PREVIEW: Reeling Gilmer Runs Into No. 1 Newton
Gilmer Buckeyes (2-2)
No. 1 Newton Eagles (3-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Singletary Stadium, Newton
- Gilmer: Matt Turner
- Newton: W.T. Johnston
- Gilmer: lost to Carthage, 66-14
- Newton: idle
- Gilmer: vs. Bullard, Oct. 5
- Newton: idle
- RB Bran Webb, Sr., 5-10, 175 (46 carries, 249 yards, 4 TDs; 7 catches, 94 yards)
- RB Darrell Bush, Jr. (49 carries, 226 yards, 7 TDs; 5 catches, 39 yards)
- WR/DB Tra Fluellen, Sr., 6-3, 185 (16 catches, 311 yards, 2 TDs; 3 carries, 15 yards; 10 tackles, 1 PBU)
- QB Mason Hurt, Soph., 6-0, 150 (46-of-104, 653 yards, 6 TDs, 3 INTs)
- QB Cade Camp, Sr., 6-3, 200 (18-of-38, 295 yards, 2 INTs)
- WR Dylan Fluellen, So. 6-2 (8 catches, 184 yards, 1 TD)
- DL Abel Euceda, Sr., 6-0, 190 (35 tackles, 4 for loss, 1 sack, 4 QB pressures, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery)
- DL Ronnie McPherson, Sr. (27 tackles, 6 for loss, 3 sacks, 3 QB pressure, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery, 2 PBUs)
- DL Brycen Jimmerson, So. 5-10, 182 (18 tackles, 4 for loss, 2 sacks)
- OL Devon King, Jr., 6-3, 338
- WR/DB D.J. Shead, Jr., 6-0, 165 (11 catches, 135 yards, 1 TD; 15 tackles, 1 forced fumble)
- LB Brandon Legan, Sr., 6-2, 175 (31 tackles, 3 for loss, 1 fumble recovery)
- ATH Josh Foster, Sr., 6-2, 190 (26-of-41, 566 yds, 4 TDs, 2 INTs; 15 carries 125 yards, 1 TD; 10 tackles)
- RB Darwin Barlow, Sr., 5-11, 200 (40 carries, 545 yds, 7 TDs; 3 catches, 41 yards)
- WR/DB Tamauzia Brown, Sr., 6-2, 177 (16 catches, 314 yds, 3 TDs; 60 rushing yds, 2 TDs; 7 tackles, 2 INTs)
- WR Dominique Seastrunk (7 catches, 146 yds, TD)
- RB Valdarion Fowler, Jr., 5-9, 170 (12 carries, 104 yards, 2 TDs)
- DL James Sylvester, Jr., 6-5, 240
- LB Jadrian McGraw, Sr., 6-0, 210 (39 tackles)
- OL/DL Kristian Paulette, Sr., 5-10, 190 (23 tackles, 1 fumble recovery)
- DL Christian Kellum, Sr., 5-10, 160 (21 tackles, 3 for loss, 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble)
Just the facts
- Gilmer and Newton have not met since at least 2004, when MaxPreps began recording game history.
- The two programs have combined for seven state championships.
- Gilmer is averaging 381.3 yards (237 passing and 144.3 rushing) and 31 points per game.
- The Buckeyes offense, missing both running back Bran Webb and quarterback Cade Camp, was held to only 85 yards in the first half against Carthage in Week 4.
- Newton has not lost a game since Dec. 2, 2016.
- The Eagles are averaging 506.7 yards (191 passing and 315.7 rushing) and 43.3 points per game.
- Newton's defense has given up only 21 points through three games.
- The Eagles have five players (Tamauzia Brown, Darwin Barlow, Josh Foster, James Sylvester and Caiden Walker) with Division I FBS offers.
Key matchup: Newton defense against the Gilmer offense. Gilmer was unable to get anything going against a stout Carthage defense in Week 4. The Buckeyes managed only 85 yards of offense in the first half before the Bulldogs brought in their second team to finish the game. That production will not work against any team. Gilmer will need to do a better job of moving the ball and giving itself chances to score this week. If Bran Webb and Cade Camp, both of whom missed last week, are able to return, it will be a huge boost.
The task of going agains this Newton defense is challenging enough. The Eagles have pitched one shutout already this season and limited their opponents to just 21 points through three games. They have done so with star defensive end James Sylvester, who is battling a knee injury, limited. Christian Kellum has stepped up in Sylvester's absence, and Jadrian McGraw has led the defense from the linebacker spot.
After a showing like last week, Gilmer will want to come out strong. But against a defense with the talent of Newton's, it won't be easy.
Don't be surprised if: This one is a blowout. The matchup was hyped up in the preseason, but after back-to-back losses, opinions on Gilmer are beginning to change. Meanwhile, Newton has rolled through its first three games, with West Orange-Stark providing its only real test thus far. The Eagles have far more talent on their roster and might challenge a lot of 4A Division II schools. Expect a lopsided Newton victory in this game.