Argyle didn’t score on the drive, but sensing they needed to keep a drive going with time running out, Gilmer went for a 4th-and-4 and Gavin Holt was stopped two yards short at his 35. Argyle then went on a 5-play, 19-yard drive that resulted in a Hedlund field goal with 2:05 left in the game that put the Eagles up by nine, by a 44-35 count, and put the game out of reach. The loss ends Gilmer’s season with a 13-1 record, while Argyle moves to 13-1 with the win and faces Monahans in the Class 3A Division II Semifinals Friday night in Abilene.
Though the loss was a tough one for the players, the coaching staff, and all Buckeye fans, we ALL need to remember the IMPOSSIBLE odds this team faced getting to this point. Most teams, including many NFL teams, are done for the season when they lose their starting quarterback. This team could have had the “poor, poor pitiful me” attitude and given up when Luke Turner was lost for the season in the Carthage game, but EVERY Buckeye on the squad was determined to help take up the slack and they did a yeoman’s job of it.
Backup quarterback Jordan Traylor looked like a starter from the moment he entered the Carthage game and led the team to victory. He and the entire team willed a 35-20 victory over Henderson, and continued to roll four rounds deep in the playoffs. This team had injuries at several positions during the course of the year, yet they NEVER wavered in their success. Rather than remembering the loss, we all should focus on the 13 wins. When you see team members in the coming days, congratulate them on the superb job they did of playing as a team all season. And, as is the case every year in Gilmer, though we will lose some stellar players to graduation, we have plenty of athletes that will be coming up to the varsity to take their places. It was another banner year for Buckeye football teams from seventh grade up, so we will have yet another exciting season with plenty of wins again next year.
Argyle won the coin toss and deferred to the second half, so Gilmer got the ball to start the game. After a touchback, the Bucks started at their own 20. They drove the 80 yards to pay dirt in 13 plays, took 3:13 off the clock and found the end zone when Darrion Pollard took a shovel pass from Traylor and scampered in from seven yards out. Pablin Olivares added the point after, and with 8:47 left in the first quarter Gilmer led 7-0.
The Black Flag Defense forced a 3-and-out on Argyle’s first possession, and after a 34-yard punt by Anthony Fuqua, the Buckeye offense returned to the field with a 1st down at their 28. Gavin Holt gained 2 yards on 1st down and Traylor hit Pollard for a 14-yard gain on 2nd down. Chase Tate picked on 3 on the next play, but was hit hard and lost the ball. Argyle recovered at the Gilmer 38.
It took only 44 seconds for the Eagles to get on the scoreboard. After no gain on a run by Tyler Eveleth and an incomplete pass, quarterback Austin Aune found Adam Khan for a 38-yard scoring pass with 6:19 left in the opening quarter. Cole Hedlund added the extra point, and the game was knotted at 7.
The Bucks picked up 1 first down on their next possession, but on a 4th and 3 Pollard came up a yard short and Argyle took back over on their 45. They picked up 1 first down in their possession but on the first play of the next series a bad snap by the center resulted in a Colton Hill fumble recovery for Gilmer at the Eagle 47.
The Buckeyes took 2:13 and 8 plays to garner their second score of the game. The key play in the drive was a 26-yard pass from Traylor that was intended for Tray Webb. The ball bounced off Webb, but Holt was in position and made the catch. He was caught at the 6, but Argyle was penalized half the distance to the goal down to the 3 for a face mask. Tate lost 2 on a run from there, then Holt ran in from 5 yards out, and after Olivares’ PAT Gilmer was back up 14-7 with 11:12 left in the first half.
The ensuing pooch kick was fair caught at the Eagle 40 where Aune led his team down the field to tie the game at 14. Key plays were a 20 yard pass from Aune to Ian Sadler on a 3rd-and-9, and a 21-yard scoring pass with 9:06 left in the half. Hedlund added the PAT.
Not to be outdone, Gilmer marched right back, moving 69 yards in 14 plays and taking 5:46 off the clock. The score came from 17-yards out on a reverse by Webb with 3:20 left in the half. Olivares kicked the point after and Gilmer was back on top 21-14.
Reese Thompson returned the ensuing kick from his 5 out to his 20, and Aune got his team rolling again. On 3rd-and-10 in the opening series of the drive he hit Chad Bossow for a gain of 34. On the next play he hit Sadler for a gain of 21, and after two incomplete passes, he hit Sadler from 25 yards out for a TD, capping a 7-play, 80-yard drive that consumed 1:25. Hedlund’s PAT was good and the game was tied again at 21 with 1:55 left in the first half.
Gilmer picked up one first down on the next possession on an 11-yard run by Pollard, but the Bux were forced to punt on the next series. Tanner Barr’s punt against a strong wind travelled 26 yards down to the Argyle 32. The Eagles picked up 3 first downs, and the half ended with the game tied at 21.
The kick to begin the second half was returned from the Argyle 3 to the 30 by Reese Thompson. It took only 1 play for Argyle to take a lead they would never relinquish the rest of the night. Aune hit Sadler for a 70-yard scoring pass that took just 17 seconds off the clock, and with 11:43 left in the 3rd quarter, the score was 28-21 Argyle after Hedlund’s point after touchdown.
Holt returned the ensuing kick from the Gilmer 27 out to the 42 and Traylor and company took over from there. The Buckeyes picked up 1 first down on the drive, but on 4th-and-1 Traylor was picked off by Antonio Griffin who returned the ball 78-yards for a touchdown with 9:40 left in the 3rd quarter. Hedlund added the extra point, and Argyle suddenly held a commanding 35-21 lead.
Showing the never-say-die attitude they exhibited all season, Traylor led his team on a 5-play, 67-yard scoring drive that took 3:03 off the 3rd quarter. The drive began at the Gilmer 37. Traylor hit Pollard for a gain of 33 and Webb for a gain of 11 before McMillan ran for 9. After a 5-yard false start against the offense, Traylor threw for 2 to McMillan; then finished the drive off with a 13-yard scoring pass to Pollard. Olivares was once again good on the point after, and Gilmer was back within a TD, trailing 35-28 with 7:37 left in the 3rd.
The ensuing kick went down to the Argyle 15, but the Eagles were penalized 5-yards after advancing the ball after calling for a fair catch. The penalty moved the ball back to the 10 and Buckeye fans felt good and sensed a comeback.
On the first play of the drive Aune hit Khan for a gain of 26, and the Eagles were off to the races again. 4 plays later Aune hit Bossow for a gain of 37. The Black Flag stiffened, and on 4th-and-8, Hedlund kicked a 27-yard field goal, capping a 9-play, 80-yard drive that took 1:51 off the clock. The kick pushed the Argyle lead to 10, at 38-28 with 5:46 left in the quarter.
The Bucks went 3-and-out on their next possession and Argyle took over after a Barr punt at their 16. The Eagles picked up 1 first down but they stalled in the next series and punted the ball back to the Buckeyes. Unfortunately, it was another 3-and-out, and after a shanked punt against the blustery wind traveled only 5 yards to the Gilmer 25, Argyle was in great shape.
The Black Flag stiffened, giving up only 3 yards in 3 downs, and Hedlund kicked a 39-yard field goal with 10:20 left in the game to put Argyle up 41-28.
Hedlund’s kick went out of the end zone and Gilmer set up shop for what was to be their final score of the night and of the 2011 season. Traylor led his unit on a 12-play, 80-yard drive that consumed 3:17, hitting Tray Webb from 4 yards out with 7:03 left in the game. The Olivares PAT was good, bringing the score to 41-35.
Then unsuccessful onside kick attempt came next, and the Hedlund field goal with 2:05 left drove the final stake into the Buckeyes. After getting the ball on their 20 following a touchback, Pollard gained 8 on first down, but Traylor threw incomplete on 2nd, 3rd, and 4th downs. Gilmer was forced to go for the 4th-and-4 from their 26, and with the incompletion Argyle took over at that spot.
On the first offensive play Bossow ran into the end zone with 1:21 left in the game. The Hedlund PAT moved the score to 51-35.
Gilmer got the ball back, but on 2nd-and-6 Traylor was intercepted by Carston Bossow at the Gilmer 39 with 42 seconds left in the game. Aune came in and took a knee and the game ended.
It was a somber Coach Jeff Traylor we talked with following the game. “There will be a time we’ll reflect and remember all that (the insurmountable odds the Buckeyes overcame during the season to make it to the Quarter-Finals), but right now it’s painful. There’s some things I wish I could do over—I mean I made a terrible call on fourth down and four…a pick-6. I put my quarterback in a bad position, and that was bad on my part. There’s about three things I wish I could do over, but you’ve got to give Argyle credit. They’ve got great players—quarterback (Austin Aune), 3 (Chad Bossow), 6 (Adam Khan), 5 (Ian Sadler), 77 (Trey Keenan), 43 (Carston Bossow); they were really good, and 53 (Tyler Luce-Matzke) and 17 (Matt Ryon). They’ve got a lot of great kids, but we do too. We got after them tonight; we gave them all we had. We made some uncharacteristic mistakes early. You could tell the bigness of the game, the excitement. That’s all my fault on that stuff. I should have done a better job, so you know it’s what it is and I’m very sorry. It’s what happened.”
“They (Argyle) just kept making plays. The fly route they caught there to start the third quarter; what a great throw and catch into about a fifteen mile an hour wind. Kris Boyd did a great job, hustled his tail off. Our kids, you know, it wasn’t lack of effort, you know, we played hard. We couldn’t get them stopped at times, and then we got ‘em stopped and we couldn’t make the critical (first downs), so it’s just one of those nights. When you play great teams it happens. When you get to this point of the season, I mean, it’s what happens. We know we played our tails off. It just wasn’t enough tonight.”
We ended our interview by asking about the leadership the seniors on the team provided this season. “The senior class is pretty special. You lost three great linemen, a lot of good receivers, two really good quarterbacks, two good tailbacks. Defensively, you lost a good linebacker, a good outside linebacker and a good T-and-T, so you lost 16 really important ball players. That’s why it’s a program. There’ll be other kids step up; there’ll be kids you don’t even know about step up. We’ll be back, but tonight we need to be with these seniors, love on them, eat a Chick-Fil-A sandwich and get our mind off of it.”
We have been blessed for 12 seasons now due to the SUPERB JOB Coach Traylor and his assistants have done since 2000. Our record is the best in Class AAA since 2000. We have won 134 games during that time, while losing only 22, including playoff games. That equates to an unbelievable 85.9% winning ratio during that time. The last 12 seasons have provided 134 out of a total of 599 wins in the HISTORY of Gilmer High School Football, or 22.4% of the TOTAL WINS in football at GHS! VERY FEW schools in the USA can boast of such success in such a short period of time.
Let our players and coaches know you appreciate them and all the sacrifices they made and continue to make to represent our town and school, and have a great holiday season. Before you know it, we’ll be revving up for the 2012 season! Thanks for another great year, Buckeyes!!!