Gilmer Hangs 43 Unanswered Points On Center In Second Half For Win
GILMER -- The Buckeyes held Center to 11 yards of offense in the second half and strung together 43 unanswered points in the third and fourth quarters to roll the Roughriders, 70-21, Friday at Jeff Traylor Stadium.
It could have been worse. Gilmer lost fumbles on Center's side of the field twice in the second quarter and gave up seven points as consequence.
"Our coaches do a great job of making adjustments and our kids did a good job of doing the adjustments," Buckeyes head coach Matt Turner said. "It's a tribute to that. I think our defensive staff did a great job against very good opponent. They're very talented and well coached. Our kids played hard and just made those adjustments."
Center (1-1), which was realigned into Class 4A Division I in February, went into the contest hoping to avenge a 36-21 loss to the Buckeyes in the third round of the Class 4A Division II playoffs last year.
Things didn't look great for the Roughriders early. Gilmer quarterback Poppy Brown connected with receiver Qua Heath twice in the first quarter for touchdown scores of 36 and 31 yards for a 13-0 lead due to a missed extra point.
Center punted away its first three possessions after gaining one first down per drive.
Everything briefly turned on the first play of the second quarter.
After Gilmer (2-0) fumbled for the first time just outside Center's red zone, receiver Adrian Johnson broke a 58-yard touchdown on a simple out route by sidestepping two defenders down the sideline and turning loose.
Quarterback Kyle Parks gave the Roughriders 14-13 lead on a 27-yard scramble after his defense forced the Buckeyes' lone punt of the game.
Gilmer reclaimed the lead later in the period when Brown scrambled for a 12-yard score, but Parks capped a six-play, 66-yard drive on a 2-yard run for a 21-20 Center advantage with 1:03 left in the half.
That was the game's single biggest turning point, in a negative way for the Roughriders. They won the coin toss at the start of the game and elected to receive.
In the final 57 seconds of the half, Brown found Ryen Lawhorn for a 43-yard gain down to Center's 20-yard line and then Kelton Collier broke off a 20-yard run for a 27-21 Gilmer lead. And the Buckeyes got the ball back to start the next half.
"I think it was like last week against Liberty-Eylau," Buckeyes receiver LaMarcus Morton, an Oklahoma State verbal commitment, said. "I don't know why it takes us so long to get ready. We have to get going earlier. It's not good having a close game, you know? You have to fight so hard. But our defense came out great in the second half. And our offense scored."
Center never gained another first down and only amassed a net of two yards of offense in the second half before running back JaCarlos Hall ran for nine yards on the game's final play. Gilmer scored on all six of its second half possessions.
Brown threw for two touchdowns in the second half for a total of five scores in the game -- four passing and one rushing toward 384 total yards.
Morton's 10-yard reception for a score was the dagger. He made it a 56-21 score 1:30 into the fourth quarter, and Gilmer scored twice more.
Marcos Lopez was forced to punt seven times in the game and Center turned the ball over on downs once. That entirely negated Gilmer's two fumbles and a punt.
Trendon Brooks gave the Buckeyes a 34-21 advantage on a 2-yard carry before Center went three-and-out on its first possession of the second half. Brown threw for 81 yards of the ensuing 93-yard drive and found Red Jones on a 23-yard strike for a 42-21 edge with a two-point conversion run by Collier.
Backup running backs Rashaad Ward and Micah McMillian scored after Morton's blow.
"We're a team," Brown said. "We kept fighting.The sideline got going, the defense got going. We just kept pushing and came out with the win."
Center will try to get back on track next Friday just a bit farther south against Gladewater.
Gilmer simultaneously travels to Argyle Liberty Christian in the Metroplex.
"I think we probably could have put the game away a little bit earlier without the two fumbles," Morton said. "I'm not being cocky or anything, but our offense is capable of that. I'm just confident in us and the coaches are confident in us. Just let us get the ball and go score."
Gilmer 70, Center 21
At Jeff Traylor Stadium, Gilmer
Center 0 21 0 0 -- 21
Gilmer 13 14 22 21 -- 70
GIL--Qua Heath 36 pass from Poppy Brown (kick failed), 8:11
GIL--Heath 31 pass from Brown (Adan Ibarra kick), 5:25
CEN-Adrian Johnson 58 pass from Kyle Parks (Marcos Lopez kick), 11:00
CEN--Parks 27 run (Lopez kick), 6:59
GIL--Brown 12 run (Ibarra kick), 3:51
CEN--Parks 2 run (Lopez kick), 1:03
GIL--Kelton Collier 20 run (Ibarra kick), :34
GIL--Trendon Brooks 2 run (Ibarra kick), 9:51
GIL--Red Jones 23 pass from Brown (Collier run), 6:43
GIL--Kameryn Cuevas 2 run (Ibarra kick), 2:28
GIL--LaMarcus Morton 10 pass from Brown (Ibarra kick), 10:30
GIL--Rashaad Ward 1 run (Ibarra kick), 5:25
GIL--Micah McMillian 9 run (Ibarra kick), :36
First Downs 12 34
Total Yards 271 671
Rushes-Yards 26-59 43-294
Passing Yards 212 377
Comp.-Att.-Int. 15-24-0 26-32-0
Punts-Avg. 7-31.8 1-43
Fumbles-Lost 2-0 2-2
Penalties-Yards 5-50 8-67
RUSHING--Center, Kyle Parks 15-30, JaCarlos Hall 6-24, Jamahr Johnson 1-7, JaMonie Mash 4-(-2). Gilmer, Rashaad Ward 13-74, Kelton Collier 8-73, Kameryn Cuevas 7-48, Desmond Jones 3-33, Poppy Brown 5-28, Red Jones 4-22, Brent Rice 1-6, Trendon Brooks 3-5, Ryen Lawhorn 1-4.
PASSING--Center, Parks 15-24-0--212. Gilmer, Brown 24-30-0--356, Rice 2-2-0--21.
RECEIVING--Center, Octavius Evans 7-101, Adrian Johnson 1-58, Kaleb Parks 2-27, Kameron Elmer 1-23, Johnson 2-4, JaTerious Evans 1-0, Nash 1-(-1). Gilmer, Heath 4-127, LaMarcus Morton 6-80, Lawhorn 2-73, Red Jones 2-36, Desmond Jones 2-28, Brooks 2-20, Collier 2-7, Jeremy Kelly 1-6, Cuevas 1-(-3).