.”

The Buckeyes’ kickoff team set the tone for the field position battle, making Bullard start each first half possession inside their own 26-yard line. Gilmer’s Black Flag Defense did the rest, holding the Panthers to -5 total yards in the first half, forcing Bullard to punt seven times from deep inside their own territory.

The Buckeyes’ offense took advantage of the short field and scored five first half touchdowns. The first score came just three plays after Paul Chesnut returned a Panthers’ punt to the Bullard 34-yard line. Stump Godfrey dumped a screen pass to Vance Green who followed his blockers untouched 25 yards into the end zone. Adan Olivares kicked the first of 7 PAT’s for a 7-0 lead with 7:25 remaining in the first quarter.

After another Chesnut punt return, this time to the Panthers’ 33-yard line, Godfrey connected with Ben Griffith two plays later on a wide receiver screen. Griffith broke two tackles, and then turned on the jets for a 29-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead with 3:49 to play in the first quarter.

Chesnut’s third punt return went to the Bullard 36-yard line, but this time the Buckeyes couldn’t capitalize on the great field position. Two plays later, the Panthers’ Kirk Bryant intercepted a Godfrey pass intended for Tristan Holt, who had fallen down on the play.

After another three-and-out by Bullard’s offense, the Buckeyes took over at the Panthers’ 33-yard line. Once again, Gilmer could not take advantage of their proximity to the end zone, as the offense sputtered and turned the ball over on downs four plays later.

That would be the end of Gilmer’s offensive struggles, as the Buckeyes scored touchdowns on all seven of their remaining possessions.

After another three-and-out by Bullard, Gilmer took possession at the Panthers’ 46-yard line. Green picked up 19 yards on the first play, and then followed that with a 27-yard touchdown run. A 2-point conversion made the score 22-0 with 7:15 to go in the second quarter.

Another three-and-out by the Panthers produced a strange touchdown, as Santiago Escobar’s punt hit a Panthers’ helmet at the 30-yard line and ricocheted to midfield where Holt picked up the football and weaved through the Panthers for a touchdown and a 29-0 lead with 4:53 remaining in the half.

“That was one of the strangest plays I have ever seen,” said Traylor, who saw the number one ranked Buckeyes go to 6-0 on the season and 1-0 in district play.

Bullard’s fifth straight three-and-out gave Gilmer the football at their 44-yard line. It took the Buckeyes only three plays to cover the 56 yards, as Godfrey hit Luke Turner on a quick pass that the sophomore receiver turned into a 21-yard touchdown to make the score 36-0 at the half.

Gilmer started the second half from their 21-yard line and went 79 yards in seven plays with Godfrey lofting a perfect pass to the corner of the end zone from nine yards out for Griffith who made the catch for his second touchdown of the game.

“Ben Griffith, you can tell, is getting healthy again. It’s good to see him run around and make plays,” Traylor said about the senior receiver who missed a couple of games due to injury earlier this season.

The Panthers’ first possession of the second half resulted in a loss of a yard before another punt gave the Buckeyes the ball back at their 44-yard line. A loss on the first play and an incomplete pass pushed Gilmer back to the 28-yard line. On third down, Godfrey dumped a wide receiver screen pass to Holt, who scooted past his blockers and ran 72 yards untouched for a touchdown. A low snap on the extra point attempt put Braylon Webb on the run and into the end zone for another two points and a 51-0 lead.

Bullard’s eighth straight three-and-out series gave the football back to the Buckeyes at the Panthers’ 38-yard line after a 25-yard punt return by Holt.

A 28-yard run by Jeremy Jackson and a 5-yard penalty on the Panthers’ defense moved the football down to the 5-yard line where Godfrey threw his career-best sixth touchdown pass of the game to Daniel McLaren for a 58-0 lead before leaving the game in the third quarter.

“He’s put a lot of work in, so I’m happy for him,” said Traylor about Godfrey’s achievement. Godfrey finished with 267 yards, completing 13 of 18 passes.

The Panthers’ offense finally showed a spark of life late in the third quarter when Marquez Franklin connected with Brandon Beavers on a 66-yard pass down to the Gilmer 7-yard line. But that would be the only bright spot for Bullard as the Buckeyes kept the Panthers out of the end zone to ensure their first shutout since beating Diboll 54-0 last season in the first round of the playoffs.

“The shutout was a real plus for us. It’s something we’ve been working toward all year and we finally got it,” said senior linebacker Mikey Wilson who led the Buckeyes with eight tackles and a sack.

With the football at their own 3-yard line, Gilmer back-up quarterback Luke Turner led the Buckeyes on an 8-play, 97-yard scoring drive culminated by a 36-yard touchdown pass to Tevin Godfrey, who broke three Panthers’ tackles on his way to the end zone and a 64-0 lead after a missed extra point attempt.

Three plays later, Gilmer’s Darrion Pollard ended Bullard’s next possession when he intercepted a Franklin pass at his own 45-yard line and returned it 27 yards to the Panthers’ 28-yard line.

The Buckeyes’ Kedon Franklin added the exclamation point to the victory with a bruising touchdown run on the next play.

“The coaches challenged us and we came out and delivered,” said Godfrey, who helped lead the offense to 514 total yards on only 40 plays.

“I think we did pretty well,” confirmed Griffith. “Everybody picked one thing that they could work on and that’s what we did.”

“We worked on the little things. For the defense, it was being more physical and tonight we were more physical,” said Wilson, about the Buckeyes’ defense that held Bullard to -7 rushing yards on 34 carries and 77 total yards for the game.

“We played well,” summed up Traylor. “Our kids were focused and they were pretty crisp and clean, so I was happy.”

STATISTICS

Gilmer Bullard

20 First downs 4

19-211 Rushes-yds 34-(-7)

14-22-1-0 Passing 4-14-0-1

303 Passing yds 84

514 Total yds 77

0 Fumbles lost 0

1-10 Penalties-yds 4-18

SCORE BY QUARTERS

1 2 3 4 T

Gilmer 14 22 22 13 71

Bullard 0 0 0 0 0


Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
VANCE GREEN of the top-ranked Gilmer Buckeyes motors downfield toward the end zone again during Gilmer’s District 17-3A opener at Panther Stadium in Bullard last Friday night. The Buckeyes routed the Panthers, 71-0. Friday night Gilmer (6-0; 1-0) returns home to play Chapel Hill (3-3; 0-1). Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Buckeye Stadium.


Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
LUKE TURNER breaks a tackle and continues on downfield during the Buckeyes’ 71-0 win over Bullard there last Friday night. The sophomore played the first three quarters at receiver and then came in at QB during the fourth quarter to give starter Stump Godfrey a break. But it didn’t really give the Bullard Panthers a break as Turner led Gilmer to two more TDs.


Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
TEVIN GODFREY breaks another tackle en route to the ninth Buckeye touchdown. The pass play covered 36 yards. The 71-0 score comprised the largest Gilmer margin of victory since 1930.

From Smoaky.com:

Gilmer's Godfrey approaching history too

From KETK:

The Second Season (1:15 in)

From KLTV's Red Zone (1:25 in):



From KETK:


Abby Eden and #1 Gilmer, Coach Jeff Traylor Visits Overtime

More video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qx2FBVEyMfI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkahrwuYX54
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmbvdyHcNNs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlgMwNpbdoE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YkVxYWgk6Q
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHB9AWT1-r0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7x1Mha1N4yk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GMngb4f9RY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWH6PqvfYfA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vi_jMlRq4cM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOess204teI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1f7vHhLCvvo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IxpUgj6mMA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FV-i2WjNPww
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZWbFW6hXIc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7ec0XtyIYI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGoSQG54D8M
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipmZQEeohrY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjNqYdKzZiI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rac9ll7FmJ8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLHCzYfL4kQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11AKpkLPBww
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1k1-uaonns
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HeV3M-1ueI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-piNsND2-8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFUUz8MAtao
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1rPq959auk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kp938j51s8k
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pO22dQsE4j8

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Buckeyes start district play at Bullard

By JOE DODD

Gilmer head football coach Jeff Traylor spent the Buckeyes’ bye week studying video of his team’s first five games. Despite watching the Buckeyes outscore their opponents 266-90 on their way to a perfect 5-0 record, Traylor was unimpressed.

“We’re not real good in my opinion,” said Traylor. “I studied us a lot this week, and I don’t think we’re playing real well. We could coach better and play better. There are a lot of things we can do better; we’re just not very good right now.”

That’s not at all how Bullard head coach Jim Taylor sees Gilmer, as his Panthers prepare to host the number-one ranked Buckeyes Friday night to start District 17-3A play. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Panther Stadium.

“I’ve been coaching for 25 years and they’re one of the finest ball clubs I’ve seen,” said Taylor. “I really feel like they’re a better football team than they were even last year, and obviously last year they were a great football team.”

Traylor said that the Buckeyes have a long ways to go if they want to be a great football team. “I think we could be better in every area,” explained Traylor, who named one specifically.

“I’ve not been real pleased with our kicking game,” admitted Traylor. “We have not punted the ball real well this year. The extra-point team has been inconsistent. Our special teams are going to have to get better.”

That may sound like nit-picking, but Traylor hasn’t led the Buckeyes to 39 consecutive district wins and eight straight undefeated district championships without paying attention to the details.

Gilmer’s district winning streak is the sixth longest in Class 3A history, but Traylor doesn’t pay much attention to those details. “I’m always looking forward, so I just want to win this next one,” he said.

That should be easy enough, according to most high school football experts, who pick the Buckeyes to blow through district play, starting with the Panthers.

“We’re all 0-0. Bullard has the same district record as we do. We’re all starting over Friday night,” exclaimed Traylor, who insisted that Gilmer does not enjoy a talent advantage over their district foes.

“We know that Tatum, Gladewater, Spring Hill and Chapel Hill all beat us in our district track meet. We know athletically where we are. We know the truth,” Traylor said.

The truth to Gilmer’s success, according to Traylor, is hard work and playing as a team, things that were emphasized during the Buckeyes’ bye week. “It was perfect timing. Getting that week off right before district is always good,” Traylor said. “We worked hard on ourselves; a lot of conditioning, a lot of fundamentals.”

That can’t be good news for Bullard, who enters district play with a 1-4 record, despite returning seven starters on each side of the ball. Taylor said that the number of returning starters is misleading.

“We’ve had to move a lot of kids around to different spots,” said Taylor, who is 10-15 in his third season at Bullard. “We’ve been struggling a little bit and we’re trying to find our identity.”

Taylor said identity is not a problem for Gilmer. “You don’t get an opportunity many times in life to play a team like Gilmer,” Taylor said. “When you’re playing someone like Gilmer, it’s a great opportunity for the kids to go against the best in the state, so the kids are excited about that.”

The Buckeyes started the season ranked number one, and have dominated their competition so far. In 2006, the last time Gilmer started the season as the state’s top-ranked team; this year’s senior class ended their freshman campaign with a loss to eventual state champion Liberty-Eylau in the first round of the playoffs.

That’s a scenario that Traylor does not want to repeat. “This senior group is really different. They understand what’s at stake,” said Traylor. “They are tired of getting second. They got beat by the state champions their ninth grade, 10th grade, and 11th grade years so they’re tired of that.”

The desire to win a state championship, along with the pressure to extend the Buckeyes’ home and district winning streaks are more than enough motivation for Gilmer’s seniors.

“We don’t want to be remembered as the team that stopped the streaks. That’s what motivates us,” confessed senior receiver Tevin Godfrey.

Those streaks also provide extra motivation for the Buckeyes’ opponents. “I know that every team that plays us would love to stop it,” said Traylor. “That’s just part of playing in Gilmer. We’re used to it.”

To help keep the Buckeyes focused on their goals, Traylor de-emphasizes their weekly opponents. “You’re never playing your opponent; you’re always playing yourself,” said Traylor. “We’re not playing Bullard; we’re playing Gilmer. You have to make a few adjustments for your opponent, but the truth is we’re trying to make Gilmer better.”

Taylor is not sure how Gilmer can get much better. “Gilmer is ranked number one for a reason,” said Taylor, who saw the Buckeyes jump out to a 41-0 first-half advantage last year before settling for a 48-12 win over the Panthers.

Those Panthers were led by quarterback Charlie Moore, who now plays at Oklahoma State. But Traylor said Bullard has found a worthy replacement in Marquez Franklin.

“Their quarterback is good. He’s a heck of an athlete. He can really go,” said Traylor about Franklin, who has thrown for 625 yards and three touchdowns in his first five games. Franklin has also rushed for 171 yards and two touchdowns.

“Marquez has stepped into that position and is doing a fine job for us,” confirmed Taylor. “He’s learning each week.”

“Their tailback is good, too,” added Traylor about Daniel Howard, who exploded for a 70-yard touchdown run against the Buckeyes in last year’s game, along with a 9-yard touchdown run.

While the Buckeyes’ Black Flag Defense will try to stop Franklin and Howard, Gilmer senior quarterback Stump Godfrey should be excited about the chance to make amends for his career-high three interceptions suffered against the Panthers last season.

“I didn’t remember that until I watched the video this week,” said Traylor. “I’m sure that will motivate him a little.”

That is a scary thought considering that Godfrey is on the cusp of joining the ranks of the best high school quarterbacks in Texas’ history.

Godfrey needs 12 touchdown passes to give him 100 for his career. Only eight Texas quarterbacks have ever thrown for 100 touchdowns in their career. The list is impressive: Graham Harrell, Garrett Gilbert, G.J. Kinne, Colt McCoy, Drew Tate, Chandler Dane, Riley Dodge and Stephen McGee. Currently four of those players are major college quarterbacks, while three others play professionally.

But Godfrey and the Buckeyes are focused on only one number, starting district play 1-0. “That’s the first district ball game so you want to get off to a win,” said Traylor.

NOTES
Gilmer’s 39-game district win streak is currently the second best among all schools in the state of Texas behind Class 5A Galena Park North Shore’s (52) (source: Joe Lee Smith)
Gilmer’s 293 offensive plays consist of 147 passing attempts (50.2 percent) and 146 rushing attempts (49.8 percent)
Gilmer averages 280 yards per game passing (58 percent) and 199 yards per game rushing (42 percent)
Gilmer has receiving touchdowns by seven different players
Gilmer has rushing touchdowns by six different players
Gilmer quarterback Stump Godfrey needs 123 rushing yards to give him 2,000 for his career
Gilmer’s Stump Godfrey needs 25 rushing yards to pass Derek McKenzie as Gilmer’s career leader in rushing yards by a quarterback
Gilmer’s Stump Godfrey needs four rushing touchdowns to pass Justin Johnson as Gilmer’s career leader

October 9- @ Bullard
Mascot: Panthers
Colors: Blue/White/Red
District: 17-3A
Enrollment: 494
Stadium: Panther Stadium
Stadium Opened: 2008
Stadium Surface: Real Grass (Turf)
Stadium Address: Schoolhouse Rd. @ Oak; Bullard, TX 75757
2008 Record: 3-7, 1-4 district
2009 Record: 1-4
Last meeting: 2008, Gilmer won 48-12
Series Record: Gilmer leads 3-0
Head Coach: Jim Taylor (3rd season, 10-15, 51-75 overall)
Returning Starters: 7 Offense/7 Defense
Offense: Multiple, one-back
Defense: 4-4
Did you know? Gilmer quarterback Stump Godfrey was intercepted a career-high 3 times in last season’s game against the Panthers.

BUCKEYE TICKET LINE:
841-7777
LUNCH WITH THE COACH:
Noon Wednesdays, Buckeyes Booster Club meets at Gilmer Country Club
LIVE WEBCAST:
www.GilmerBuckeyes.com