A win would also achieve a 2011 Buckeye Stadium “triple crown” of sorts involving three straight victories over defending state champions.
The Buckeyes, now 8-0 overall, lead District 16-3A with a 3-0 record. Carthage and Henderson are right behind Gilmer at 2-1 after the Bulldogs won a District 16-3A showdown in Carthage last Friday night, 42-21.
Pittsburg and even Gladewater are still in the playoff hunt in spite of 1-2 starts.
Spring Hill is definitely out of contention at 0-3.
Gladewater faces the Herculean task of beating Carthage and Henderson the final two weeks to have a chance to extend its season.
Pittsburg’s road to the playoffs is a bit easier to envision, with this week’s game being a road trip to Spring Hill. Then the Pirates host the Buckeyes a week from Friday. Certainly Gilmer hopes to wrap things up Friday night so that the regular season finale will have no playoff implications as far as the Bux are concerned.
The craziest scenario is also the most unlikely. But if Gladewater and Pittsburg won out, Gilmer lost out and Henderson and Carthage both went 1-1 over the final two weeks, there would be five teams tied for first place with 3-2 district records.
“Carthage played well and was able to control the line of scrimmage with their running game,” Lions coach Dickey Meeks told the Henderson Daily News after the Bulldogs ended the Lions’ 13-game winning streak.
“We had a couple of fourth downs that we weren’t able to make,” said Meeks. “Overall, we just didn’t execute when we needed to tonight and Carthage did.”
He concluded, “I hate that we lost, but I told the guys that we were in the same place last year and we know where we can go from here.”
Where the third-place team in the “District of Doom” went after losses to Carthage and Gilmer last year was on a 6-game winning streak that wound up at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington on Friday, Dec. 10, 2010, where Henderson beat the Chapel Hill Bulldogs, 28-21, to claim the Class 3A Division I state championship.
The Lions have a high-powered offense with four outstanding playmakers, including quarterback Del Barnes, running back Jay O’Neal, and receivers Lamarcus Brown and Patrick Brown. Even after being held to only 21 points against Carthage, the Lions are still averaging 44.1 points per game.
Barnes is being heavily recruited by Division I schools. Reportedly, the Texas Longhorns’ offensive coordinator was at the Henderson-Carthge game, although it is not clear that Barnes is as interested in them.
“I have other plans,” Barnes, who is at the top of his class academically, told KLTV Channel 7 in Tyler last month. “I want to go to law school and become a lawyer.”
“I’ve been doing this (coaching) a pretty good while,” said Meeks. “I’ve had some that have been up there at 2 and 3 (in class rank). But I don’t think I’ve had one with the athletic ability and going to likely be valedictorian.”
Barnes described himself this way:
“Just staying away from the stereotypical quarterback image. Just doing what I need to do in the classroom. I have strong motivation at home from my parents. Just staying on track and doing the best I can at whatever I put my mind to.”
That sounds a lot like the Gilmer quarterbacks, the injured Luke Turner and his replacement Jordan Traylor, who are also honor students in the classroom as well as being fierce competitors on the playing field.
Traylor continued to have a hot hand against Spring Hill after guiding the Buckeyes the previous week on the game-winning drive in the final minutes to set up Pablin Olivares’ last-second 31-yard field goal against Carthage here after his lifelong friend Turner went down with a broken ankle.
He was 22-of-31 passing for 288 yards and two touchdowns. He carried the ball only three times for 14 yards, but two of those carries resulted in touchdowns.
The Buckeyes had to make several position changes to accommodate Traylor moving from tight end to quarterback. The most noticeable one on offense was Markus Reid switching back to tight end from guard. He made his presence known early on with his first pass reception in more than a month.
Pablin Olivares took over kicking off in the absence of Turner.
The Buckeyes’ offensive scheme also looked a little different than with Turner at QB, with Traylor doing quite a bit more passing and letting others do the running for the most part.
Buckeyes head coach Jeff Traylor, meanwhile, is pleased with the perfect season to date. He personally now has a record of 129-21 after nearly 12 seasons coaching his alma mater.
“It’s great. Obviously you try to win ‘em all and we have so far, but we also know we haven’t done anything yet. We haven’t clinched a playoff spot. All we’ve done is put ourselves in a position to do some things,” he said.
As for Jordan’s first start, his dad said, “It was nice that he had some success and his teammates all picked up around him. I wish he’d, you know, played 10 or 11 more games so I’d feel really good about going to this.
“To be just headed into your second start, going against the Henderson Lions with all their talent, playing for the district championship, but it is what it is, and he’ll do the best he can, and we all know that and we obviously have to play a little harder for him.”
He explained the changes on offense, “Obviously when you lose Luke, the ball’s going to be distributed a little bit more because Jordan’s a ball distributor whereas Luke is so great running the ball you had to let him run the ball 20-25 times every game.”
Not coincidentally, Darrion Pollard had his biggest receiving game of the year with eight catches for 150 yards and two touchdowns.
Eddie Fluellen had four receptions for 31 yards.
Gavin Holt was the leading rusher with 80 yards on 10 carries for a touchdown and a 2-point conversion. He also caught two passes for 16 yards. Jeremy McMillian had 45 yards on six carries and a touchdown.
The Black Flag Defense had another outstanding game and almost notched another shutout against the Panthers.
Tanner Barr had six tackles and an interception (his sixth of the year).
Trey Washington had two tackles, an interception and a big hit, and Josh Walker had six tackles and a sack.
Xavier Fluellen had six tackles and a fumble recovery, while Eddie Fluellen had two tackles and an interception.
Turning to the Lions, Coach Traylor said, “They’re the most talented team we’ve played all year. They’re freaky talented on offense. Their quarterback is a Division I football player, Del Barnes. He can run it. He can throw it. I mean he’s just an unbelievable football player.
“The receivers are both Division I receivers—Lamarcus Brown, No. 9, and No. 3, Patrick Brown. They’re just phenomenally fast and just great football players.
“Their O-line is big. Left tackle’s very good, junior Nick Siler, No. 74. All of them are good, honestly.
“Their offense is as good an offense as we’ve played this year. They remind me of Carthage, but they’ve got more speed at receiver and the quarterback’s a better athlete.”
On defense, Traylor continued, “They’ve got a really good defensive tackle, No. 44, Bo Brady. He’s really good.
“The ‘Mike’ linebacker is very good, No. 18, Jamal Kind. He’s not very kind, though,” Traylor quipped.
Trey Jones and Stephen Reese are also good linebackers, he added.
“Rome Pollard’s a good cornerback,” he said, noting that he picked off a pass against Gilmer last season during the Buckeyes’ thrilling 29-28 come-from-behind win in Henderson.
Traylor concluded, “They’re a great football team. They lost to a great football team Friday.”
“It’s huge,” he said of the upcoming game against the Lions. “You’ve got a district championship on the line. You’ve got a playoff berth on the line. It’s the kids’ last senior home game. We’ve got the “Pink Out” for Mrs. Henry (a reference to breast cancer survivor Carrie Henry, wife of Gilmer coach Lonnie Henry).
“We’re going to try to raise some money for Mrs. Henry and all our kids are going to be wearing pink for Mrs. Henry Friday night.”
Coach Traylor also had high praise for the Army of Buckeyes who followed (and in some cases led) the team to Longview during the Yamboree.
“The crowd. Man! We had probably 200 to 300 fans there (at Spring Hill) by 4:30. We hadn’t even gotten there and they were there. It’s unbelievable how great that crowd was.”
While continuing to express concern about Henderson’s athleticism as the conversation ended, Coach Traylor also promised, “We’ll get after them. It’ll be a great game.”
The Buckeyes are averaging 41.8 points per game with 308.5 yards per game rushing and 199.4 passing. They have run 197 passing plays and 357 rushing plays.
Jordan Traylor is 26-of-35 for 329 yards and two touchdowns and a QB rating of 122.
Luke Turner finished the regular season with 97-of-162 for 1,266 yards passing and 12 touchdowns and a QB rating of 99. Turner had 754 yards rushing on 112 carries and 13 touchdowns, averaging 6.7 yards per carry.
Gavin Holt has amassed 673 yards on 98 carries and nine touchdowns, an average of 6.9 yards per carry.
Darrion Pollard is the Buckeyes’ leading receiver with 34 receptions for 558 yards and five touchdowns, averaging 16.4 yards per catch.
Gavin Holt has 19 catches for 184 yards and four touchdowns, averaging 9.7 yards per catch.
Eddie Fluellen has 18 catches for 220 yards and one touchdown, averaging 12.2 yards per catch.
Traylon Webb has 14 receptions for 132 yards and four touchdowns, averaging 9.4 yards per catch.
Jordan Traylor has 13 catches for 110 yards, averaging 8.5 yards per catch.
Jaidon Parrish has 12 catches for 205 yards, averaging 17.1 yards per catch.
Markus Reid has five catches for 70 yards, averaging 14 yards per catch.
Leading tacklers are Josh Walker with 71, Adam Witcher with 64, Colton Hill with 55 and Xavier Fluellen with 42. Walker also leads in sacks with eight.
If you match up Gilmer versus Henderson with Gilmer as the home team, the Massey Ratings computer comes up with a 42-35 final score in favor of the Buckeyes.
If the season ended today, Gilmer would be the top seed in Division II from District 16-3A and would play the second seed in Division II from District 15-3A, which right now is the Atlanta Rabbits. Gilmer won 42-21 over Atlanta in the opening game of the season on Thursday, Aug. 25.
BUCKEYE TICKET LINE:
LUNCH WITH THE COACH:
Noon Wednesdays, Buckeyes Booster Club meets at Gilmer Country Club.
http://w3.GilmerBuckeyes.com/listenlive.html - archives of previous games are at http://www.audiosportsonline.net/2011Fall/Gilmer.htm
Gilmer Cable TV, Ch. 2, 9 a.m., 6 p.m. Saturdays
Etex, Ch. 1, 10 a.m. Saturdays, 6 p.m. Wednesdays
(These channels also carry the audio of the games live.)
Condensed videos of the games are online at http://www.gilmermirror.com/news_sports or directly on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/gilmergreene.
Bounty Hunter of the Week:
‘Cool Daddy’ Player of the Week:
Hustler Hustle Player of the Week:
October 28 - Henderson
2010 Record: 13-2, 3-2 in district, Class 3A Division I State Champions
Last meeting: 2010, Gilmer won 29-28
Series Record: Gilmer leads, 9-2-2.
Head Coach: Dickey Meeks (6th season, 31-32, 223-165-7 overall)
Returning Starters: 5 Offense/6 Defense
Did you know? Gilmer trailed Henderson there 28-10 midway through the third quarter last year before rallying to win 29-28.
Henderson @ Gilmer Game Info & Notes
By JOE DODD
October 28- Henderson
2010 Record: 13-2 DI State Champions, 3-2 district
2011 Record: 7-1
Week 0: won @ Mt. Pleasant 47-28
Week 1: defeated Pine Tree 58-27
Week 2: defeated Kilgore 35-7
Week 3: won @ Center 51-15
Week 4: defeated Liberty-Eylau 56-13
Week 6: won @ Spring Hill 52-0
Week 7: defeated Pittsburg 38-13
Week 8: lost @ Carthage 21-42
Total Points For: 358
Average Points For Per Game: 44.75
Total Points Against: 145
Average Points Against Per Game: 18.1
Head Coach: Dickey Meeks (6th season, 31-33)
Returning Starters: 6 Offense/6 Defense
Offensive Formation: Multiple
Defensive Formation: Multiple
LaBradford Barnes QB 6\' 160 4.5
LaMarcus Brown WR/DB 6\' 175 4.4
Anthony Brister OL/DL 6\'3 276 5.1
Trey Jones WR/DB 5\'10 170 4.5
Stephen Reese RB/LB 5\'10 185 4.5
Jay Oneal RB/DB 5\'10 175 4.5
Historical Stats, Records, and Program Information
YEAR W-L-T COACH
2000 8-3-0 307-203 Dennis Alexander
2001 6-5-0 294-311 Dennis Alexander
2002 9-3-0 278-157 Reid Waller
2003 3-8-0 157-222 Reid Waller
2004 5-5-0 170-298 Reid Waller
2005 3-7-0 128-245 Reid Waller
2006 1-9-0 Dickey Meeks
2007 4-6-0 Dickey Meeks
2008 1-9-0 Dickey Meeks
2009 5-5-0 Dickey Meeks 2010 13-2-0 Dickey Meeks 2011 7-1-0 Dickey Meeks
BY DECADES W- L- T
1914-19 2- 5-1
1920-29 18-39-9 1930-39 57-31-11
2000-09 45-60-0 2010-11 20-3
Undefeated Seasons: 4 (1968, 1985, 1989, 1990)
Winless Seasons: 2 (1938, 1945)
Last District Championship: 2000
Last Playoff Appearance: 2010
Playoff Record: 20-17-1
Last meeting: 2010, Gilmer won 49-28
Series Record: Gilmer leads 9-2-2
GILMER vs. Henderson
12 - 1919 - 6
0 - 1919 - 0
14 - 1921 - 6
51 - 1921 - 6
0 - 1922 - 0
35 - 1926 - 0
52 - 1927 - 0
101 - 1928 - 0
28 - 1932 - 0
14 - 1933 - 0
0 - 1996 - 14
0 - 1997 - 48 29 - 2010 - 28
Gilmer has a 11 game regular season winning streak (last loss: 38-21 @ Carthage, 2010)
Gilmer has a 7 game district winning streak (last loss: 38-21 @ Carthage, 2010)
Gilmer has a 6 game home winning streak (last loss: 43-36 to Jacksonville, 2010)
Gilmer has a 127 consecutive games scoring streak (last shutout: 10-0 @ Longview to Pleasant Grove, 2001)
Jeff Traylor is 129-21 at Gilmer (86%)
Gilmer’s Jeff Traylor’s 86% winning percentage is the 4th best among all active coaches in Texas
Gilmer has won more games (129) than any other 3A team in the state since 2000
Gilmer has either won the state championship or lost in the playoffs to the eventual state champion in 6 of the past 8 years
Gilmer is 105-13 under Jeff Traylor in regular season games (89%)
Gilmer is 83-5 (94.3%) in regular season games since 2003
Gilmer is 52-4 under Jeff Traylor in district games (92.9%)
Gilmer is averaging 508 total yards per game. The 2006 team averaged a school record 514 total yards per game
Gilmer's 554 offensive plays consist of 197 passing attempts (35.6%) and 357 rushing attempts (64.4%)
Gilmer averages 199.5 yards per game passing (39%) and 308.5 yards per game rushing (61%)
Gilmer has rushing touchdowns by 8 different players
Gilmer has receiving touchdowns by 4 different players
Gilmer has held opponents to an average of 18 points and 271 total yards
Gilmer has forced 25 turnovers in 8 games
Gilmer QB Luke Turner is only the 4th Buckeye to surpass 6,000 career total yards (6,324)
Gilmer QB Luke Turner averaged 288.6 total yards per game this season
Gilmer QB Luke Turner finished as one of the Buckeyes’ career leaders:
4th with 6,324 total yards
4th with 3,972 passing yards
5th with 40 passing touchdowns
3rd with 40 rushing touchdowns
3rd with 48 total offensive touchdowns scored
Gilmer is ranked 4th in this week’s Associated Press Class 3A poll
Gilmer is ranked 4th in this week’s Class 3A Pigskinprep.com power rankings
Gilmer’s schedule is the 7th toughest in Class 3A according to PigskinPrep.com
Henderson’s schedule is the 9th toughest in Class 3A according to PigskinPrep.com
Gilmer is a 6 point favorite over Henderson according to PigskinPrep.com
Did you know?
Gilmer’s 101-0 win over Henderson in 1928 is the largest winning margin in team history
Henderson scored a total of 18 points in their first 10 games against Gilmer dating from 1919-1933
Gilmer outscored Henderson 307-18 in their first 10 meetings from 1919-1933
YouTube Video of Carthage vs Henderson from KGASRadio Carthage: