Daingerfield Tigers (0-3)

vs.

No. 2 Gilmer Buckeyes (3-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

Jeff Traylor Stadium, Gilmer

Coaches
  • Daingerfield: Aric Sardinea
  • Gilmer: Matt Turner

 

Last week

 

Next week
  • Daingerfield: vs. Henderson, Sept. 25
  • Gilmer: vs. Carthage (at Longview's Lobo Stadium), Sept. 26

 

Playmakers

Daingerfield

  • WR Denzel Mims, Sr., 6-3, 175 (committed to Baylor)
  • WR Keke Chism, Sr., 6-3, 180
  • QB Deonte Allen, Sr., 5-10, 150
  • LB Justin Taylor, Sr., 5-8, 180
  • RB Markevian Grant, Jr., 5-10, 180
  • OL Aaron Carroll, Soph.
  • DB Keylan Fomby, Sr.
  • DL Mikal Reeves, Soph.

 

Gilmer

  • RB/LB Demarco Boyd, Sr., 6-0, 220 (30 carries, 180 yards, 5 TDs; 11 catches, 130 yards, 1 TD; 9 tackles, 8 QB pressures; committed to Texas)
  • RB/LB Kelton Collier, Jr., 6-0, 200 (38 carries, 248 yards, 2 TDs; 11 tackles, 3 QB pressures, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
  • DB Jacob Butler, Sr., 6-1, 170 (10 tackles)
  • WR/DB Kollin Hurt, Jr., 6-3, 170 (4 catches, 41 yards; 25 tackles, 1 INT)
  • LB Cambron Granville, Jr., 5-7, 160 (23 tackles, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles, 2 PBUs)
  • DL Tristan Olivares, Sr., 5-7, 185 (21 tackles, 2 sacks, 4 QB pressures)
  • RB Rashaad Ward, Soph., 5-7, 200 (18 carries, 149 yards, 1 TD)
  • WR Desmond Jones, Jr., 5-8, 175 (2 catches, 26 yards; 14 carries, 115 yards, 1 TD)

 

Just the facts
  • This is the 58th all-time meeting between Daingerfield and Gilmer. Daingerfield leads the all-time series, 29-28, but Gilmer has dominated of late, winning the last nine matchups.
  • Daingerfield and Gilmer are East Texas royalty, having combined for nine state championships and 15 title-game appearances.
  • Since falling in the 2013 Class 2A Division I state quarterfinals, Daingerfield has combined to go 1-12.
  • The Tigers' non-district opponents posted a cumulative record of 59-9 in 2014.
  • Only three of Daingerfield's 12 losses since 2014 have been decided by 16 points or less.
  • Gilmer is averaging 36 points and 442.7 yards per game -- 310 rushing.
  • The Buckeyes' current 19-game winning streak is their longest since winning 21 straight from 2004-05.
  • Gilmer is playing in its fourth consecutive home game. The Buckeyes have just two true road games this year -- Oct. 16 at Canton, and Oct. 30 at Nevada Community.

 

Gilmer RB/LB Demarco Boyd. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Gilmer rushing attack vs. Daingerfield defensive front. The Gilmer Buckeyes have developed a reputation as one of East Texas' quarterbacking hotbeds over the last decade-plus. Derek McKenzie, Manuel Johnson, G.J. Kinne, Darian Godfrey, Luke Turner, Tanner Barr, and McLane Carter are some of the names that have led one of the state's most prolific procession of quarterbacks in recent years. However, lost in all of the spread-offense goodness, is the fact that Gilmer has always run the football well. The Buckeyes' collection of QB's and receivers may have gotten most of the attention, but it's been just as difficult for opposing defenses to stop Gilmer's uptempo running game over the years.

The Buckeyes have started two quarterbacks -- Zac Spears and Brett Rice -- in the first three games of the season. And while no one is ready to declare either one the next great Gilmer quarterback after only three games, one thing is clear: the Buckeyes still can and will run the ball. And do it well. In Week 1 -- an increasingly impressive-looking win over Liberty-Eylau -- Gilmer attempted two passes the entire second half. Yet, the Buckeyes not only escaped with a win, but hung 50 points on a really good defense.

Daingerfield WR Denzel Mims. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

Gilmer has run the ball 136 times in three games, compared to 70 passing attempts -- nearly a 2-1 ratio on the side of rushing. The production is telling as well, as 70 percent of the Buckeyes' offense so far this season has come on the ground. To put that into perspective, during last year's state championship season, a Gilmer offense that featured a combined 41 rushing touchdowns from Kris Boyd (Texas signee) and Blake Lynch (Baylor) ran just 52.6 percent of the time.

Don't be surprised if: Gilmer continues its recent dominance of Daingerfield. Even when the Tigers were at the peek of their powers from 2008-13, Gilmer had little trouble in its annual matchups with Daingerfield. And now, with the Tigers off to a non-competitive 0-3 start to the season on the heels of a 1-9 campaign, that doesn't figure to change Friday night. It's been shocking how quickly Daingerfield has fallen on hard times. Some saw a rough 2014 season coming, especially with heavy hitters like Gladewater, Malakoff, Atlanta, Gilmer, and Henderson on the Tigers' non-district schedule. When Daingerfield began the year 0-5, most everyone expected the Tigers to at least challenge for a league title in District 7-3A Division I. But that didn't happen obviously.

Daingerfield will do everything it can to get senior receiver and Baylor commit Denzel Mims involved in the offense, but it will take a village against a Gilmer defense that's coming off a shutout of Tatum, and appears to be the Buckeyes' strongest side of the ball. The likelihood of Daingerfield pulling off the upset is extremely small, but a good showing against elite competition could go a long way in restoring confidence to a program fallen on hard times.