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Gilmer + Atlanta Ready for Second-Round Rematch of Season Opener

Atlanta running back Corion Webster (9) tries to stiff-arm Gilmer’s Brandon Barnes (22) during the Rabbits’ 31-17 loss Aug. 30 in Tyler. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Class 3A Division II Region II
Semifinal

Gilmer (10-1)
vs.
Atlanta (5-6)

6 p.m. Friday
Lobo Stadium, Longview

Coaches
Gilmer: Jeff Traylor
Atlanta: Matt McClure

Last week
Gilmer: def. Canton, 51-36
Atlanta: def. Wills Point, 72-32

Next week: Winner plays Argyle (10-1) or Melissa (9-2) in a 3A Division II Region II semifinal.

Playmakers

Gilmer

  • QB Tanner Barr, Jr., 6-1, 175 (173 of 292, 2,148 yards, 19 TDs, 11 INTs; 93 carries, 610 yards, 2 TDs)
  • RB/LB Josh Walker, Jr., 6-1, 220 (57 carries, 397 yards, 9 TDs; 15 catches, 244 yards, 3 TDs; 80 tackles, 5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 1 recovery, committed to Texas A&M)
  • RB Kris Boyd, Soph., 5-10, 185 (93 carries, 857 yards, 14 TDs; 14 catches, 146 yards, 1 TD)
  • ATH Chase Tate, Soph., 5-5, 150 (28 carries, 192 yards, 1 TD; 45 catches, 381 yards, 3 TDs)
  • RB Jamel Jackson, Soph. (46 carries, 415 yards, 7 TDs)
  • DT Xavier Fluellen, Sr., 6-1, 260 (71 tackles, 3 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries)
  • OLB Demarco Boyd, Fr. (6 sacks, 1 forced fumble)
  • WR/DB DeVondrick Dixon, Jr. (13 carries, 121 yards; 13 carries, 290 yards, 3 TDs; 26 tackles, 1 INT)
  • WR/DB Trey Washington, Sr., 6-1, 170 (26 cathces, 283 yards, 2 TDs; 38 tackles, 1 INT; committed to SMU)
  • LB Brandon Barnes, Sr. (78 tackles, 1 fumble recovery)

 

Atlanta

  • RB Corion Webster, Sr., 6-0, 190 (204 carries, 1,681 yards, 13 TDs; committed to Oklahoma State)
  • ATH Derrick Dowden, Sr. (9 catches, 228 yards, 3 TDs)
  • ATH Everett Dickerson, Sr., 6-0, 175 (35 carries, 339 yards, 7 TDs; committed to SMU)
  • QB Chase Musgrove, Soph., 5-11, 180 (84 of 150, 1,186 yards, 10 TDs, 7 INTs)
  • RB Alan Fonteneaux, Sr. (64 carries, 457 yards; 12 catches, 177 yards)
  • WR Nick Stiger, Sr., 5-10, 170 (29 catches, 434 and 3 TDs)
  • DB Randel Clark

 

Just the facts

  • Gilmer averages 36.9 points per game and allows 24.7.
  • Atlanta averages 28.6 points per game and allows 27.3.
  • Gilmer has won nine consecutive games.
  • Atlanta has won three consecutive games.
  • Gilmer beat Atlanta 31-17 in the Aug. 30 season opener.
  • Gilmer leads the all-time series 26-18.
  • Atlanta beat Gilmer 18 times in 19 meetings from 1966-2003.
  • Gilmer has won the last six meetings with Atlanta.

 

 

Atlanta ATH Everett Dickerson. (Courtesy)

Key matchup: Gilmer’s 50 front vs. Atlanta’s running game. Nose tackle Xavier Fluellen anchors Gilmer’s 3-4 base defense, which has a bevy of capable linebackers, including Josh Walker, Brandon Barnes, Adam Witcher, and Demarco Boyd. Gilmer succeeded in stopping the powerful Atlanta ground game for the most part in the Aug. 30 encounter, holding Oklahoma State-bound Corion Webster to 80 yards on his first 20 carries before the speedster broke a 54-yard touchdown in the second half to finish with 138 yards on 23 carries. Webster and Everett Dickerson suffered through injuries throughout the season, but the Rabbits appear to be at their healthiest, and it’s no surprise they’ve reeled off three consecutive victories to qualify for the playoffs and register a 40-point first-round win.

 

 

Gilmer QB Tanner Barr. (Christopher Barr, ETSN.fm)

Don’t be surprised if: Atlanta keeps it close for as long as the Rabbits can before the Buckeyes seal the win in the second half. Gilmer coach Jeff Traylor was less than happy, to put it very lightly, with the way his team finished its first-round win against Canton. Not that scoring 51 points in the first 2 1/2 quarters was a bad thing, but the Buckeyes committed three turnovers late in the game to allow Canton to pull within two scores in the fourth quarter. Traylor said if his team plays Atlanta the way it did against Canton, the Buckeyes’ season will be over Friday night. There’s no doubt that has gotten the Buckeyes’ attention. The chances of Gilmer having consecutive bad second halves in the playoffs is slim, so expect the Buckeyes to treat the second half as a completely separate game, even if they’re able to build a halftime lead like they did last week when they led 36-14. Atlanta has a few serious home-run threats in the running game thanks to Webster, Dickerson, and Alan Fonteneaux, but the Rabbits must be 1 of 2 things: (1) dominant on the ground so they don’t have to throw, or (2) balanced enough to keep Gilmer’s defense guessing. One thing is certain: Gilmer will have a balanced offense. If the Buckeyes eliminate the turnovers they suffered in the second half against Canton, they should be able to advance to a third-round rematch with Argyle, which has knocked out Gilmer each of the last two seasons.

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