By Phillip Williams
TYLER–Gilmer Buckeyes quarterback Mason Hurt heaved two TDs while teammates D.J. Shead and Darrell Bush tallied two apiece, and their defensive teammates staged their second straight shutout as Gilmer flummoxed the Farmersville Farmers, 57-0, last Thursday night in a Class 4A Division II bi-district dustup at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
The rout propels the Buckeyes into further playoff play next week against the winner of Friday night’s (Nov. 15) Wills Point-Fairfield fray in Athens. (This article will be updated this weekend with information on who, when and where Gilmer plays).
Gilmer (8-3), which had scored no more than 47 points in any of its previous games, flattened the Farmers (2-9) with dispatch, totting up a 37-0 lead at twirling time. Shortly after midway through the third quarter, officials began running the clock non-stop much of the way, resulting in the contest concluding in an unusually brief two hours, 13 minutes.
Thanks to bad snaps on two apparent punt tries near the Farmers’ goal line, the Buckeyes’ “Black Flag Defense” set up a TD with an interception and scored a safety. Gilmer also limited Farmersville to only one serious scoring threat, which ended in a missed field goal.
Meantime, Hurt could have spent the second half flirting with Gilmer cheerleaders had he so chosen, as his understudy, Brandon Tennison, played all the final two quarters while the Buckeye offense kept humming.
As for Farmersville, it operated an unusually limited type offense as only two players–quarterback Ethan Cortez and running back Travis Zingaro–carried on running plays.
Gilmer began the bloodletting quickly, tallying touchdowns on the game’s second play from scrimmage and on its first four possessions overall.
Hurt hurled a 23-yard scoring sling to Bush for the first score and Jose Hernandez airlifted the first of his five straight PATs with 11:20 still left in the opening quarter. (Backup kicker Dominic Chavez missed the PAT after Gilmer’s next touchdown, but made two extra points afterwards).
Bush whizzed 33 yards around the left side for Gilmer’s second TD with 8:46 left in the first chapter before a Farmersville miscue–one of the aforementioned apparent botched punt attempts–led to the next Buckeye bang.
Farmersville punter Braden Lair, fielding a short-hop snap somewhere around his goal line, flung a desperation pass which was purloined by Jaydon Griffin and returned to the Farmers’ 8. On the next play, Hurt loosed a TD to Dylan Fluellen with 7:32 still left in the opening quarter.
Behind 21-0, Farmersville launched a remarkable 17-play offensive, starting at its 20 and which at one point reached the Gilmer 30 (abetted by a 5-yard penalty). But Cortez was sacked for losses of two, then six, and the Farmers ceded the pigskin on downs immediately before Davion Smith steamrolled down the left side 62 yards to Beulah Land with 10:54 left in the half.
The Farmers (who burned up the final 7:32 of the first quarter, and about a minute in the second), held the ball seven minutes while ingesting only 30 yards.
Trailing 28-0, Farmersville gamely reached the Buckeye 12 yard-line–greatly aided by two penalties totaling 19 yards–only to have Eli Alonso miss a 40-yard field goal attempt with 6:11 left to the musical interlude.
Shead trooped one yard for the next TD with only 1:53 left to intermission. Then a flawed low snap on another apparent Farmer punt attempt resulted in Gilmer knocking the ball out of the end zone to score a safety with only three seconds left to band time.
In the third quarter, the victors produced 20 more points as Shead notched another one-yard scoring sortee with 9:02 left, backup runner Keke Johnson took an 8-yard jaunt with 5:37 remaining and backup Jaron Choyce hoofed a yard with 1:28 left. (The clock kept running, so Chavez’s PAT came with 1:08 left in the quarter).
Gilmer defender Eddie Ray set up the last TD by filching a Cortez pass at the Farmersville 49. Overcoming a 10-yard penalty–unlike the Farmers, who were only penalized once all night, the Buckeyes had problems with infractions–Gilmer scored on the fifth play after Ray’s heroics.