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Gilmer Turns The Tide In The Second Half To Defeat West Orange-Stark For Buckeyes’ Third State Title

Gilmer's Demarco Boyd (5) celebrates teammate Devin Smith's (3) fumble recovery for a touchdown during the third quarter of the Buckeyes' 35-25 win over West Orange-Stark in the Class 4A Division II championship game Friday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. (Jeff Stapleton, ETSN.fm)
Gilmer's Demarco Boyd (5) celebrates teammate Devin Smith's (3) fumble recovery for a touchdown during the third quarter of the Buckeyes' 35-25 win over West Orange-Stark in the Class 4A Division II championship game Friday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. (Jeff Stapleton, ETSN.fm)

ARLINGTON -- For 24 minutes, the undefeated and heavily-favored Gilmer Buckeyes were beaten like they'd never been beaten all season.

But they weren't beat.

Gilmer's two less-heralded units -- defense and special teams -- quickly turned the tide in the second half, and the offense took over from there, delivering the Buckeyes their third state championship with a 35-25 win over West Orange-Stark in the Class 4A Division II final in front of 14,953 fans Friday afternoon at AT&T Stadium.

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Waskom Dominates Newton In All Three Phases To Capture Its First-Ever State Championship, 41-22

Waskom's Kevin Johnson (1) celebrates with teammates in the end zone during the Wildcats' 41-22 win over Newton in the Class 3A Division II state championship game Thursday night at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)
Waskom's Kevin Johnson (1) celebrates with teammates in the end zone during the Wildcats' 41-22 win over Newton in the Class 3A Division II state championship game Thursday night at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

ARLINGTON -- To become a state champion, Waskom head coach Whitney Keeling knew his team would have to put forth its best effort of the season.

They went a step further.

Waskom dominated in all three phases -- scoring on offense, defense, and special teams -- en route to a 41-22 victory Thursday night over Newton before 13,492 fans at AT&T Stadium in the Class 3A Division II title game.

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Unbeaten Gilmer Meets West Orange-Stark For Class 4A Division II State Championship

Gilmer players enter the field prior to their Class 4A Division II semifinal against Celina on Dec. 12 in Dallas. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)
Gilmer players enter the field prior to their Class 4A Division II semifinal against Celina on Dec. 12 in Dallas. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

CLASS 4A DIVISION II
State Championship
West Orange-Stark Mustangs (13-2)
vs.
No. 3 Gilmer Buckeyes (15-0)
Noon Friday
AT&T Stadium, Arlington
 
Coaches

  • West Orange-Stark: Cornel Thompson
  • Gilmer: Jeff Traylor

 
Road to Arlington
West Orange-Stark

  • Bi-district: def. Houston Scarborough, 64-0
  • Area: def. Giddings, 34-14
  • Region III semifinal: def. La Marque, 34-0
  • Region III final: def. La Grange, 42-7
  • Semifi

Catch Them If You Can: Speed-Rich Waskom + Newton Clash In All-East Texas State Final

Waskom's offense lines up for a play during the Wildcats' 71-21 regional semifinal playoff win over Howe on Nov. 28 in Tyler. (Mark Martin, ETSN.fm)
Waskom's offense lines up for a play during the Wildcats' 71-21 regional semifinal playoff win over Howe on Nov. 28 in Tyler. (Mark Martin, ETSN.fm)

CLASS 3A DIVISION II
State Championship
No. 4 Waskom Wildcats (14-1)
vs.
Newton Eagles (12-3)
5 p.m. Thursday
AT&T Stadium, Arlington
 
Coaches

  • Waskom: Whitney Keeling
  • Newton: W.T. Johnston

 
Road to Arlington
Waskom

  • Bi-district: def. Linden-Kildare, 48-26
  • Are

Distribution Of Wealth: Gilmer’s Hyper-Explosive Offense Depends On Sharing The Ball

Gilmer captains (from left) McLane Carter, Kris Boyd, Chase Tate and Blake Lynch honor the memory of teammate Desmond Pollard, who passed away in March, by carrying his No. 8 jersey to midfield for the coin toss prior to their semifinal against Celina on Dec. 12 in Dallas. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)
Gilmer captains (from left) McLane Carter, Kris Boyd, Chase Tate and Blake Lynch honor the memory of teammate Desmond Pollard, who passed away in March, by carrying his No. 8 jersey to midfield for the coin toss prior to their semifinal against Celina on Dec. 12 in Dallas. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

GILMER -- According to Urban Dictionary, the term "socialism" is defined as: an economic system in between capitalism and communism, advocating collective ownership of the means of production and distribution of goods.

While that's typically bad for big business, those principles work wonders for the Gilmer Buckeyes, who are in the business of winning football games.

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Filed Under: , Category: Class 4A, Football, News

Newton Takes Its Lumps Early + One Away From First State Title Since 2005

Newton's Calum Foster breaks off a long run during the Eagles' 48-21 semifinal victory over Blanco on Dec. 12 in Waller. (Sherry Tracy, Mrs.Tracy.com)
Newton's Calum Foster breaks off a long run during the Eagles' 48-21 semifinal victory over Blanco on Dec. 12 in Waller. (Sherry Tracy, Mrs.Tracy.com)

From 2012-2013, the Newton Eagles didn't lose a game in the regular season, putting together an overall record of 25-2 -- the only two defeats coming late in the playoffs.

Newton had been so dominant during that run that both losses -- a 39-22 setback to Cameron Yoe in the 2012 semifinals and a 55-36 loss to White Oak in last year's regional semis -- were considered upsets.

This season, however, Newton has taken an altogether different path in reaching Thursday's Class 3A Division II state championship game against Waskom. The Eagles lost three of their first four games, and many wondered if they could recover in time to make a run at a district championship.

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Filed Under: , Category: Class 3A, Football, News

Waskom Moves Past Thrilling Semifinal Victory + Shifts Focus To School’s First-Ever State Championship Game

Waskom's Junebug Johnson jumps over a defender during the Wildcats' regional semifinal playoff win over Howe on Nov. 28 in Tyler. (Mark Martin, ETSN.fm)
Waskom's Junebug Johnson jumps over a defender during the Wildcats' regional semifinal playoff win over Howe on Nov. 28 in Tyler. (Mark Martin, ETSN.fm)

Don't count Whitney Keeling among Waskom residents just content with the school's first-ever state championship appearance. The Wildcats head coach has moved well past his team's heart-stopping semifinal victory last Friday night.

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Filed Under: , Category: Class 3A, Football, News

Defending Champion Aledo Overpowers John Tyler, 44-14, In State Semifinals

John Tyler senior quarterback Geovari McCollister (left) consoles senior defensive back Jordan Owens following the Lions' 44-14 loss to Aledo in their Class 5A Division I semifinal Saturday in Mesquite. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)
John Tyler senior quarterback Geovari McCollister (left) consoles senior defensive back Jordan Owens following the Lions' 44-14 loss to Aledo in their Class 5A Division I semifinal Saturday in Mesquite. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

MESQUITE -- There may have been questions about the Aledo Bearcats' chances of defending last season's state championship coming into Saturday afternoon's Class 5A Division I semifinal.

Those odds look pretty good now.

Behind a powerful rushing attack and stifling defensive front, top-ranked Aledo made sure it would have the opportunity to defend its title next week with a resounding 44-14 defeat of John Tyler at E.H. Hanby Stadium.

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Gilmer Lays Historic Beating On Celina + Advances To Fifth Title Game Since 2004

Gilmer coach Jeff Traylor celebrates with his players during the Buckeyes' 67-14 win over Celina in their Class 4A Division II semifinal Friday night in Dallas. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)
Gilmer coach Jeff Traylor celebrates with his players during the Buckeyes' 67-14 win over Celina in their Class 4A Division II semifinal Friday night in Dallas. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

DALLAS -- It's not to supposed to be this easy. The Gilmer Buckeyes just make it look that way.

Gilmer scored 33 first-quarter points en route a 67-14 demolition of Celina in their Class 4A Division II semifinal Friday night at SMU's Gerald J. Ford Stadium, advancing the Buckeyes to their fifth state championship game since 2004.

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Historic Programs Collide When John Tyler Faces Defending Champ Aledo In State Semifinals

John Tyler quarterback Geovari McCollister runs upfield during the Lions' 64-40 win over McKinney North in their Class 5A Division I state quarterfinal on Dec. 5 in Denton. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)
John Tyler quarterback Geovari McCollister runs upfield during the Lions' 64-40 win over McKinney North in their Class 5A Division I state quarterfinal on Dec. 5 in Denton. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

CLASS 5A DIVISION I
State Semifinal
No. 1 Aledo Bearcats (13-1)
vs.
No. 9 John Tyler Lions (12-2)
2 p.m. Saturday
E.H. Hanby Stadium, Mesquite
 
Coaches

  • Aledo: Steve Wood
  • John Tyler: Ricklan Holmes

 
Road to semifinals
Aledo

  • Bi-district: def. Fort Worth Trimble Tech, 69-0
  • Area: def. Denton, 49-17
  • Region I semifinal: def. El Paso Del Valle, 37-21
  • Region I final: def. Canyon Ran

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