Chapel Hill + Gilmer Go Unbeaten in Thursday Pool Play at the Division II 7-on-7 Football State Tournament
LEANDER — East Texas’ best performances of Thursday’s pool play came from a pair of “District of Doom” rivals.
Chapel Hill and Gilmer each won three games for perfect pool-play finishes Thursday at Southwest Williamson County Regional Park.
Chapel Hill secured its 3-0 day in thrilling fashion.
The Bulldogs’ Sammy Guzman picked off what would have been a go-ahead two-point conversion at the end of the game to preserve a 34-33 Chapel Hill advantage, which was the final score. Chapel Hill erased 27-13 second-half deficit with three consecutive touchdowns en route to the victory.
Guzman also had an interception in Chapel Hill’s 33-6 win against Port Isabel, which saw Andrew Black throw three first-half touchdown passes for a 20-0 halftime lead. Chapel Hill started the day with a 41-20 victory against Dublin.
While Chapel Hill averaged 36 points per game, Gilmer won with defense.
The Buckeyes surrendered a grand total of 32 points in Thursday’s three pool games. That’s an average of 10.7 per game in an offense-friendly setup.
“The defense came out with a bunch of energy from start to finish,” said Gilmer senior defensive back Ardarius Johnson. “We’re gonna try to kick it up a little more (Friday) and take it one game at a time.”
In one of the most anticipated matchups of the day, Gilmer beat LaMarque 27-14 in a meeting of perennial 11-man powerhouses. Tanner Barr threw four touchdown passes — one apiece to Chase Tate, Josh Walker, Jaidon Parrish, and DeVondrick Dixon. The touchdown strike to Dixon covered 45 yards (the length of the field) and gave the Buckeyes their 13-point victory margin.
D.K. Nelson and Charles Williams each had an interception for the Gilmer defense.
Gilmer followed that win with a 20-6 victory against Rockdale and a 39-12 rout of Wellington.
Gilmer plays White Oak at 9 a.m. Friday in a championship bracket first-round game. Chapel Hill plays Canton at the same time.