Reeling Chapel Hill Faces Comeback-Fueled Gilmer
Chapel Hill Bulldogs (1-4, 0-1)
Gilmer Buckeyes (4-1, 1-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Buckeye Stadium, Gilmer
Chapel Hill: Thomas Sitton
Gilmer: Jeff Traylor
Chapel Hill: lost to Henderson, 24-6
Gilmer: def. Gladewater, 21-13
Chapel Hill: vs. Spring Hill
Gilmer: vs. Henderson (7:30 p.m. Saturday, Longview's Lobo Stadium)
- RB/S Joseph Clark, Jr, 5-9, 175
- RB/LB Wesley Thompson, Jr., 6-2, 190
- ATH Jamarcus McCowin, Sr.
- RB Londreyus Johnson, Sr.
- WR/DB Gabriel Robinson, Jr., 5-9, 150
- QB Andrew Black, Jr., 6-0, 180
- WR Corey Starks, Sr.
- QB Tanner Barr, Jr., 6-1, 175 (95 of 163, 1,120 yards, 9 TDs, 6 INTs; 44 carries, 221 yards)
- WR/CB Trey Washington, Sr., 6-1, 170 (21 catches, 231 yards, 2 TDs; committed to SMU)
- ATH Chase Tate, Soph., 5-5, 150 (21 carries, 167 yards, 1 TD; 27 catches, 225 yards, 1 TD)
- NG Xavier Fluellen, Sr., 6-1, 260
- DT C.J. Williams, Sr.
- RB/LB Josh Walker, Jr., 6-1, 220 (30 carries, 181 yards, 3 TDs; 10 catches, 120 yards, 2 TDs)
- RB Kris Boyd, Soph., 5-9, 180 (43 carries, 298 yards, 4 TDs; 6 catches, 39 yards)
- ILB John McPhearson, Jr.
Just the facts
- Gilmer averages 28.2 points per game and allows 23.8.
- Chapel Hill averages 13.6 points per game and allows 25.4.
- Gilmer plays only one true road games in its final five regular-season contests since; Gilmer plays Henderson next Saturday at Longview's Lobo Stadium, while the Buckeyes' only remaining true road game is Nov. 2 at Bullard.
- Chapel Hill scored 34 points in its only win (34-14 vs. Palestine), but has not scored more than 14 points in any of its four losses.
- Three of Chapel Hill's final five games are on the road.
- Gilmer is 6-0 all-time vs. Chapel Hill dating to the teams' first meeting in 1950.
Key matchup: Chapel Hill's back seven vs. Gilmer's skill positions. It's becoming a theme -- as it has been for years under coach Jeff Traylor -- that dealing with Gilmer's numerous skill-position players is a high priority. Not just dealing with them, but finding a way to keep too many of them from hurting you. That's the challenge facing a Chapel Hill team that is staring at a 1-5 start to the season, and an 0-2 start to the "District of Doom" schedule. Chapel Hill is athletic, but can the Bulldogs deal with the sheer number of Buckeyes who have proven dangerous to their opponents. Kris Boyd, Josh Walker, Chase Tate, and a host of other playmakers have come up big at some point or another for Gilmer so far this season, and don't forget about first-year starting quarterback Tanner Barr, who is settling in just fine running the Buckeyes' trademark spread offense. Chapel Hill averages fewer than 14 points per game, so unless the Bulldogs have an offensive output similar to the one they got against Palestine, they must find a way to beat the Buckeyes with defense.
Don't be surprised if: Gilmer rides the momentum from last week's second-half comeback against Gladewater to a 2-0 start to District 16-3A play. Gilmer trailed Gladewater 13-0 at halftime of last week's game before scoring 21 unanswered points in the second half to come away with a big, district-opening win against the rival Bears. Chapel Hill may be a turnover or two here and there from a couple more wins, but the Bulldogs haven't been able to make the plays they've needed to make that a reality. Gilmer, on the other hand, seems to be hitting its stride at just the right time, and a win against the defending Class 3A Division I champions would give the Buckeyes that much more steam heading into next week's Saturday night clash against Henderson at Longview's Lobo Stadium.