Class 3A Division II Region II
Semifinal

Gilmer Buckeyes (11-1)
vs.
Argyle Eagles (11-1)

7 p.m. Friday
Mesquite Memorial Stadium

Coaches
Gilmer: Jeff Traylor
Argyle: Todd Rodgers

Road to Regionals

Gilmer

  • Bi-district: def. Canton, 51-36
  • Area: def. Atlanta, 57-13

 

Argyle

  • Bi-district: def. Bridgeport, 45-0
  • Area: def. Melissa, 42-14

 

Next week: Winner plays Henderson (8-4) or Celina (10-2) in the 3A Division II Region II final.

 

Playmakers

Gilmer

  • QB Tanner Barr, Jr., 6-1, 175 (181 of 303, 2,234 yards, 19 TDs, 12 INTs; 97 carries, 644 yards, 2 TDs)
  • RB Kris Boyd, Soph., 5-11, 185 (108 carries, 1,026 yards, 17 TDs; 14 catches, 146 yards, 1 TD)
  • ATH Chase Tate, Soph., 5-5, 150 (28 carries, 192 yards, 1 TD; 48 catches, 414 yards, 3 TDs)
  • RB/LB Josh Walker, Jr., 6-1, 220 (64 carries, 452 yards, 11 TDs; 15 catches, 244 yards, 3 TDs; 88 tackles, 6 sacks, 26 QB pressures, 3 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries; committed to Texas A&M)
  • LB Demarco Boyd, Fr. (6 sacks, 19 QB pressures, 1 forced fumble)
  • DT Xavier Fluellen, Sr., 6-1, 260 (80 tackles, 3 sacks, 7 QB pressures, 5 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries)
  • RB Jamel Jackson, Soph. (53 carries, 480 yards, 7 TDs)

 

Argyle

  • QB Brandon Boyzuick, Jr., 6-0, 185 (122 of 218, 1,838 yards, 19 TDs, 6 INTs; 39 carries, 137 yards, 2 TDs)
  • RB Nick Ralston, Soph., 6-0, 200 (227 carries, 1,656 yards, 21 TDs; 10 catches, 93 yards, 1 TD)
  • WR Ian Sadler, Jr., 5-11, 185 (46 catches, 969 yards, 12 TDs; 46 carries, 344 yards, 13 TDs)
  • WR Chance Bode, Jr. (31 catches, 340 yards, 4 TDs; 18 rushes, 104 yards, 2 TDs)
  • WR Jon Pucciarello, Jr. (20 catches, 296 yards; 13 carries, 100 yards, 1 TD)

 

Just the facts

  • Under head coach Jeff Traylor, Gilmer has compiled a 145-23 record in 13 seasons. That includes two state championships (2004, 2009) and a state runner-up finish in 2007.
  • Traylor-led Gilmer is also 29-9 all-time in the playoffs with two of the losses coming to Argyle in each of the last two seasons -- 41-14 in 2010 and 51-35 last year.
  • Gilmer's 11 wins this season mark the seventh time in Taylor's tenure the Buckeyes have reached at least 11 victories in a season.
  • The Buckeyes are averaging 438.7 yards and 38.6 points per game this season. Gilmer's defense gives up an average of 23.8 a game.
  • Argyle, which began its varsity program in 2002, has developed into one of the top programs in the state over the last decade. Since 2004, the Eagles are 68-21 with state runner-up finishes in 2005 and 2011.
  • The Eagles average 377.9 yards and 43.3 points per game. Argyle's real strength lies with its defense, which yields only 210.6 yards and 9.2 points per outing.

 

 

Gilmer RB/LB Josh Walker. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Gilmer running game vs. Argyle defensive front. The Buckeyes are at their best when they're able to dictate tempo with their rushing attack, which averages 246.2 yards per game. In its first two playoff games, Gilmer has posted a combined 609 rushing yards with eight touchdowns. In contrast, Argyle's strength on defense is its ability to stop the run. In the Eagles' two postseason wins, Argyle has allowed a total of 263 yards on the ground. In their previous two playoff encounters, Gilmer has struggled to run the ball as well as it wants to, totaling 308 rushing yards combined. The Buckeyes had just 124 last year, which forced Gilmer to attempt 63 passes. When a defense can force its opponent to put the ball in the air that many times, that usually leads to victory. The key for the Buckeyes to win will be to sustain enough of a running game to become as balanced as possible. If Argyle is able to make Gilmer one-dimensional, the Buckeyes may experience their third consecutive playoff loss to Argyle.

 

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

Don't be surprised if: Gilmer comes out the aggressor after seeing its postseason end against Argyle in each of the last two years. The Buckeyes shouldn't have any trouble finding motivation for this one. If Gilmer is able to grab a two-score lead early, that will allow its pass-rushing linebackers Josh Walker and Demarco Boyd to go to work against an Argyle passing game that averages a pedestrian 161.8 yards per game. The Buckeyes are young on offense, but their defense is as experienced as they come, which could come in handy against an Argyle offense that returned only four starters from last season's state finalist.