He's gained a reputation as one of East Texas' hardest hitters, and that quality was on full display Friday night when Josh Walker terrorized Graham quarterback Ben Davis.

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

Gilmer's stud outside linebacker recorded a season-high three sacks during the Buckeyes' 50-7 demolition of Region I champion Graham that sent Gilmer (14-1) to this Friday's 4 p.m. Class 3A Division II state championship game against unbeaten Navasota (15-0).

For his dominating performance in the state semifinal beatdown, Walker is the ETSN.fm Dairy Queen Defensive Player of the Week.

Walker's three-sack performance gives the 6-foot-1, 220-pound junior outside linebacker a team-leading nine sacks entering the state championship game, Gilmer's fourth since 2004 and fifth in school history. Walker also had nine sacks as a sophomore in 2011.

The Texas A&M commit leads Gilmer with more than 110 tackles and had three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

As he's done all season, Walker made his presence felt Friday night on the other side of the ball, too.

He carried five times for 79 yards and two touchdowns, giving him 611 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns this season. His 19 total touchdowns are second on the team behind sophomore running back Kris Boyd (21).

Gilmer aims for its third state championship in school history and in the Jeff Traylor era. Traylor led Gilmer to a 49-47 win over Jasper in the 2004 3A Division II title, a 38-13 loss to Liberty Hill in the 2007 3A Division I championship, and a 43-26 victory against Abilene Wylie in the 2009 3A Division I title game.

Gilmer lost 26-3 to Cameron Yoe in the 1981 3A state championship.


Dairy Queen Defensive Players of the Week

Dec. 13-15: Josh Walker, LB, Gilmer
Dec. 6-8: 
Tanner Norman, LB, Elysian Fields
Nov. 29-Dec. 1: 
Zane Barge, DB, Elysian Fields
Nov. 22-24:
 Tyus Bowser, DE, John Tyler
Nov. 15-17: 
Joe Cruz, DB, Alto
Nov. 8-10: 
Tyus Bowser, DE, John Tyler
Nov. 1-3: 
A.J. Davis, LB, Kilgore
Oct. 25-27: 
Corey Bartley, FS, Longview
Oct. 18-20: 
Syd Moore, DT, Van
Oct. 11-13: 
Eric Berryhill, LB, Hughes Springs
Oct. 4-6: 
LaDarrin Anthony, DT, Kilgore
Sept. 27-29: Arqez Walton, LB, Henderson
Sept. 20-22: Benny Colbert, DB, Kilgore
Sept. 13-15: DeQuante Woods, DB, John Tyler
Sept. 6-8: Corey Bartley, FS, Longview
Aug. 30-Sept. 1: Coby Bradford, DE, Hallsville