By Phillip Williams
GILMER–The Gilmer Buckeyes unleashed a volcanic offense in totting up a 42-0 lead at twirling time before numbing the North Lamar Panthers, 56-6, in a District 8-4A dustup here Friday night.
The Buckeyes (8-1, 4-0) stage a wargame for the district’s blue ribbon with Pleasant Grove next Friday night at Texarkana. Game time is 7:30.
On what was Senior Night Friday for Gilmer players, band and drill teamers, the gridders finished their final game on their own playground in grand style, turning Jeff Traylor Stadium into an abattoir for the tottering Panthers from a Paris school.
The sole solace for North Lamar–which has won only one game in two seasons and descended to 1-8 overall, 0-4 in district disputations–was that the Panthers scored the first points they have mustered in a loop game this season. By the time they did, though, Gilmer was disemboweling them 49-0 in the fourth quarter and officials ran the clock in part of the second half.
The Buckeyes spread their procuring of points, with four different players tallyingI touchdowns on their team’s first six offensives, and two other players adding TDs in the second half. Gilmer’s first-half inundation of touchdowns came despite a penalty-plagued two quarters in which the hosts paid for seven infractions, the Panthers for four.
Ashton Haynes opened the touchdown tirade with a 9-yard whiz up the middle before kicker Jose Hernandez airlifted the first of his four successful PATs with 9:49 left in the first period. (Backup kicker Weston Mayhan would boom the other four PATs.)
Then, immediately after North Lamar runner Quay Mason disgorged a fumble to Gilmer at the Panther 43, quarterback Brandon Tennison heaved a TD bomb to Parker Gilow with 7:11 still left in the opening chapter.
Making the visitors feel as if they were suffering the trials of Job in the Bible, the Buckeyes soon seized another six-pointer on Tennison’s 1-yard pass to Jyzaiah Rockwell, who had just caught a 37-yarder from Tennison on the prior play.
The score came on a quick out to the left with 4:53 still left in quarter one. Gilmer then continued its opening-quarter blitzkrieg with Ladaylon Jackson’s 63-yard race to Beulah Land with 46 seconds remaining.
In the second quarter, Haynes bounded four yards to score with 7:38 left, and Jackson then whipped 17 yards on a stupefying TD in which he pulled away from defenders who seemed to have corraled him. That came with 2:20 left to music time.
Gilmer’s tornadic offense remained prolific at pointmaking in the second half as backup quarterback Cadon Tennison, the starting field general’s brother, rolled 17 yards with 7:56 left in the third. Officials let the clock tick to 7:40 by the time the PAT was kicked.
The Panthers then produced their one moment of glory when quarterback Dawson Dority put up a long-distance pass for grabs, and teammate Brayden McCormack grabbed it. That turned into a 64-yard TD down the left side with 10:45 left in the fray before a run for two points failed with 10:31 left.
Apparently aroused, the Buckeyes counter-attacked with Will Henderson’s 9-yard whoosh to score with 6:27 left before the last PAT with 5:40 remaining.
Gilmer has now scored 51 or more points against three of its four district foes.