Games of the Year, No. 4: Henderson Meets Gilmer Under Saturday Night Lights on Oct. 13
Not only have Gilmer and Henderson won two of the last three Class 3A Division I state championships, but since becoming district mates in District 16-3A, they have given football fans plenty of drama.
Gilmer erased a 28-10 third-quarter deficit in the 2010 matchup at Lion Stadium and won 29-28, giving the Lions their second consecutive loss. Henderson responded by winning its next six games to finish 13-2 with a Class 3A Division I state championship, the Lions’ first in school history. Last season, Gilmer erased a 14-0 first-quarter deficit, forcing seven Henderson turnovers to subdue the Lions 35-20 as the Buckeyes won the “District of Doom” crown and finished 13-1 as a Division II quarterfinalist.
But the past two seasons aren’t the first time Henderson and Gilmer have played league contests. Henderson swept the Buckeyes 14-0 and 48-0 during Gilmer’s brief Class 4A stay in 1997-98, so the 2010-11 meetings perhaps served as payback.
Now Henderson’s looking for the payback after dropping two disappointing losses to the Buckeyes. On Oct. 13 at Longview's Lobo Stadium, a deep and athletic defense could help the Lions stop the streak from reaching three. Defensive lineman Bo Brady had 17 sacks a year ago, and linebacker Jamaal Kind is poised for a big senior season.
Gilmer must make big changes offensively after the graduations of Luke Turner (Rice) and Jordan Traylor, their two-headed quarterback in 2011. Tanner Barr and Jaidon Parrish, a pair of juniors, could share duties running Gilmer’s spread offense, while sophomore athlete Chase Tate might be tasked to counter Henderson jack-of-all-trades Patrick “Monster” Brown’s three-phase exploits.
Saturday night at Lobo Stadium should be rocking for these two, who should almost certainly be playing for playoff positioning, if not more, in this contest.
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