MESQUITE -- The Gilmer Buckeyes have a nickname for their defense: The Black Flag.

And it showed up in a big way Friday night, propelling No. 7 Gilmer to a dominating 55-6 rout of Melissa in their Class 4A Division II, Region II area-round playoff at E.H. Hanby Stadium.

Gilmer (11-1) advanced to the regional semifinals next week when it will face Jasper (10-2) at a date, location, and time to be determined.

The Buckeyes had familiarity with Melissa (8-4), having shared a district with the Cardinals the previous two seasons. And much like the encounters in 2014 and 2015 -- 63-0 and 60-0 Buckeyes wins -- Gilmer simply overmatched Melissa.

Gilmer limited Melissa to 14 first-half yards en route to a 41-0 halftime lead. The Cardinals, who finished with only 155 yards on the night, did not manage a first down until the second quarter.

“That’s the Black Flag Defense, and boy they were the Black Flag tonight," said Gilmer coach Matt Turner. "(Melissa) had some offensive firepower; good at quarterback, good at receiver, good running backs. And our guys did a really great job of containing a good offense, and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

Buckeyes senior Kelton Collier led the defensive charge with three sacks, including a first-quarter safety.

"We knew that if we got pressure on them starting with the front seven that they couldn’t make more plays than us," said Collier, who also led the Buckeyes on the ground with 71 yards and three touchdowns on nine carries.

Gilmer junior quarterback Aaron "Poppy" Brown passed for 295 yards and a touchdown, completing passes to seven different receivers. LaMarcus Morton, an Oklahoma State commit, led the way with five catches for 78 yards and a score.

Kameryn Cuevas ran for 58 yards and two touchdowns, while Micah McMillian and Rashaad Ward combined to rush for 90 yards.

Gilmer, which won the opening toss and elected to go on defense first, raced to a 27-0 lead in the first quarter with the wind at its back.

Brown's 28-yard scoring toss to Morton gave the Buckeyes a 7-0 lead on Gilmer's first possession. Collier's sack of Melissa quarterback Tate Whittington less than a minute later pushed the lead to 9-0 with 8:01 to play in the first quarter.

Adan Ibarra booted a 24-yard field goal to cap the Buckeyes' next drive. Cuevas' 19-yard touchdown run made it 19-0 moments later, and following a Qua Heath interception, an 18-yard scoring burst from Cuevas pushed Gilmer's lead to 27-0 with 2:59 to play in the first.

“We had the wind at our back and that helped (us) and hurt them going into it a little bit early on," Turner said. "Our guys just executed really well, in the running game, in the throwing game. Our quarterback played well, our receivers blocked. It was just a good job by our offense.”

Collier added scoring runs of 4 and 2 yards in the second quarter, Desmond Jones scored on a 4-run with one second to play in the third, and Collier's third touchdown of the night -- an 11-yard run -- gave Gilmer a 55-0 fourth-quarter lead.

Melissa freshman running back Ja'Bray Young avoided the shutout by racing 69 yards to the end zone on the ensuing possession. Young finished the night with 103 yards on only six carries.


No. 7 Gilmer 55, Melissa 6

Class 4A Division II
Region II Area Playoff
At E.H. Hanby Stadium, Mesquite

Melissa           0      0      0      6    --      6
Gilmer           27    14      7      7    --    55

First Quarter
GIL--LaMarcus Morton 28 pass from Aaron "Poppy" Brown (Adan Ibarra kick), 8:42.
GIL--Safety, Brendon Lewis sacked in end zone by Kelton Collier, 8:01.
GIL--FG Ibarra 24, 5:55.
GIL--Kameryn Cuevas 18 run (Ibarra kick), 3:23.
GIL--Cuevas 19 run (Cuevas run), 2:59.
Second Quarter
GIL--Collier 4 run (Ibarra kick), 11:39.
GIL--Collier 2 run (Ibarra kick), 3:02.
Third Quarter
GIL--Desmond Jones 4 run (Ibarra kick), :01.
Fourth Quarter
GIL--Collier 11 run (Ibarra kick), 9:42.
MEL--Ja'Bray Young 69 run (pass failed), 9:00.

                                        MEL               GIL
First Downs                           9                 30
Total Yards                         155               532
Rushes-Yards               33-116          44-237
Passing Yards                      39               295
Comp.-Att.-Int.              4-16-1        19-32-0
Punts-Avg.                     8-29.5          2-29.0
Fumbles-Lost                      3-0               1-1
Penalties-Yards                  5-37           10-85

RUSHING--Melissa, Ja'Bray Young 6-103, Breelyn Armstrong 7-27, Brendon Lewis 5-25, Gunnar Murphy 1-3, Kaedric Cobbs 7-0, Tate Whittington 7-(-42). Gilmer, Kelton Collier 9-71, Kameryn Cuevas 5-58, Micah McMillian 10-48, Rashaad Ward 6-42, Aaron "Poppy" Brown 5-10, Trendon Brooks 2-8, Red Jones 2-7, Desmond Jones 2-5, Brett Rice 3-(-12).
PASSING--Melissa, Whittington 4-9-0--39, Lewis 0-7-1--0. Gilmer, Brown 19-32-0--295.
RECEIVING--Melissa, Kennedy Lewis 1-14, Cole McCraw 1-11, Murphy 1-10, Drew Cummings 1-4. Gilmer, LaMarcus Morton 5-78, Red Jones 4-64, Qua Heath 4-53, Dimitri Fort 3-56, Collier 1-19, Cuevas 1-18, Ward 1-7.