Tanner Barr’s Four TDs Help Gilmer Get Over Argyle Hump + Into Rematch With Henderson For Regional Title
MESQUITE -- The Gilmer Buckeyes took out two years of frustration on the Argyle Eagles on Friday night in their Class 3A Division II Region II semifinal at Mesquite Memorial Stadium.
Junior quarterback Tanner Barr passed for two touchdowns and ran for two more in the Buckeyes' convincing 42-21 win over Argyle, which ended Gilmer's previous two seasons in the playoffs.
"I'm really happy for my seniors ... it's their third time to start against (Argyle)," Gilmer coach Jeff Traylor said. "That senior group, not a lot of people have given those guys a lot of credit. They're a hard-working group. We just felt like our senior leadership was the difference tonight ... and the play of some extremely talented underclassmen."
And now, Gilmer gets Henderson in an all-District of Doom regional championship when the two 16-3A rivals meet for the second time this season. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday from Longview's Lobo Stadium -- the site of Gilmer's 28-26 victory on Oct. 13.
"I'm really happy for (coach Dickey Meeks) and Henderson," Traylor said. "I have a lot of respect for Coach Meeks; he's a great human being and he's done a great job his whole career. We're just excited that we get to go back and do it again with them. One of us is advancing and that's a great thing for East Texas."
Barr completed 13 of 23 attempts for 120 yards and two touchdowns and added 99 yards and a pair of scores on the ground. His 55-yard touchdown run on Gilmer's second play of the third quarter gave the Buckeyes a 21-7 lead, beginning a dominant stretch of football for Gilmer.
"We just did our job," Barr said. "The linemen blocked well, the running backs ran hard ... the receivers blocked well downfield. I couldn't have done it without them."
The long scoring run came after Gilmer's defense forced an Argyle three-and-out to begin the second half. The Buckeyes came up even bigger on Argyle's next possession.
Facing a fourth-and-2 at its own 45, Argyle opted to go for it only to have running Chance Bode dropped for a 2-yard loss.
Gilmer extended its lead six plays later when Barr escaped the rush and hit sophomore running back Kris Boyd out of the backfield for a 22-yard touchdown, putting the Buckeyes on ahead, 27-7.
The Buckeyes' sophomore backs had a big night. Boyd finished the night with 89 yards rushing on 18 carries, while Chase Tate and Jamel Jackson combined for 85 on the ground.
Argyle cut into Gilmer's advantage with Ian Sadler's 5-yard touchdown run on the ensuing possession, but the Buckeyes eventually put the game out of reach with a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Barr and Gilmer made it 35-14 on a 16-yd TD pass to Jaidon Parrish on fourth down. The Buckeyes' final score of the night came on Jackson's 6-yard run following an Argyle fumble on a kickoff return.
Gilmer outgained Argyle on the night, 429-246. The Buckeyes' defensive effort was led by senior nose tackle Xavier Fluellen's five tackles for loss.
"He was big, he was really big," Traylor said of Fluellen. "He's been that way for years now. It's just the bigger the games, the more people notice. I'm happy for Xavier."
Argyle quarterback Brandon Boyzuick was held to just 87 yards through the air on 8 of 23 passing. Sadler led Argyle with 55 total yards and two touchdowns, while Nick Ralston had 68 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries.
It was an inauspicious start for the Gilmer offense, which had a false start before the game's first official play. When the Buckeyes got the play off, Tate fumbled it to Argyle at the 16. Two plays later, Ralston gave Argyle a 7-0 lead with a 6-yard run.
Gilmer answered two possessions later, going 57 yards in eight plays, finding the end zone on a Parrish 13-yard run. Parrish was in at quarterback on the play, after Barr was shaken up.
The Buckeyes took the lead for good after a snap went over the Argyle punter's head, giving Gilmer the ball inside the Eagles' 35. Barr's 7-yard run gave Gilmer a 14-7 lead with 6:07 until halftime.
Barr took over after that with three second-half touchdowns, giving life to Gilmer-Henderson Part II.
"It's great, but tomorrow we've got to get back to work for Henderson," Barr said. "We expect the same thing (from Henderson) -- good defense, great offense, they're good all-around so it's going to be another battle for us."
Class 3A Division II Region II Semifinal
At Mesquite Memorial Stadium
Gilmer 42, Argyle 21
Gilmer 7 7 13 15 -- 42
Argyle 7 0 7 7 -- 21
ARG--Nick Ralston 6 run (Cole Hedlund kick), 11:07.
GIL--Jaidon Parrish 13 run (Pablin Olivares kick), 3:48.
GIL--Tanner Barr 7 run (Olivares kick), 6:07.
GIL--Barr 55 run (Olivares kick), 10:26.
GIL--Kris Boyd 22 pass from Barr (kick failed), 6:45.
ARG--Ian Sadler 5 run (Hedlund kick), 3:06.
GIL--Parrish 16 pass from Barr (Josh Walker pass from Barr), 4:55.
GIL--Jamel Jackson 6 run (Olivares kick), 3:14.
ARG--Sadler 3 run (Hedlund kick), :48.
First Downs 25 17
Rushes-Yards 50-309 38-144
Passing Yards 120 102
Comp.-Att.-Int. 13-23-1 9-24-1
Punts-Avg. 3-32.7 3-34.0
Fumbles Lost 2-1 1-0
Penalties-Yards 5-40 4-25
RUSHING--Gilmer, Tanner Barr 13-99, Kris Boyd 19-89, Chase Tate 4-45, Jamel Jackson 4-40, Josh Walker 7-23, Jaidon Parrish 1-13, DeVondrick Dixon 2-0. Argyle, Nick Ralston 18-68, Brandon Boyzuick 4-23, Chance Bode 6-22, Ian Sadler 6-20, Jon Pucctarello 3-12, Cole Hedlund 1-(-1).
PASSING--Gilmer, Barr 13-23-1--120. Argyle, Boyzuick 8-23-1--87, Sadler 1-1-0--15.
RECEIVING--Gilmer, Parrish 4-55, Patrick Finch 4-8, Tate 2-13, Boyd 1-22, Walker 1-13, Slade Morris 1-9. Argyle, Sadler 3-35, Pucctarello 2-31, Dalton Ledford 2-23, Bode 2-13.