We want to point out at the outset of this game account that this was no ordinary team the Buckeyes took on. Could the team have played better? Yes, without a doubt. However, since they do NOT play under UIL (University Interscholastic League) rules and regulations, Prestonwood, as a TAPPS private school, has NO RESTRICTIONS prohibiting them from recruiting athletes to play on their team.
We are not making any excuses for the Gilmer loss; however, for those of you who were at the game, you saw first-hand that in most cases the Lions were head and shoulders taller and close to 100 pounds heavier than our Bucks. Due to their ability to recruit, Prestonwood had many of the best athletes in the Dallas area on their team. They are ranked No. 1 in the TAPPS large 5A school division, won State Championships in 2009 and 2010, and lost in the semifinals by three points last year. They literally are basically the equivalent of a junior college. Gilmer will not play ANYONE with NEAR the talent the Lions have the rest of this season, no matter how far they might go in the playoffs.
That having been said, this group of young men need to know you believe in them and support them just as strongly as you did after the opening season win over the Atlanta Rabbits.
Gilmer fans have “packed the house” at Buckeye Stadium home games in the Jeff Traylor era, and it is important that you show up in mass Friday night when the Buckeyes host the 1-1 Jacksonville Indians in the 2012 Homecoming game. The Bux need to see a standing room only crowd on the home side, and you need to be vocal in your support of the team and help them get the P.R.I.D.E. and swagger back against the Indians.
Friday’s game began with Prestonwood electing to receive the opening kickoff after winning the pre-game coin toss. Both defenses were dominant in the early going, as each team went three-and-out on their first three possessions. On their fourth possession, the Lions turned the ball over when Justus Cheatham intercepted Mickey Mitchell at the Gilmer 43. Unfortunately, Prestonwood got the ball right back on the next play when Zach Missimo intercepted Tanner Barr at the 43.
The Lions picked up one first down on the ensuing drive, but Mitchell threw incomplete on fourth down and the Buckeyes took over on their own 25. They picked up consecutive first downs on an 11-yard run by Chase Tate and a 27-yard pass from Barr to Tate, and looked to be coming to life. The next series of downs netted only three yards and Barr threw incomplete on fourth down from the Lion 34 on the first play of the second quarter.
From that point on, everything went Prestonwood’s way for almost the entire second quarter. After a 10-yard holding penalty against the home team, and a great play by the Black Flag Defense that dropped Mitchell for a 10-yard loss, Mitchell connected with Grayson Warren on 3rd-and-30 for an 86-yard touchdown pass with 11:09 left in the half. Gabe Lozano added the PAT, and Prestonwood took a 7-0 lead. The drive was two plays and took 48 seconds off the clock.
The hosts kicked onside on the kickoff and actually recovered the ball, but fortunately the Lion player fumbled the ball away when he was hit and Gilmer recovered on their own 49. Josh Walker ran for one yard on first down, Tate was dropped for a loss of six on second down and Barr threw incomplete on third down. On fourth down from the Gilmer 39, Barr’s punt was blocked and returned for a Prestonwood TD by Corey Meador. Lozano added the point-after once again, and the Buckeyes found themselves down 14-0 with just under 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
The Buckeye offense got untracked on the ensuing possession. They moved the ball 63 yards in just five plays and scored their first TD of the night with 8:13 left till the half when Josh Walker ran into the end zone from 24 yards out. Gilmer faked the kick and Barr lofted a pass to Walker that fell incomplete, leaving the score at 14-6.
Things went south quickly, as on the kickoff Stephen Riegel returned the ball from his 19 to the 39, and the Bucks were tagged with a 10-yard penalty for an illegal block, moving the ball to the 49. The Lions took 2:08 off the clock to move the 51 yards in seven plays, and scored again on a 22-yard pass from Mitchell to Christian Morgan. The Lions went for two, and Mitchell hit Morgan again for the conversion, moving the score to 22-6 with 3:49 left in the half.
Walker took the ensuing short kick at his 43 and returned it to the 49. Gilmer picked up two first downs, and appeared to be in business again when Barr hit DeVondrick Dixon for a 28-yard gain down to the 12, but the drive stalled at the 10 and Prestonwood took over on downs at that point.
They moved 90 yards in seven plays and took 2:08 to find the end zone yet again. The score came on a 50-yard run by Warren with 1:06 left in the half. Lozano added the PAT and the Lions were in complete control with a 29-6 lead.
The Bucks started from their 25 after the next kick and ran three plays before the half ended.
The second half didn’t start much better for the visitors than the second quarter went, as an unsportsmanlike penalty of 15 yards ended any hope the Buckeyes had for finding the end zone on the opening drive of the half. On fourth down Barr’s kick was partially blocked, and Prestonwood began their next drive at the Gilmer 34.
The hosts took only four plays and 1:17 to move the 34 yards for yet another score. Mitchell found the end zone from 25 yards out with 9:33 left in the third quarter, pushing the lead to 35-6. John McPherson burst through the line on the point after and blocked Lozano’s PAT.
The next possession was ill-fated as a Buckeye receiver was unable to hold on to a fourth down pass that would have been a first down. With the incompletion, the Lions took over on the Gilmer 28 and took only 25 seconds and two plays to hit the end zone for what would be their final touchdown of the night. Warren ran for 16 on first down. The Lions were called for holding on second down and then Mitchell ran in from the 21 with 7:45 left in the third, pushing the score to 41-6. Lozano’s PAT was good, moving the lead to 42-6.
Both teams went three-and-out on their next possessions before Gilmer began the next drive at their 20. They picked up one first down, but on third down on the next series, Walker was hit and fumbled the ball away to the Lions at his 14.
The Black Flag stiffened after giving up nine yards down to the 5 on the first down play, as they stopped the offense for no gain on three straight plays, giving the ball back to the offense at the Gilmer 5.
The Buckeyes picked up on first down on a 16-yard pass from Barr to Slade Morris, but they weren’t able to gain a single yard on the next series, forcing Barr to punt the ball away. The kick went 38 yards down to the Lion 39 with no return.
The Black Flag forced another three-and-out, and after a 5-yard return by Cheatham, Gilmer was back on offense at their 26. Adrian Johnson picked up eight yards on first down before a 4-yard loss on second down. Barr then hit Brandon Barnes on a long pass into the red zone, but Gilmer was called for holding on the play. The drive stalled and Barr was forced to punt again. His kick went for 35 yards, down to the Prestonwood 40. The Black Flag didn’t allow a first down, but the Buckeyes fared no better, as they couldn’t pick up a first down offensively.
After a Barr hit a 42-yard punt, the home team set up shop on their 26.
The Lions picked up one first down, but the defense stiffened and the Bucks took back over on offense at their 12 with 3:04 left in the game. The final Gilmer TD came after only 30 seconds, capping a 2-play, 88-yard drive. Barr ran for 48 on the first play, and Jamel Jackson found the end zone from 40 yards out on the next play, bringing the score to 42-12. Pablin Olivares’ PAT was wide left and no good.
Prestonwood went three-and-out on their final possession, and after a 55-yard punt into the end zone, Gilmer began their final possession on their 20 with 45 seconds left in the contest.
They managed two plays, both runs by Jackson that picked up 15 yards and two yards respectively, and the clock ran out, making the final score 42-14.
While it was a setback, it was just one of 10 regular season games. We have a lot of football left to play this season, so hang in there with our Mighty Buckeyes. Homecoming Festivities at Buckeye Stadium will begin around 7 p.m. Friday night, so be there in your seats early and cheer the Bucks on to victory over the visiting Jacksonville Indians!