By Phillip Williams
GILMER–Gilmer Buckeyes quarterback Brandon Tennison proved an aviational ace here Friday night, leaving a delegation of defending Hares several hairs short of success in the air as he flung five touchdowns to launch unvanquished No. 2-ranked Gilmer over the winless Atlanta Rabbits, 48-6, at Jeff Traylor Stadium.
After Rohan Fluellen’s stupefying 95-yard return for a TD on the game’s opening kickoff, Tennison’s arm dispatched all but one of the hosts’ subsequent scores, partly in a series of two Big Bangs–short slings that turned into long-distance touchdowns. The Buckeyes’ fleet feet, which seem to operate at slightly above Indy 500 car speed, simply outran the pursuing Rabbits, making the Atlanta defense left looking about as menacing as the Easter Bunny.
With the triumph, Gilmer (3-0), which has played nowhere but home, finally stages a road show Friday at 7:30 p.m. against the Lindale Eagles.
The Buckeyes totted up a 34-0 lead at twirling time Friday in a quick contest that lasted only two hours, 15 minutes, but probably seemed like a long night for the visitors.
Fluellen’s show-stopper, which occurred just as the show was getting started, occurred with 11:47 left in the first quarter. Jose Hernandez airlifted the first of his five successful PATs (he missed one after Gilmer’s second tally, and backup kicker Weston Mayhan rammed the final one.)
Tennison began his aerial artistry with a short pass to Fluellen, who simply ran off from the slower Rabbits to transform the play into a 58-yard TD with 3:47 left in the first period.
Then the Buckeye field general unleashed another little toss, this time to Ashton Haynes, who also left the Atlanta defenders in panting pursuit on a 79-yard hop to Beulah Land. That came with 40 seconds still left in the opening quadrant.
In the second quarter, Tennison unleashed TDs of seven yards to Jyzaiah Rockwell with 10:19 left to music time, and 16 yards to Rockwell’s brother, Keith Rockwell, with 1:43 left to intermission.
Atlanta averted a shutout when quarterback Justin Pierce flame-threw a 61-yarder to Ahmani Jackson–one of the few felicitous moments that the Rabbit fans had to cheer for–with 1:16 left in the third quarter. Daniel Herandez’s PAT kick failed.
The rest of the fray belonged to Gilmer as Tennison heaved an 11-yard TD to Jyzaiah Rockwell with 8:28 left in the wargame, and
Kendall Jackson whisked eight yards for his team’s only rushing tally with 3:21 remaining.