Tanner Barr’s Five Touchdown Passes Fuel No. 3 Gilmer’s 57-7 Season-Opening Blowout of Atlanta
GILMER -- Gilmer's first 13 plays in the Buckeyes' initial two possessions produced no points in Thursday night's season opener against Atlanta.
That didn't last long.
Gilmer did not go more than 10 plays without scoring for the rest of the game. The Buckeyes scored on eight consecutive possessions in a 57-7 blowout of Atlanta at Buckeye Stadium.
Gilmer senior quarterback Tanner Barr completed 17 of 20 passes for 260 yards, five touchdowns, and no interceptions, connecting on 15 consecutive throws at one point. Three of his scores went to junior receiver Desmond Pollard, who snagged five passes for 109 yards. Pollard's touchdown grabs covered 9, 18, and 8 yards, the final one giving the Buckeyes a 43-7 lead 29 seconds into the third quarter.
After Gilmer's 13-play drought to start the game, the Buckeyes scored 36 points in their next 18 offensive snaps -- 11 minutes, 50 seconds of game time -- for a 36-7 halftime lead.
"Since it was the first game, I think we were all a little nervous and a little rusty," said Barr, who accounted for more than 3,800 total yards and 30 touchdowns. "Once we got in our groove, our offense and defense started clicking."
Gilmer's balanced spread offense produced 535 total yards (272 passing, 263 rushing). The Buckeyes defense dominated as well, holding Atlanta to 139 total yards, only five of which came through the air. Sophomore outside linebacker Demarco Boyd terrorized the Rabbits with two sacks, three tackles for loss, a blocked 26-yard field goal on Atlanta's second possession of the game. Senior Texas A&M-bound outside linebacker Josh Walker had 1 1/2 sacks, combining with defensive tackle Dakota Williamson for one. Senior defensive back Charles Williams had the game's only interception.
Gilmer junior tailback Jamel Jackson, who carried five times for a game-high 104 yards, sparked the Buckeyes' scoring outburst. Barr hit Pollard for a 49-yard gain to set up Jackson's 12-yard touchdown scamper with 1:44 left in the first quarter. After Gilmer's defense forced a punt on the ensuing possession, Jackson scored from 77 yards on a highlight-reel run barely a minute into the second quarter. Walker added the two-point, swinging-gate conversion for a 15-0 advantage.
An Atlanta three-and-out led to a six-play, 73-yard Gilmer scoring drive capped by Barr's first touchdown pass, a 21-yarder to Texas State pledge Devondrick Dixon. Atlanta answered with its only touchdown of the game, junior Dequan Allen's two-yard touchdown after he ran for 58 yards and junior quarterback Chase Musgrove scrambled for 21 to set up the score. Allen led Atlanta with 70 yards on seven carries, while senior Damien Lawson carried 11 times for 66 yards.
But Gilmer didn't take its foot off the pedal. The first two touchdown strikes to Pollard followed to provide the Buckeyes' 29-point halftime lead.
"We stuck with our plan for the entire game," Barr said. "(The offensive line) did a great job of protecting me and giving us time to throw the ball well."
Barr's final touchdown throw was a 34-yard Nick Smith screen that pushed the Buckeyes' advantage to 43 points five minutes into the third quarter. Gilmer receiver Kollin Hurt caught four second-half passes for 33 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown from senior Jaidon Parrish with 9:09 remaining.
Gilmer hosts Plano Prestonwood Christian next week, while Atlanta visits Daingerfield.
No. 3 Gilmer 57, Atlanta 7
Buckeye Stadium, Gilmer
Atlanta -- 0 7 0 0 -- 7
Gilmer -- 7 29 14 7 -- 57
G -- Jamel Jackson 12 run (Pablin Olivares kick) -- 1:44
G -- Jackson 77 run (Josh Walker run) -- 10:45
G -- Devondrick Dixon 21 pass from Tanner Barr (Olivares kick) -- 7:04
A -- Dequan Allen 2 run (kick) -- 6:40
G -- Desmond Pollard 8 pass from Barr (Olivares kick) -- 5:20
G -- Pollard 18 pass from Barr (Olivares kick) -- 2:34
G -- Pollard 9 pass from Barr (Olivares kick) -- 11:31
G -- Nick Smith 34 pass from Barr (Olivares kick) -- 7:03
G -- Kollin Hurt 10 pass from Jaidon Parrish (Tristan Olivares kick) -- 9:09
First downs 7 21
Total yards 139 535
Rushes-yards 35-134 27-263
Pass yards 5 272
Comp.-Att.-Int. 2-9-1 19-22-0
Penalties-Yards 6-40 5-40
Fumbles-Lost 2-0 0-0
Punts-Avg. 7-40.7 2-41.5
Rushing -- Atlanta: Dequan Allen 7-70 (1 TD), Damien Lawson 11-66, Chase Musgrove 12-12, Jeremy Smith 4-2, TEAM 1-(-16). Gilmer: Jamel Jackson 5-104 (2 TDs), Josh Walker 1-31, Jaidon Parrish 2-29, Kris Boyd 4-21, Devin Smith 2-21, Kelton Collier 4-15, Darrian Lewis 3-13, Tanner Barr 6-2.
Passing -- Atlanta: Chase Musgrove 2-9-1 5. Gilmer: Tanner Barr 17-20-0 260 (5 TDs), Jaidon Parrish 1-1-0 10 (1 TD), TEAM 1-1-0 2.
Receiving -- Atlanta: Zach Marsh 2-5. Gilmer: Desmond Pollard 5-109 (3 TDs), Kollin Hurt 4-33 (1 TD), Nick Smith 2-51 (1 TD), Jaidon Parrish 2-21, Chase Tate 2-21, Devondrick Dixon 1-21 (1 TD), Blevin Burns 1-9, Quinn Fluellen 1-4, Kris Boyd 1-3.