The Indians received the opening kickoff and Pablin Olivares’ kick was fielded at the J’ville 32 with no return, and the home team set up shop for their first offensive possession. The Indians managed one first down, but Carter McCown was forced to punt the pigskin away on the next series. He boomed a 52-yarder into the end zone, and Gilmer set up shop on their 20 for their first offensive possession.
The Buckeyes were able to manage only two yards in three downs and Tanner Barr hit a 34-yard punt down to the J’Ville 44. The Homecoming crowd at the antiquated Tomato Bowl got excited quickly on the possession, as McCown led his team 56 yards to the end zone in only three plays, and took only 51 seconds off the first quarter clock. The first play was a 23-yard run by Datavion Thacker, the second play was a 32-yard pass from McCown to Claude Franklin and the score came on a 1-yard run by Trent Sansom. Ryan Travis added the PAT, and with 8:19 left in the opening period the Indians led 7-0.
Kris Boyd took the ensuing kick at the Gilmer 12 and returned it out to the 27, beginning the first scoring drive for the Bucks. It took only 1:46 and five plays for Barr to lead his team the 73 yards to end zone. He hit Jaidon Parrish for a gain of 13, followed that up with a 19-yard completion to Chase Tate, and then hit Desmond Pollard for a gain of 25. Jamel Jackson was dropped for a 5-yard loss on a run on the next play, and then Barr hit Pollard from 21 yards out for the TD with 6:55 left in the opening stanza. Olivares split the uprights and the score was tied 7-7.
The Tribe managed one first down on their next possession thanks to a personal foul against Gilmer, but the Black Flag Defense shut the door on the next series and a punt by McCown to the Gilmer 30 was returned to the 47 by DeVondrick Dixon, and the Bux were back in business again.
It took only four plays and 1:05 for Barr to lead the offense into the end zone again and give the visitors a lead they would never relinquish. Darrian Lewis rushed for 7 on the first play. Barr followed that up with a 21-yard completion to Parrish, then finished the drive by dialing up his own number for gains of 14 and 11 into the end zone. Olivares was true on the extra point and Gilmer le14-7 with 4:14 left in the first quarter.
After Stacy Cummings returned the ensuing Olivares kick 20 yards out to the Indian 36, McCown led his troops onto the field again. This time the Black Flag forced a three-and-out, and Tate returned the 36-yard punt 8 yards out to his 38, setting the offense up again.
This time it took seven plays and 1:37 for the offense to move the 62 yards to pay dirt. Key plays were a 9-yard run by Kris Boyd that ended with a 15-yard personal foul call against Jacksonville, a 13-yard pass from Barr to Parrish, and the score which came on an 11-yard run by Jackson with 1:30 left in the first quarter. Jackson ran in the 2-point conversion, and the score moved to 22-7.
Tony Lane took the next kick at his 15 and advanced it to the 23. McCown hit Sansom for a gain of 17 on third-and-ten, but the Black Flag shut the door on the next series and McCown hit a 45-yard punt down to the Gilmer 10. There was no return, but the Bucks were flagged for a personal foul, moving the ball back to the 5.
The Buckeyes then mounted their longest scoring drive of the season yardage-wise on the possession. They took 10 plays and 3:34 off the second quarter clock to move the 95 yards into the end zone. The score came on a 20-yard pass from Barr to Parrish with 8:06 left in the half. The 2-point conversion attempt by DeMarco Boyd was no good, but the blowout was on with Gilmer up 28-7.
The next Indian drive began at the J’ville 23, but after picking up two first downs, the Black Flag go the job done. McCown and the offense went for it on fourth down, but a pass fell incomplete, and the Buckeyes were on the offensive again at the J’ville 49.
It took only two plays and 29 seconds for the offense to find the end zone yet again. Barr hit Parrish for a gain of 26 on the first play, and found Quinn Fluellen from 23 yards out for the score on the next play. Olivares kicked the PAT and the lead was 35-7 with 5:29 left until halftime.
Gilmer had been called for a dead ball personal foul before the extra point and that penalty was assessed on the kickoff. Olivares booted the ball deep to the Indian 25 where it was muffed by Tony Lane. He recovered for a loss of three at his 22, but it was another three-and-out for McCown and the offense. Ryan Travis punted down to the Gilmer 37 and Dixon returned the ball out to the Indian 48.
This time it took only 17 seconds and two plays for Barr to lead the offense into the end zone again. Lewis ran for eight on the first play and Barr hit Tate for a 40-yard TD on the next play. Gilmer was penalized five yards for a false start prior to the Olivares extra point attempt and the kick was no good, but the score was now 41-7.
Things only got worse for the Indians from there. After returning the kickoff out to the J’ville 32, McCown lost five on a third-and-four and fumbled the ball away to Brian Restine, and Gilmer was back on the offensive again at the Indian 27. Just two plays and 29 seconds later, Barr had his charges in the end zone again. He connected with Pollard for a gain of 24 on the first play and Dixon ran in for the touchdown from three yards out on the next play. The PAT by Olivares was wide left, and with 2:34 left in the half Gilmer led 47-7.
After the next kick the Indians began on their 19. They managed one first down, but then McCown was intercepted on first down by Dakeilen Nelson and returned the pick to the J’ville 28 to end the half.
The Indians got a break on the second half kickoff, as the ball bounced off a Buckeye and was recovered by Tommy Simmons at the Gilmer 41. Jacksonville did nothing with the possession though, as the Black Flag rose to the occasion. A McCown pass on fourth down fell incomplete, and Gilmer took back over on their 34.
Barr led the offense to yet another score on the possession. The 66-yard drive took three plays and only 1:15. Kris Boyd rushed for eight on the first play. Barr hit Parrish for a gain of 24 on the next play, and Boyd ran into the end zone from 32 yards out on the third play with 9:29 left in the third quarter. Olivares nailed the PAT and Gilmer led 54-7.
The decision to show mercy was made after the score and the clock ran continuously after that point, including during the Gilmer extra point. After an Olivares kickoff into the end zone with no return, the Tribe set up on their 25 with 6:33 left in the third quarter.
Coach Jeff Traylor began multiple substitutions on defense at that point and the J’ville starters managed a 7-play, 75-yard drive that took 3:53 on the possession. The score came on a 31-yard pass from McCown to Claude Franklin. The PAT was good as the third quarter ended, and the score was 54-14.
John McPherson returned the kickoff from his 28 out to the 37, and Barr and the offense began what would be the final Gilmer score of the game. It took only two plays and 59 seconds to tally the final TD. Barr threw to Korie Frazier for a gain of one, and then DeMarco Boyd ran for a 62-yard score with 10:54 left in the laugher. There was a bad snap on the PAT attempt resulting in the Bucks missing the kick, but the score was 60-14.
Lane returned the final Olivares kickoff of the night from his 17 out to his 31. By this time, several third team players were on the field against the Indian starters. Jacksonville managed one last meaningless score, but they took 11 plays and the remainder of the non-stop clock to get their final tally. The score came on a 2-yard run by Braylon Parish. The point-after kick was partially blocked and was no good as the game ended with a 60-20 blowout Gilmer win for the third week in a row.
It was a happy Coach Traylor we spoke with after the game. “The kids were very mature and we had a lot of adjustments this week and a lot of change, but the kids were locked in and ready to go and I’m very proud of them. I’ve very worried that we haven’t gotten to play four full quarters for two of our three games. Prestonwood we played all four quarters, which is great, but the schedule of ours with Gladewater and Chapel Hill, those guys are going to challenge us late in the game, so we’re going to get really conditioned and get in the weight room and try to get ready for those 4-quarter ball games we’ve got coming down the road.”
The coach also had some words of caution for Buckeye fans. “We’ve got to be very careful—our crowd, we can’t keep blowing our kids’ heads up so much. They’re not going to work hard if everyone keeps telling them they’re not ever going to lose. You can beat yourself; 11 on 0 we can get beat. We’ve lost games in the past that we shouldn’t have lost. We have to be careful. We want to brag on our kids; we love our kids, but the words we tell them, we need to keep the perspective on all this.”
We asked about the night Jaidon Parrish had, as it seemed he was open all night long. “A lot of other guys have been getting the ball, so they tried to stop them, so it was his turn. That’s what happens in the spread offense—wait your turn and your night will come.”
We also asked his thoughts about the upcoming Gilmer Homecoming this Friday night against the Daingerfield Tigers. “I don’t anything; I take them one week at a time. The quarterback came to our camp. I know he’s a great player. They always play us hard. That’s why I like to play those guys. They get after us every year, so we expect a great game Friday. We’ll be ready for them.”
We closed our interview with the coach asking his thoughts about the big 100th anniversary halftime celebration that will honor former players and coaches on the field. “We’ve got 85 men coming back from 1944 up. We’re going to have barbeque for anybody who played for Gilmer and we’re going to honor one person from each class all the way up. 100 years is a pretty big deal. The next hundred years we won’t be here!”
We want to encourage all Buckeye fans to make it to Buckeye Stadium early Friday night for
Homecoming festivities. Also, we need to do a much better job of filling the orange seats on the home side. PLEASE make sure to be IN your seat, but if for some reason you are not able to do so, make sure to sell your seats to someone so that ALL the orange seats are taken. We had a large number of Gilmer fans who were forced to sit on the Prestonwood side for that game due to the fact that general admission was full and the home side gates were closed. We could have accommodated all those fans on the home side if everyone had been a good steward and sold their orange seat tickets if they weren’t going to be at the game. Please make sure to be there or sell your seats for Friday night!