“District of Doom” Championship on the Line When No. 4 Kilgore Visits Gilmer
No. 4 Kilgore Bulldogs (8-0, 4-0)
Gilmer Buckeyes (8-1, 4-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Buckeye Stadium, Gilmer
Kilgore: Mike Wood
Gilmer: Jeff Traylor
Kilgore: def. Henderson, 14-10
Gilmer: def. Bullard, 57-39
- MLB A.J. Davis, Sr., 6-0, 220 (85 tackles, 10 for loss, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles)
- QB Cooper Coldiron, Sr., 5-11, 170 (38 of 74, 834 yards, 8 TDs, 3 INTs; 5 rush TDs)
- DT LaDarrin Anthony, Jr., 6-0, 230 (65 tackles, 18 for loss, 8.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 2 recoveries)
- DE D.Q. Scott, Jr., 5-11, 225 (32 tackles, 9 for loss, 6 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 recovery, 1 punt block)
- WR/CB Benny Colbert, Jr., 5-10, 175 (10 touches, 83 yards, 1 rush TD; 32 tackles, 2 for loss, 3 INTs, 1 forced fumble, 2 recoveries, 2 kick blocks)
- OL Clay Wiley, Jr., 6-1, 280
- WR/DB Q Brewster, Jr., 6-0, 180 (6 catches, 132 yards; 22 tackles, 4 INTs, 1 forced fumble, 1 kick block)
- OLB Jake Brantley, Jr., 5-10, 185 (64 tackles, 6 for loss, 2 sacks, 2 INTs, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
- FB/DE Cornelius Bell, Sr., 6-1, 225 (19 carries, 117 yards, 2 TDs; 18 tackles, 3 for loss, 1 sack, 2 fumble recoveries)
- WR Aaron Foy, Jr. (12 catches, 331 yards, 4 TDs)
- QB Tanner Barr, Jr., 6-1, 175 (136 of 231, 1,694 yards, 14 TDs, 9 INTs; 73 carries, 448 yards, 2 TDs)
- RB/OLB Josh Walker, Jr., 6-1, 220 (45 carries, 310 yards, 8 TDs; 13 catches, 220 yards, 3 TDs; 63 tackles, 4 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 recovery; committed to Texas A&M)
- NG Xavier Fluellen, Sr., 6-1, 260 (60 tackles, 3 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries)
- RB Kris Boyd, Soph., 5-10, 185 (81 carries, 813 yards, 13 TDs; 11 catches, 96 yards, 1 TD)
- WR/CB Trey Washington, Sr., 6-1, 170 (24 catches, 262 yards, 2 TDs; 30 tackles, 1 INT; committed to SMU)
- ATH Chase Tate, Soph., 5-5, 150 (24 carries, 173 yards, 1 TD; 35 catches, 285 yards, 2 TDs; 1 TD pass)
- WR/DB DeVondrick Dixon, Jr. (12 catches, 262 yards, 3 TDs; 21 tackles, 1 INT, 1 def. TD)
- RB Jamel Jackson, Soph. (30 carries, 338 yards, 5 TDs)
- ILB John McPhearson, Jr. (70 tackles, 1 fumble recovery)
- RG Brady English, Sr., 6-4, 250
Just the facts
- Kilgore averages 31.5 points per game and allows 5.9.
- Gilmer averages 37.2 points per game and yields 24.7.
- Kilgore has allowed more than eight points twice in eight games.
- Kilgore has not allowed more than 14 points in a game this season.
- Gilmer has scored 50 or more points in three of its last four games.
- Gilmer is aiming for its second consecutive "District of Doom" championship in the Buckeyes' third year in the district (Carthage won it in 2010).
- Kilgore is 4-1 all-time vs. Gilmer (dating to 1969).
- Gilmer won the last matchup 70-27 in 2009.
Key matchup: Gilmer's offensive line vs. Kilgore's defensive line. Gilmer averages 430.9 total yards per game, and does so with balance. The Buckeyes run for more than 237 yards per game and throw for 193 more. An offensive line starting three seniors and two juniors has helped the Buckeyes achieve their typically prolific offensive firepower, which has been fueled by a glut of non-seniors: Tanner Barr (junior), Josh Walker (junior), Kris Boyd (sophomore), Chase Tate (sophomore), Jamel Jackson (sophomore), and others. But Gilmer may face its toughest challenge of the season when Kilgore's defensive line invades Buckeye Stadium on Friday. Tackle LaDarrin Anthony is having one of the best seasons for a defensive lineman in East Texas this year, and end D.Q. Scott combines with Anthony to give the Dogs one of the best pass-rush duos in the region. Then there's standout middle linebacker A.J. Davis and cohort Jake Brantley waiting at the next level at linebacker. If Gilmer is to continue the torrid scoring pace it has enjoyed lately -- 48.5 points per game in the last four weeks -- then the Buckeyes need a huge effort from the offensive line. Kilgore hasn't allowed more than 14 points in a game this season, and its dominant defensive front is a major reason.
- Kilgore coach Mike Wood on the biggest challenge Gilmer's offense presents: "I think speed is the No. 1 thing. They've just got speed at receiver, speed at the quarterback position, and probably the fastest backfield we'll play this year.
- Gilmer coach Jeff Traylor on the potential atmosphere of Friday's District 16-3A championship game: "For our team to be undefeated (in district) is unbelievable. I personally don't think we're probably as good as Kilgore, honestly, but it's at our place and I know we'll get after them. It'll have all the things everyone wants."
- Wood on what he believes is the key to the game for Kilgore: "Not give up the big play. We'll try to get off the field defensively. That's our goal each series."
- Traylor on what he expects from Kilgore: "Kilgore's known for having a great defense, run that ball, and play-action pass. I'm sure they're still good at it."
- Gilmer linebacker Josh Walker on how the Buckeyes will approach such an important game: "It's just like any other game. Everybody's going to play hard. We've just got to come out and match the intensity. Don't get to high, don't get too low. We don't lose at home. It's going to be a great game. I think it's going to come down to who's the most physical."
Don't be surprised if: This game lives up to the hype. Both teams are good on both sides of the ball, but the obvious intriguing matchup is Gilmer's high-powered offense against Kilgore's smothering defense. Gilmer's averaged almost 50 points per game during its last four contests, while Kilgore has completely shut down almost every opponent it has faced. That includes a 38-6 road win against East Texas' No. 1 passing offense, Mount Pleasant. The "District of Doom" championship is on the line Friday at Buckeye Stadium. Gilmer and Kilgore each reached the fourth round of the playoffs a year ago -- Gilmer in 3A Division II, Kilgore in 4A Division II -- and have their sights set on going at least that far again in 2012. If you're a fan, don't fret if your team loses this contest. After all, this game will serve as an excellent barometer for both teams as to just how good they are and potentially how long they will last in the postseason. ETSN.fm ranked this as the No. 1 regular-season game in East Texas in the preseason, and there's no reason to think that's any different now, even if the District 16-4A championship between Whitehouse and John Tyler is getting similar attention. Class 3A is East Texas' marquee classification, and the "District of Doom" is the region's marquee district going on three years now. In other words, there's no better way to whet your playoff appetites than to watch two of the region's top programs face off in the 16-3A title game on a November night. Enjoy, East Texas.