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Gilmer + White Oak Clinch 7-on-7 State Tournament Berths in Gilmer Qualifier

The Gilmer Buckeyes celebrate earning a state berth at Saturday’s Division II 7-on-7 football state qualifier tournament at Buckeye Stadium in Gilmer. (Justin Wells, ETSN.fm)

GILMER — After losing in last year’s 7-on-7 state qualifying semifinals, Gilmer and White Oak brought a chip on their shoulders to this year’s event.

They left undefeated and state-bound.

The host Buckeyes went 4-0, while the Roughnecks finished 3-0. Both are bound for the Division II State 7-on-7 Tournament in Leander on July 11-12.

“It was a great day to come out here at this great facility and get to compete with all the great schools,” said White Oak quarterback Dylan Gale. “Just really good competition. We came out here, gave it our best, and are leaving 3-0. It was a good day.”

White Oak defeated Bullard 41-14 and Mabank 47-19 earlier in the day to advance to the semifinals, where it knocked off Alto 34-20 behind five Gale touchdown passes.

“We like to use the time we have out here to polish our skills and practice what we’ll use in the season,” said Gale. “If we know we can do it out here, and we perform well, and we play well against these higher classification schools, then we know for a fact that we can apply it during this season and help us in district.”

Gilmer started the day beating Alto 41-6 and Mount Vernon 54-19, then faced off with District 16-3A rival Chapel Hill. In what turned out to be the game of the day, the Buckeyes squeezed past the Bulldogs, 26-25. Gilmer linebacker and Texas A&M commit Josh Walker had two interceptions that turned out to be the difference.

“We came out here and did the best we could, which is compete,” said Gilmer quarterback Tanner Barr. “We just do fundamental football out here in Gilmer. I know the last few 7-on-7 tournaments we haven’t played real well, so I was really proud of how our team played today. We caught the ball well and played defense real well. We left here 4-0 and I couldn’t be more proud. This is just throw-and-catch football. It’s great for the linebackers and defensive backs to cover routes, and it’s great for the offense playing in sync.”

The Chapel Hill Bulldogs had a nice day, going 2-1, opening with a 48-45 win over Mount Vernon, then throttling Alto 44-14 before their matchup with Gilmer. Chapel Hill didn’t compete in the semifinals after already qualifying for the state tournament a few weeks back, so Alto slid into its spot.

“Playing 7-on-7 helps us so much,” said Gilmer’s Ardarius Johnson. “It helps us with throwing and catching, helps us with running our routes, and it gives us chemistry with our quarterback. And with going to state, it gives us some great experience and I can’t wait to get out there and play.”

The White Oak Roughnecks celebrate earning a state berth at Saturday’s Division II 7-on-7 football state qualifier tournament at Buckeye Stadium in Gilmer. (Justin Wells, ETSN.fm)

Results From Saturday’s Division II 7-on-7 State Qualifier Tournament

At Gilmer

Pool A

  • Gilmer 41, Alto 6
  • Chapel Hill 48, Mount Vernon 45
  • Gilmer 54, Mount Vernon 19
  • Chapel Hill 44, Alto 14
  • Gilmer 26, Chapel Hill 25
  • Alto 45, Mount Vernon 20

Pool B

  • Mabank 40, Bullard 27
  • White Oak 41, Bullard 14
  • White Oak 47, Mabank 19

Semifinals

  • Gilmer 50, Mabank 6
  • White Oak 34, Alto 20

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