District 16-3A

No. 1 Gilmer Buckeyes (5-0, 1-0)

vs.

Chapel Hill Bulldogs (3-2, 1-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

Bulldog Stadium, New Chapel Hill

 

Coaches
  • Gilmer: Jeff Traylor
  • Chapel Hill: Thomas Sitton

 

Last week

 

Next week
  • Gilmer: vs. Henderson (at Longview)
  • Chapel Hill: at Spring Hill

 

Playmakers

Gilmer

  • RB/LB Josh Walker, Sr., 6-1, 220 (committed to Texas A&M; 3 carries, 42 yards; 1 catch, 5 yards, 1 TD; 21 tackles, 2 sacks, 7 QB pressures)
  • RB/DB Kris Boyd, Jr., 6-0, 175 (37 carries, 436 yards, 6 TDs; 4 catches, 45 yards; 18 tackles, 2 pass break-ups, 1 forced fumble)
  • QB Tanner Barr, Sr., 6-1, 180 (83 of 114, 1,502 yards, 21 TDs, 5 INTs; 47 carries, 208 yards, 1 TD)
  • WR Desmond Pollard, Jr., 6-1, 180 (21 catches, 475 yards, 8 TDs)
  • WR Devondrick Dixon, Sr., 5-9, 180 (committed to Texas State; 7 carries, 68 yards, 1 TD; 5 catches, 139 yards, 2 TDs)
  • LB Demarco Boyd, Soph., 6-0, 205 (28 tackles, 14 for loss, 5 sacks, 3 QB pressures, 3 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries)
  • RB Jamel Jackson, Jr., 5-8, 170 (42 carries, 315 yards, 6 TDs)
  • HB Jaidon Parrish, Sr., 6-0, 185 (2 carries, 29 yards, 18 catches, 293 yards, 2 TDs)
  • WR Chase Tate, Jr., 5-7, 150 (8 carries, 56 yards, 1 TD; 14 catches, 289 yards, 4 TDs)
  • LB John McPherson, Sr., 6-0, 190 (36 tackles, 6 QB pressures, 2 pass break-ups)

 

Chapel Hill

  • QB Andrew Black, Sr., 6-1, 180 (69 of 126, 778 yards, 6 TDs, 9 INTs; 53 carries, 362 yards, 8 TDs)
  • RB/LB Wesley Thompson, Sr., 6-1, 185 (46 carries, 436 yards, 6 TDs)
  • RB/DB Jesse Mumphrey, Sr. (36 carries, 287 yards, 5 TDs)
  • HB Reggie King, Soph., 5-10, 175 (19 catches, 168 yards, 1 TD)
  • WR/DB Gabriel Robinson, Sr., 5-8, 160 (17 catches, 246 yards, 3 TDs)
  • WR Lex Heckel, Sr. (13 catches, 162 yards, 1 TD)
  • DB Sammy Guzman, Sr., 6-0, 180
  • OL/DL Keith Minor, Sr., 6-3, 237
  • OL/DL Shaq Warren, Sr., 6-3, 235
  • DL Kevone Kennedy, Sr., 6-2, 230

 

Just the facts
  • Gilmer and Chapel Hill have played each other just seven times. Gilmer has won all seven meetings.
  • The Buckeyes have run 289 plays from scrimmage and are averaging 10.1 yards per snap.
  • Since 2001, Gilmer is an incredible 58-1 in district. The Buckeyes' only loss occurred in 2010 -- a 38-21 loss at Carthage.
  • Gilmer has scored 289 points through the first five games of the season, the most through five weeks in Jeff Traylor's 14 seasons as head coach.
  • The combined record of the five teams the Buckeyes have defeated -- Atlanta, Plano Prestonwood, Jacksonville, Daingerfield and Gladewater -- is 11-14.
  • Chapel Hill has run 345 plays from scrimmage and is averaging 7.3 yards per snap.
  • Since 2010, Chapel Hill has compiled a record of 34-11.
  • The Bulldogs, who have rushed for an average of 348.6 yards per game, have four ball carriers with at least 287 rushing yards.
  • The combined record of the two teams that have defeated Chapel Hill -- Whitehouse and Carthage -- is 9-1. The combined record of the three teams the Bulldogs have defeated -- Lindale, Palestine and Henderson -- is 5-10.

 

Gilmer RB/LB Josh Walker. (© Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Chapel Hill running game vs. Gilmer defensive front. The Bulldogs have run for at least 200 yards in all five games this season and have twice eclipsed the 500-yard plateau. When Chapel Hill is at its best, the Bulldogs are gashing spread-out defenses for big chunks at a time on the ground. Quarterback Andrew Black is coming off his best passing performance of the season, completing 11 of 16 passes for 195 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions against Henderson. And if Chapel Hill is having great success on the ground to go with solid play at the quarterback position, the Bulldogs become even more challenging to defend. Chapel Hill will be short-handed in the backfield with senior Joseph Clark's season-ending knee injury, so expect an increased workload for seniors Wesley Thompson and Jesse Mumphrey and more designed runs from Black, who has had success in the zone-read option game.

Chapel Hill RB/LB Wesley Thompson. (© Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Gilmer's defense got a big boost last week with the return of outside linebacker Josh Walker, a Texas A&M commit, who had missed the previous two games. It will be up to him and sophomore outside linebacker Demarco Boyd to help bottle up the edge and keep Chapel Hill's backs from turning the corner and breaking upfield for big gains. If Gilmer can control the sidelines and force Chapel Hill's backs to the interior, the Buckeyes should be able to keep the Bulldogs from racking up big gainers on the ground. If Gilmer can curb Chapel Hill's rushing attack, putting the Bulldogs in obvious passing situations, Walker and Boyd can do what they do best: rush the quarterback. Black has been mistake-prone so far this season, throwing nine interceptions in his first four games.

Don't be surprised if: Each team gets well over 70 snaps on offense. Gilmer and Chapel Hill both run uptempo, spread offenses and rely on a quick pace to disrupt the opposing defense. Expect Gilmer quarterback Tanner Barr to take advantage of Chapel Hill's ferocious front four by getting the ball out his hands quick to his fleet of receivers on the edge. The Bulldogs' trio of Keith Minor, Shaq Warren and Kevone Kennedy have been consistent all season in applying heavy pressure to opposing quarterbacks, and another big-time performance from those three will be needed if Chapel Hill hopes to pull off the upset of Class 3A's top-ranked team.