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.”
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
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.
Friday Football Fever (1:35 in)
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