[By Anthony Hawthorne, Special to ETSN.fm]

The Gilmer Buckeyes and Chapel Hill Bulldogs played three even quarters Friday night at Buckeye Stadium. A combination of Kris Boyd and a turnover-forcing defense made sure the last quarter wasn’t close.

Boyd and the Buckeyes scored the game's final 22 points to pull away for a 50-28 win in a key “District of Doom” matchup.

Turnovers on three consecutive fourth-quarter Chapel Hill possessions gave the Buckeyes a short field, which they turned into points. A hard-hitting Gilmer defense forced four second-half fumbles.

Gilmer (5-1, 2-0 in District 16-3A) wasted no time scoring throughout the second half. Five of their scoring possessions took two plays or less, mainly because of the effectiveness of sophomore standout Boyd.

The Buckeye tailback, in only his second varsity start, finished with 17 carries for 294 yards and five touchdowns. He scored on runs of 62, 58, 76, 20, and 16 yards using his speed to the outside on all but one. Junior Josh Walker added a score of his own from a yard out, as well as a two-point conversion.

Coach Jeff Traylor was more than impressed with his running game and his second-half defensive performance.

“(Boyd) was fantastic, our offensive line really did a great job, Tanner Barr did a great job with the reads and our receivers blocked well” Traylor said. “The defense really got after them after halftime, they really turned it on. Those guys were fantastic.”

The Buckeyes relied heavily on the ground game. Quarterback Tanner Barr finished just 5 of 15 passing for 30 yards, but carried it for 38 yards and a TD.

Jamarcus McCowin led Chapel Hill (1-5, 0-2) with 121 rushing yards and two touchdowns, while Clark had 14 carries for 72 yards. Quarterback Andrew Black was 9 of 16 for 138 yards and a TD.

The resilient Bulldogs kept the game close but couldn’t overcome the deadly combination of turnovers and penalties.

Chapel Hill marched down the field to start the second half on a drive that started at its own 26 and included four penalties. The Bulldogs managed to take it to the Buckeye 32, where they faced fourth-and-22. Junior quarterback Andrew Black found Sammy Guzman over the middle, where he broke a tackle and scored to give the Bulldogs one of their two short leads on the night at 20-14.

The Buckeyes wasted little time in reclaiming the lead as Boyd needed one play to score from 58 yards and reclaim the lead, 21-20.

Chapel Hill then took advantage of a muffed punt by Gilmer’s Chase Tate at his own 10-yard line. A Jamarcus McCowin score and a successful two-point conversion from Black to Reginald King gave the Bulldogs the 28-21 lead with 1:39 left in the third.

Once again Boyd needed only one play as the speedster took the next run 76 yards for his third score on the night. The Bulldogs led for a total of 41 seconds.

It wasn’t all huge plays on the night as the first half was a much lower-scoring affair.

Following consecutive three-and-outs by both teams, Gilmer opened the scoring with an 11-play drive. After nine consecutive runs and facing a third-and-4 Barr found Walker on a screen pass to the 1-yard line. Walker punched it in from there on the next play.

The running game propelled the Bulldogs to scores on two straight drives to even the game. Led by the three-headed monster of Joseph Clark, McCowin and Londreyus Johnson, the Bulldogs marched down the field with ease. Johnson finished off a drive with a one-yard score, while McCowin scored from 15 out to even the score before the half.

Chapel Hill hosts Spring Hill next Friday. Gilmer plays Henderson in a 16-3A showdown next Saturday night at Longview's Lobo Stadium.

KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News