By Phillip Williams
GILMER–The No. 2-ranked Gilmer Buckeyes, whose arsenal of swiftness is sufficient to stultify Superman, totted up a 36-14 lead at Twirling Time in harrowing the Henderson Lions, 50-14, Friday night af Jeff Traylor Stadium.
Gilmer quarterback Brandon Tennison lacerated the Lions by heaving a trio of touchdowns–two of them to Rohan Fluellen, who ran for another tally and purloined a pass to set up another Buckeye six-pointer. Gilmer runner Ashton Haynes, meantime, reached Beulah Land twice, and caught Tennison’s two-point conversion toss on a feigned kick after scoring Gilmer’s second TD.
The Buckeyes took only 30 seconds of playing time to activate their side of the scoreboard, taking the opening kickoff and soon tallying on Tennison’s 56-yard airmail package to Fluellen. Gilmer kicker Jose Hernandez airlifted the first of five successful PATs (backup kicker Weston Mayhan whammed the hosts’ last one) with 11:30 left in the first quarter.
After Fluellen swiped a Lion pass, his team soon made another incursion into the visitors’ end zone as Haynes hoofed seven yards with 8:37 left in the first period.
Henderson momentarily rebounded as quarterback Jacobe Robinson dispatched a 5-yard TD toss to his brother, Jamal Robinson, and Julian Garza punched the first of his two PATs with 4:45 still left in the first period, making it 15-7.
Gilmer, though, fired a counter-punch as Tennison shipped a 37-yard scoring sling to Parker Gilow on the first quarter’s final play. Then Haynes bounded to score on another 7-yard run with 7:12 left to Music Time.
Down 29-7, the Lions admirably continued to slog away, procuring points on Jacobe Robinson’s 5-yard keeper with 3:40 left to the break. The rest of the night belonged to the Buckeyes, though.
Fluellen whizzed five yards to score with 2:03 still left to intermission.
After Tennison zipped a 12-yard TD throw to him with 4:45 left in the third, the Lions reached the Buckeye 6-yard-line, only to surrender the pigskin on downs with 2:25 left in the quarter. Gilmer also scrapped a scoring opportunity, though, when Henderson partly blocked Hernandez’s 27-yard field goal attempt with 11:07 left in the fray.
The Buckeyes did hit the jackpot again, though, on Keith Rockwell’s 3-yard scoring sortee with 1:57 left.
Gilmer, which advanced to 2-0 while Henderson fell to 1-1, hosts Atlanta at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
(Editor’s Note: Mirror correspondent Phillip Williams began his 50th season, in the last 51 years, of covering Gilmer football Friday night for various newspapers over the years. When he missed the Gilmer-Gladewater season opener the prior week, it was the first time in 35 years he had failed to attend a Gilmer game.)