Highway 271 Rivals Gilmer + Gladewater Hook Up For Huge Playoff Showdown
CLASS 4A DIVISION II
Region II Semifinal
No. 3 Gilmer Buckeyes (12-0)
No. 8 Gladewater Bears (11-1)
6:30 p.m. Friday
Lobo Stadium, Longview
- Gilmer: Jeff Traylor
- Gladewater: John Berry
- Winner faces winner between Atlanta and Tatum, 4A Division II Region II final
- ATH Kris Boyd, Sr., 6-0, 181 (60 carries, 716 yards, 15 TDs; 23 catches, 519 yards, 6 TDs; 30 tackles, INT, PBU, fumble recovery)
- ATH Blake Lynch, Sr., 6-3, 195 (13 of 16, 289 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs; 46 carries, 680 yards, 12 TDs; 35 catches, 733 yards, 13 TDs; 32 tackles, 2 INTs, 4 PBUs, forced fumble, 3 recoveries; committed to Baylor)
- RB/LB Demarco Boyd, Jr., 6-0, 205 (26 carries, 249 yards, 6 TDs; 8 catches, 90 yards, TD; 79 tackles, 9.5 for loss, 3.5 sacks, 7 QB pressures, INT, PBU, 4 forced fumbles, recovery)
- QB McLane Carter, Sr., 6-3, 180 (163 of 213, 2,919 yards, 36 TDs, 1 INT; 7 carries, 44 yards)
- WR Chase Tate, Sr., 5-6, 150 (39 catches, 635 yards, 5 TDs; 31 carries, 426 yards, 4 TDs)
- RB Jamel Jackson, Sr., 5-8, 190 (53 carries, 423 yards, 9 TDs; 5 catches, 59 yards)
- LB Cambron Granville, Jr., 5-7, 160 (98 tackles, 4 for loss, INT, 2 forced fumbles)
- LB Kelton Collier, Soph., 5-10, 185 (92 tackles, 3 INTs, PBU, 3 fumble recoveries)
- WR/DB Nick Smith, Sr., 5-11, 160 (33 catches, 689 yards, 8 TDs; 27 tackles, 3 sacks, INT, PBU, forced fumble, recovery)
- WR/DB Quinn Fluellen, Sr., 6-2, 170 (32 catches, 440 yards, 5 TDs; 19 tackles, INT, PBU)
- DT/FB Daylon Mack, Sr., 6-1, 330 (34 carries, 147 yards, 8 TDs; 70 tackles, 31 for loss, 5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 2 PBUs, 2 blocked kicks; committed to Texas A&M)
- DE Quanterius Turner, Jr., 6-2, 280 (38 tackles, 13 for loss, 4 sacks, fumble recovery)
- RB James Reese, Sr., 5-9, 175 (117 carries, 907 yards, 8 TDs in 9 games)
- FB Justice Centers, Jr., 5-11, 220 (108 carries, 720 yards, 11 TDs; in 9 games)
- RB Darnell McKnight, Soph., 5-11, 195 (76 carries, 697 yards, 10 TDs)
- FB Daryl Polk, Sr., 5-5, 175 (88 carries, 700 yards, 8 TDs; 3 catches, 31 yards)
- RB/DB Marcello Jackson, Jr., 6-0, 177 (42 carries, 488 yards, 6 TDs; 34 tackles, 7 for loss, sack, INT, 2 PBUs)
- WR Cameron Callaway, Soph., 5-11, 165 (19 catches, 579 yards, 8 TDs)
- DB Daylon Gordon, Sr., 5-10, 180 (102 tackles, 2 for loss, 3 forced fumbles, recovery, 3 INTs, 7 PBUs, blocked kick)
- DB Austin Hawley, Soph., 6-0, 175 (34 tackles, 1 for loss, 2 forced fumbles, recovery, 2 INTs, 10 PBUs)
Just the facts
- This is the 59th all-time meeting between Gilmer and Gladewater. Gilmer leads the series, 31-25-2, having won the last 12 meetings.
- This season marked the first since 2003 Gilmer and Gladewater have not shared the same district.
- Gilmer is 171-26 under head coach Jeff Traylor, including 36-11 in the playoffs.
- For the season, Gilmer is averaging 61.9 points and 550.9 yards per game -- 248.1 rushing and 302.8 passing.
- Gilmer is allowing 14.6 points per game on the season.
- Gilmer's last 13-0 start came back in 2011.
- The cumulative record of Gilmer's opponents this season is 58-73.
- From 2002-2012, Gladewater was 0-5 in playoff games. The Bears are 5-1 since.
- For the season, Gladewater is averaging 43.7 points and 464.3 yards per game -- 355.5 rushing and 108.8 passing.
- Gladewater is allowing 17.9 points per game on the season.
- Gladewater's last 12-1 start came back in 2001.
- The cumulative record of Gladewater's opponents this season is 64-67.
Key matchup: Gladewater offensive line vs. Gilmer defensive line. In a game filled with playmakers at the offensive skill positions, Friday night's clash may come down to which team wins the battle up front. There aren't too many teams that can win a shootout against Gilmer, and while Gladewater's offense is among the most productive in the region, the Bears fit that category as well. When Gladewater has the ball, it will be important for the Bears to be extremely economical and efficient, while consuming sizable portions of the clock in the process. It does not take Gilmer's explosive offense very long to reach the end zone, and so to minimize those effects, Gladewater must have a substantial edge in time of possession. There is no question Gladewater has the moving parts on offense to get that accomplished. The Bears average more than 350 rushing yards per game, and they get it done with an assortment of ball carriers. Gladewater has four players with at least 697 rushing yards on the season, and that's not taking into account either Marcello Jackson, who has nearly 500 yards and averages 11.6 yards per carry, or Daylon Mack, who is used primarily in short-yardage or goal-line situations. When Gladewater needs to pick up first downs through the air, it's proven more than capable with quarterback Nick Canaguier, who's thrown for more than 1,300 yards on the season with 14 touchdowns and four interceptions, and a completion percentage of 69.8.
It will be up to Gilmer's defensive line to keep their Gladewater counterparts from controlling the line of scrimmage. The Buckeyes historically carry small defensive linemen, and that's no different this year. Instead, Gilmer's D-line typically relies on speed and anticipation to disrupt opposing offenses up front. Only two teams have held Gladewater to less than 200 rushing yards in a game this year, so the task facing Gilmer is a difficult one. In Gladewater's only loss this season -- a 42-21 defeat to Louisiana power St. Thomas More on Sept. 12 -- the Bears rushed for 204 yards, but on 52 carries, which was the team's lowest yards-per-carry output of the season. Canaguier's play at quarterback was negatively affected by the lack of rushing success, as he was just 4 of 8 for 26 yards with an interception. When Gladewater's running game is firing on all cylinders, the Bears' passing attack can become explosive. Canaguier's only completed 74 passes on the year, but is averaging more than 17 yards per completion. And receiver Cameron Calloway boasts a robust average of 30.5 yards per catch to go with eight of the team's 14 touchdown receptions. But it all starts with Gladewater's ground attack, which must not be allowed to succeed if Gilmer plans on playing beyond this weekend.
Don't be surprised if: Gilmer uses quick-step drops in the passing game in order to neutralize Gladewater's size and strength up front. The D-line trio of Daylon Mack, Quanterius Turner and Eric Abston have been giving opposing offensive lines fits all season long, and Gilmer would be well-advised to avoid letting the Bears' big men in the trenches affect what it does offensively. Fortunately for Gilmer, its passing attack thrives on the quarterback getting rid of the ball quickly, and delivering it to some of the most athletic receivers in the entire state. The Buckeyes don't have one or two players who dominate the receiving statistical categories, but several that all can all strike big at any point on the field. Senior receiver and Baylor commit Blake Lynch has transitioned beautifully into Gilmer's spread offense and is reaping the benefits. In 12 games, the former Troup quarterback has piled up more than 1,702 total yards of offense and accounted for 28 touchdowns. Senior multi-purpose back Kris Boyd, the owner of more than a dozen high-end FBS offers, has 1,235 total yards and 21 touchdowns. Meanwhile, the trio of receivers Chase Tate, Nick Smith and Quinn Fluellen has combined for 104 catches for 1,764 yards and 18 touchdowns. And quarterback McLane Carter, who's creeping up on 3,000 passing yards, is as efficient as they come with 36 touchdowns and only one interception with a completion percentage of 76.5.