Gilmer Reaches Division II Championship Bracket Quarterfinals at 7-on-7 Football State Tournament
LEANDER — After perfect 3-0 mark Thursday in pool play, Gilmer continued its winning ways Friday in the Division II championship bracket at the 7-on-7 state tournament.
The Buckeyes won two games before falling 26-20 in the quarterfinals to eventual tournament champion Graham at Southwest Williamson County Regional Park.
Gilmer came close to forcing overtime and winning at the end of the game against Graham, but the Steers broke up a pass in the end zone as time expired to hold on for a six-point victory.
Nevertheless, the trip to Central Texas was a success for the Buckeyes, who allowed 32 total points in three pool-play games. Gilmer beat White Oak 34-12 in a first-round game Friday morning before knocking off Houston Westbury Christian 33-27.
Quarterback Tanner Barr had a big second half in that contest after throwing three first-half interceptions. Barr threw two touchdown passes to Desmond Pollard, including the game-winner to break a 27-27 tie, and a 30-yard, catch-and-run strike to Jamel Jackson during the second half.
“We were alert and it was a close game so we knew we had to go out there and execute,” Barr said of Gilmer’s improved second-half play against Westbury Christian. “We had to take our time and have good chemistry. Our defense stepped up and so did our offense. We played well as a team in the second half.”
Chase Tate and Jaidon Parrish each caught Barr touchdown passes in the first half, which ended with Westbury Christian ahead 19-14.
In the next round, Graham built a 20-7 lead early in the second half before Gilmer stormed back. The Buckeyes’ defense tightened and Barr found Pollard for the second time in the game to tie the score 20-20 in the last several minutes. Graham took the lead late, leading to Gilmer’s game-ending incompletion in the end zone.
Fall two-a-day practice starts Monday, Aug. 5 for Gilmer. The first day in pads is Friday, Aug. 9.