Gilmer Holds Off Late Henderson Rally, Takes Crucial District 16-3A Win
[By Anthony Hawthorne, Special to ETSN.fm]
LONGVIEW — Late in a key Saturday night “District of Doom” showdown, the Gilmer defense needed to make a big play. Facing the possibility of giving up a double-digit fourth quarter lead, the Buckeyes did just that, stopping Henderson on a two-point conversion with just over a minute left to give the Buckeyes a 28-26 victory at Lobo Stadium.
The Lions drove the field in just over a minute behind the efforts of Patrick “Monster” Brown who spent the majority of the second half at quarterback. Facing a fourth-and-15 at his own 33, Brown scrambled for 19 yards. On the next play, Brown stayed in the pocket, taking a hit while finding Jamie Anthony for 47 yards, who took the ball to the Gilmer 1-yard line. Diamante Wright punched it in, setting up a chance at a two-point conversion and a tie.
A Janson Moore to Travon Roquemore completion seemed to have tied it, but an illegal procedure penalty negated it, the third such call to negate scoring plays for the Lions. The Lions tried again from the 8, but the pass under heavy pressure was batted down in the end zone.
Brown was a playmaker all night for the Lions (3-3, 1-1 in District 16-3A), rushing 19 times for 168 yards and a touchdown, and completing 3 of 7 passes for 116 yards, all to Anthony. Wright finished the night with 52 yards and 2 TDs rushing, with two other scores negated due to penalties.
The Buckeyes (6-1, 3-0) moved the ball efficiently throughout the first half, yet struggled in the second, gaining only 61 yards. They did take advantage of field position early in the fourth quarter, using three plays to cover 34 yards and get the eventual game-winning score on a 24-yard run by Josh Walker.
Walker did damage on both sides of the ball, gaining 58 yards and a score rushing the ball and getting two sacks and a tackle for loss on defense. A week after gaining nearly 300 yards, running Kris Boyd gained 59 yards and a touchdown on eight carries, but left the game early with an injury. Quarterback Tanner Barr finished the night 11 of 18 for 68 yards and a touchdown.
Barr was harassed throughout the night by Henderson standout defensive end Bo Brady, who had four sacks, two tackles for loss and numerous QB pressures.
After an opening possession three-and-out by the Lions, the Buckeyes took advantage of field position after a 15-yard punt into the wind. After a successful third-and-16 pickup from Barr to Washington, the junior signal-caller then hit Chase Tate for a 16-yard score to put Gilmer up 7-0.
The Buckeyes’ next score was set up by a big defensive play by Walker, one of his many on the night. Facing third-and-long, Walker sacked Moore for a big loss, followed by a 30-yard punt to give Gilmer possession in Lions territory. Sophomore tailback Jamel Jackson took the first play around left end to the house from 47 yards out, padding the Buckeye lead.
Henderson stayed close on a 34-yard field goal by William Mann, his first of two on the night, and closed out the half with a big play to stay within striking distance. Facing third-and-7, Brown lined up in the wildcat at QB and raced up the left sideline for a 65-yard score to bring it to within 21-10, giving the Lions much needed momentum going into the half.
Henderson travels to Spring Hill next Friday night, while the Buckeyes are idle.