By Phillip Williams
GILMER–Gilmer Buckeyes starting quarterback Cadon Tennison, who only played part-time, heaved a trio of touchdowns while teammate receiver-runner Brendan Webb trolled to triplet TDs as Gilmer petrified the Pittsburg Pirates, 64-6, Friday night in the District 7-4A Division 2 teams’ regular season finale.
Gilmer (7-3, 4-1 in district dustups) now plops into Playoff Paradise at 7 p.m. Friday against the Center Roughriders at Hallsville.
Coach Alan Metzel’s Buckeyes, a perennial playoff participant, finished second in district to unvanquished Pleasant Grove, which gutted Gilmer 63-28 before the Buckeyes triumphed by landslides in all their remaining loop wargames.
The Buckeyes, flummoxed for flabbergasting amounts of points in several of their first six outings, yielded a mere 43 to their last quartet of foes combined. This same Buckeye batallion had beheld four of its first six foes amass anywhere from a bewildering 56-71 points, though Gilmer actually beat two of those, thanks to its overpowering offense.
On Friday night, though, Gilmer toted up massive margins of 29-0 at first quarter’s finis and 50-6 at twirling time. Officials ran the clock somewhat non-stop, beginning around 9:09 left in the third quarter, before the hosts imgested their last two TDs.
The Buckeyes reached Beulah Land on their first seven possessions and bypassed a chance to do so on the eighth after recovering a Pittsburg fumble at the Pirate 17 with less than a minute remaining before intermission. Gilmer, already up 44 points, took a knee in a sportsmanlike gesture rather than attempt a field goal or seek a touchdown.
Gilmer took the opening kickoff and quickly rumbled downfield to tally on Tennison’s 27-yard short pass to Ta’Erik Tate with 10:34 left in the first quarter. Brayden Pate airlifted the first of eight successful PATs (After their third TD, the Buckeyes tallied a two-point conversion when Aron Bell bopped into the end zone on the “swinging gate” play).
Gilmer soon paralyzed the Pirates further as Webb swooped nine yards to the left to a TD with 7:51 still left in the opening quadrant.
Backup quarterback Jayden Edmond played a while before Tennison returned to the fray, shipping a 13-yard scoring sling to Webb with 3:49 left in the initial quarter before a Pittsburg pratfall led to the hosts’ next six-pointer.
Pirate quarterback Nick Styles, who disgorged both of his team’s two turnovers (fumbles) on the night, dispensed the first to Geremiah Noble at the visitors’ 19. Gilmer runner Dhrvay Smith promptly screamed up the middle to Glory Land with one minute still remaining in the first verse.
Down 29-0, the Pirates commendably fought on, averting a shutout on a Wow as Styles’ screen pass to Jaylen Holloway developed into a 58-yard TD with 9:35 left to Band Time. Marcus Moton’s run for two points failed.
Gilmer needed little time to counter-attack, though, as fleet runner Will Henderson, who could best Superman in a 100-meter dash, thundered 50 yards to a TD with 8:17 left to the break.
Tennison, back in at quarterback, launched a 35-yard TD throw to Jamar Byrd with 3:36 still left to Drill Team Time before Bell concluded the first-half touchdown deluge with a 1-yard hop with 1:01 left.
Gilmer put the bow on the package with Tennison’s 19-yard zip to Webb with 4:49 left in the third, and runner Dadrion Jimmerson’s 5-yard trip with 11:53 left in the game. Officials even ran the clock on Pate’s PAT, which came with 11:48 left.
By that point, third-string Gilmer QB Jordan Escalante was playing.
The Pirates fired only one pass in the second half, being sacked once and seemingly staying content to largely play out the string with landlubbing, though, like Gilmer, the visitors showed no apparent letup in effort.
Pittsburg ended the season 2-8, including a loss by forfeit, and failed to make the playoffs.
And on this night, the Buckeyes sent them plunging to Davy Jones’ Locker.