Class 3A Division II Region II
Bi-District Playoff

Canton Eagles (8-2)
No. 10 Gilmer Buckeyes (9-1)

7 p.m. Thursday
TMF Rose Stadium, Tyler

Canton: Robert Ivey
Gilmer: Jeff Traylor

Next week: Winner plays Atlanta or Wills Point in a 3A Division II Region II area playoff.



  • QB Chandler Eiland, Soph. (12 of 21, 183 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs, 55 rushing yards, 1 rush TD last week vs. Van)
  • WR Connor Eiland, Sr. (6 catches, 87 yards, 1 TD last week vs. Van)
  • RB Reece Sumner, Sr. (60 rushing yards, 1 TD last week vs. Van)
  • RB/LB Dakota Hesskew, Sr., 5-11, 185 (9 carries, 43 yards, 1 TD last week vs. Van)
  • WR Colton Williams, Sr., 5-8, 170 (3 catches, 61 yards last week vs. Van)
  • DL Connor Robison, Sr., 6-0, 210 (2 tackles for loss last week vs. Van)
  • CB Kade Warren, Sr., 5-10, 165 (2 pass breakups last week vs. Van)
  • OL Cody Lide, Sr., 5-11, 215



  • QB Tanner Barr, Jr., 6-1, 175 (153 of 264, 1,852 yards, 15 TDs, 10 INTs; 84 carries, 491 yards, 2 TDs)
  • RB/OLB Josh Walker, Jr., 6-1, 220 (51 carries, 347 yards, 8 TDs; 14 catches, 240 yards, 3 TDs; 74 tackles, 5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 recovery; committed to Texas A&M)
  • WR/CB Trey Washington, Sr., 6-1, 170 (24 catches, 262 yards, 2 TDs; 34 tackles, 1 INT; committed to SMU)
  • DT Xavier Fluellen, Sr., 6-1, 260 (63 tackles, 3 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries)
  • RB Kris Boyd, Soph., 5-10, 185 (81 carries, 813 yards, 5 TDs; 11 catches, 96 yards, 1 TD)
  • ATH Chase Tate, Soph., 5-5, 150 (28 carries, 192 yards, 1 TD; 41 catches, 331 yards, 2 TDs)
  • ILB John McPhearson, Jr. (78 tackles, 1 fumble recovery)
  • ILB Brandon Barnes, Sr. (73 tackles, 1 fumble recovery)
  • WR/CB DeVondrick Dixon, Jr. (13 catches, 290 yards, 3 TDs; 26 tackles, 1 INT, 10 pass breakups, 1 def. TD)
  • RB Jamel Jackson, Soph. (36 carries, 359 yards, 6 TDs)


Just the facts

  • Behind junior QB G.J. Kinne, Canton edged Gilmer 61-58 in a Class 3A Division II Region II area playoff in 2005.
  • Kinne transferred to Gilmer for his senior season.
  • Canton averages 38.3 points per game and allows 20.7.
  • Gilmer averages 35.5 points per game and allows 23.6.
  • Gilmer has won eight consecutive games
  • All of Canton's games have been decided by at least 14 points.
  • Gilmer has won four games by eight or fewer points.
  • Canton is in the playoffs for the sixth time in the last 10 seasons.
  • Gilmer is in the playoffs for the 12th consecutive season.
  • Canton has won its last five first-round playoff games.
  • Canton's last bi-district loss came in 1998.
  • Gilmer has won five consecutive first-round playoff games.
  • Gilmer's last bi-district loss was 39-33 to Liberty-Eylau in 2006. L-E won the state championship.



Canton's defense swarms Van's Garrett Smallwood during the Eagles' 35-21 loss Nov. 9. (

Key matchup: Canton's back seven vs. Gilmer's skill players. Gilmer continues to do what it always has: produce a ton of skill-position players who take their turns hurting opposing defenses. The current crop of Buckeye playmakers features mostly juniors and sophomores, which is bad news for the rest of Class 3A football. Gilmer played without leading rusher Kris Boyd, a sophomore, last week because of a minor injury suffered against Bullard, but beat an undefeated Kilgore team, anyway. Junior Josh Walker, junior Tanner Barr, junior DeVondrick Dixon, junior Jaidon Parrish, sophomore Chase Tate, and sophomore Jamel Jackson give coach Jeff Traylor a slew of underclassmen options. Canton faces a tough challenge slowing down all of them. Gilmer excels when its speedy athletes get in space, and that's exactly what the Buckeyes will try to do Thursday. Don't forget about Gilmer seniors such as Trey Washington and Patrick Finch, either. They've combined for 500 receiving yards and four touchdowns.


Chalk talk

  • Gilmer coach Jeff Traylor on what stands out about Canton on film: "Their quarterback's ability to run around and make plays. They score a lot of points."
  • Traylor on his young team's experience in close games this season: "Of our nine wins only one of those has not been close, so our kids are used to playing in tight ball games."
  • Traylor on his defense's strong play: "We have a lot of kids over there that played a bunch last year, which has allowed our offense time to grow up."



Canton WR Connor Eiland. (Christopher Vinn,

Don't be surprised if: Gilmer avenges the three-point shootout loss Canton dealt the Buckeyes seven years ago. Gilmer is playing its best football of the season riding an eight-game winning streak that fueled the Buckeyes to their 11th district championship in 12 seasons. Canton had a seven-game winning streak before rival Van snapped it in last week District 15-3A championship game, so the Eagles have been playing well lately, too. Canton has struggled in recent playoffs against athletic teams to the east, such as Carthage in 2010. The Bulldogs overwhelmed Canton's high-flying passing attack in a second-round matchup at Longview's Lobo Stadium en route to a third consecutive state championship. Canton will see similar speed and athleticism Thursday against Gilmer, which went toe-to-toe with arguably the most physical 3A team in East Texas a week ago. Canton can't commit turnovers and must capitalize on all of its opportunities to beat Gilmer. The Buckeyes have improved all season at limiting mistakes and appear to be peaking at the right time. That has Gilmer poised to make another deep playoff run if the Buckeyes can contain Canton's high-scoring offense.