Top 25 Games Of 2016: No. 13, Gilmer At Atlanta
If Liberty-Eylau, Nacogdoches and Center can't it done, maybe Atlanta can be the team to slow Gilmer's roll.
The Buckeyes are already making their fourth appearance in our countdown of the top 25 games of 2016. Their Oct. 28 date with the Rabbits in Atlanta checks in as the 13th-most anticipated matchup of the upcoming regular season.
First, the backstory.
Atlanta reached the Class 4A Division II, Region II championship game the past two seasons and both times were denied. By the Buckeyes.
Gilmer converted the 2014 win into a state championship and reached the state semifinals a season ago.
The 2014 fourth-round playoff meeting was not close at all, but the 2015 game was just a nine-point decision in favor of the Buckeyes.
Is the third time the charm? The Rabbits do have some favorable matchups, at least here in the preseason.
Gilmer's loss of DeMarco Boyd to Texas and the graduation of Cambron Granville wiped out a lot of its established depth at both linebacker and running back. Both of those players double dipped.
Offensively, experienced Atlanta dual-threat quarterback Layton Henson and running back Kelton Young could take advantage.
Defensively, the Rabbits return two NCAA Division I FBS linebacker targets in Tristan Allen and Desmond Robinson. They are all but bound to run across a less physical and less deep Buckeyes running back rotation.
Gilmer, of course, has trump cards of its own. Particularly on the perimeter with receiver LaMarcus Morton, an Oklahoma State commitment, and at safety with Louisiana Tech pledge Kollin Hurt.
We'll save some time, not go around the two teams' entire starting lineups and just call it a push in the matchup department.
What about passion?
This game will likely be for the district championship and Atlanta gets to host it at Rabbit Stadium. With a lot of fans in the stands that aren't happy about how the past two seasons ended.
But, honestly, we're far beyond ever doubting Gilmer in the midst of its 31-1 run since Week 1 of the 2014 season.
We guess we'll just let this one play out.
ETSN.fm’s Top 25 Games of 2016
- No. 13: Gilmer at Atlanta
- No. 14: John Tyler at Ennis
- No. 15: Center at Gilmer
- No. 16: Atlanta at Henderson
- No. 17: Dallas Christian at Tyler Grace
- No. 18: Carthage at Liberty-Eylau
- No. 19: Longview at Lufkin
- No. 20: Harmony vs. Waskom
- No. 21: Kilgore at Henderson
- No. 22: Gilmer at Nacogdoches
- No. 23: Liberty-Eylau at Texas High
- No. 24: Crockett at Newton
- No. 25: Gilmer vs. Liberty-Eylau