No. 3 Gilmer Hopes to Avenge Last Season’s Loss to Private School Power Plano Prestonwood
Plano Prestonwood Lions (1-0)
Gilmer Buckeyes (1-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Buckeye Stadium, Gilmer
- Prestonwood: Chris Cunningham
- Gilmer: Jeff Traylor
- Prestonwood: defeated Henderson, 45-22
- Gilmer: defeated Atlanta, 57-7
- Prestonwood: at Royse City, Sept. 13
- Gilmer: at Jacksonville, Sept. 13
- QB Twayne Blackwell, Jr., 5-11, 185 (18-of-26, 238 yards, 2 TD; 12 carries, 78 yards, 3 TD vs. Henderson)
- RB Ryan Bradberry, Soph., 5-10, 200 (21 carries, 159 yards vs. Henderson)
- WR Michael Irvin Jr., Soph., 6-2, 195 (8 catches, 121 yards, TD vs. Henderson)
- DB Jake Reed, Sr., 6-2, 175
- DB Austin Tankersley, Sr., 6-0, 190
- WR Hayden Clark, Jr., 6-2, 175
- OL Patrick Murray, Sr., 6-2, 250
- QB Tanner Barr, Sr., 6-1, 180 (20-of-23, 288 yards, 5 TD vs. Atlanta)
- RB/LB Josh Walker, Sr., 6-1, 220 (committed to Texas A&M; 2 carries, 41 yards; 5 tackles, 2 sacks vs. Atlanta)
- WR Desmond Pollard, Jr., 6-1, 180 (5 catches, 106 yards, 3 TD vs. Atlanta)
- RB/DB Kris Boyd, Jr., 6-0, 175 (5 carries, 31 yards; 4 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 1 pass break-up vs. Atlanta)
- HB/LB Jaidon Parrish, Sr., 6-0, 185 (3 catches, 32 yards; 2 carries, 29 yards; 2 tackles vs. Atlanta)
- LB Demarco Boyd, Soph., 6-0, 205 (9 tackles, 4 for loss, 2 sacks vs. Atlanta)
- RB Jamel Jackson, Jr., 5-8, 170 (5 carries, 106 yards, 2 TD vs. Atlanta)
- WR/DB Devondrick Dixon, Sr., 5-9, 180 (committed to Texas State; 2 catches, 31 yards; 1 tackle vs. Atlanta)
Just the facts
- Prestonwood has won its three last games against East Texas teams — Henderson and Gilmer (in 2012) and Henderson (last week) — by a combined score of 143-55.
- Irvin is the son of Pro Football of Famer and ex-Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin.
- The Lions are among the winningest TAPPS programs in the state of late, having compiled a 40-13 record since 2008, which includes a 2010 state championship in the highest classification in TAPPS.
- Prestonwood rolled up 643 total yards of offense in last week’s season opener with Henderson.
- It’s hard to be as dominant as Gilmer was in its season-opening win over Atlanta. The Buckeyes outgained Atlanta 564-139 and the limited the Rabbits to just seven first downs.
- Gilmer annually is one of the deepest teams in the area in regard to the skill positions. In last week’s game, eight different Buckeyes carried the ball and nine caught passes.
- The Buckeyes have not lost more than four games in a season since 1999 and haven’t endured a losing season since 1995.
- Gilmer’s five season-opening starting quarterbacks prior to Barr — Manuel Johnson, Jamel Kennedy, G.J. Kinne, Darian Godfrey and Luke Turner — all signed with FCS schools. Only Kinne (Texas) and Godrey (New Mexico) signed as QBs.
Key matchup: Prestonwood receivers vs. Gilmer secondary. Despite losing last year’s starting quarterback Mickey Mitchell (6-7, 235), who transferred after the season, the Lions’ passing game was in fine form last week against Henderson. The tandem of Blackwell and Ryan Cash combined to pass for 339 yards and three touchdowns, completing balls to 10 different receivers. Irvin, who has NFL bloodlines, led the way with eight catches for 121 yards. Jonathan Heasley also had eight receptions for 94 yards and a touchdown. The Lions also ran for more than 300 yards for the game, but Prestonwood led by at least two scores for most of the game, which allowed for more conservative play-calling. Not only are Prestonwood’s receivers plentiful, its go-to guys have good size. Irvin goes 6-2, 185 and Hayden Clark is listed at 6-2, 175.
Gilmer counters with a rangy group of defensive backs, led by Kris Boyd, a FCS recruit at corner with several high-major offers who starts at running back but may see more reps at defense this week. In addition to Boyd, Gilmer has Texas State pledge Dixon and Ardarius Johnson (5-9, 160). The Buckeyes aren’t very big up front on the defensive line, but Demarco Boyd and Texas A&M commit Walker are game-changing pass rushers from their outside linebacker position. So solid pressure applied to Prestonwood’s quaterbacks may give Gilmer’s DB’s a boost in covering Prestonwood’s collection of talented pass-catchers. Regardless, Gilmer’s corners and safeties must do a good job of tackling in space and limiting the Lions’ receivers’ production after catch.
Don’t be surprised if: This game is much more competitive than last season’s 42-12 Prestonwood rout. The Lions were loaded with experience in 2012, while it was just the second game of the season for a Gilmer offense that had just two returning starters from the previous year. Expect Gilmer’s offense to account for more points against a Prestonwood defense, which lost Ohio State signee Mikey Mitchell at linebacker. After Gilmer’s impressive 50-point blowout of Atlanta, if the Buckeyes are able to hang with or possibly defeat Prestonwood, it would make a huge statement — not only to the rest of the “District of Doom,” but to the entire state as well.