Business & Politics

Buckeyes beat Pittsburg 41 6 – Gilmer Mirror

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The Gilmer Buckeyes moved their season record to 6-1 and their district record to 2-0 with a 41-6 blistering of the winless Pittsburg Pirates Friday night in Pittsburg. The loss drops the Pirates drop to 0-6 overall and 0-2 in district play.

The Buckeyes came out on fire and got the fast start they have been lacking in the first half of the season, scoring 41 points in the first half of play, scoring on their first six possessions of the half. As it turned out, after pulling off the dogs in the second half in a generous show of sportsmanship, the Buckeyes would not score in the second half.

Pittsburg got the ball first at their 16 after the opening kickoff, as Gilmer won the toss and deferred to the second half.

The Black Flag Defense picked up right where they left off last week, forcing a three-and-out. Following a 26-yard punt by Jackson Ramsey, Brandon Tennison and the offense hit the field for the first time at the Pitt 44.

It took just 6 plays and 1:27 for the Bucks to find the end zone for the first time. The score came with 9:18 left in the first quarter on an 18-yard pass from Tennison to Dylan Fluellen. Jose Hernandez added the PAT and Gilmer led 7-0.

The Pirates began their next possession on their 25 and the Black Flag forced another three-and-out. The Ramsey punt traveled up to the Pirate 44 and the offense hit the field again.

This time it took just 1:10 and 5 plays to get into the end zone. The score came on a 7-yard run by Cody Guidry with 6:54 left in the quarter. Hernandez added the extra point and Gilmer led 14-0.

The next Pirate possession resulted in another three-and-out by the Black Flag. Ramsey punted the ball away from his 28 to the Buckeye 29 and Tennison brought the offense out again.

It took just 1:04 and 3 plays to move into the end zone once again. The score came on a 43-yard TD pass from Tennison to Marshae Spraglin with 4:51 left in the opening frame. Hernandez was true on the PAT and the Gilmer advantage moved to 21-0.

The Pirates took over on their 35 after the ensuing kick and the Black Flag shut the door again, as they only allowed 1 yard on 4 plays and the ball turned over on downs.

Tennison led the offense on a 6-play, 51-yard drive that consumed 1:38 and concluded with a Hernandez 30-yard field goal with 1:47 left in the quarter, and advancing the lead to 24-0.

On the kickoff after the TD, the Pirate receiver bobbled the ball and Gilmer recovered at the Pitt 14.

It took a mere 30 seconds and 2 plays for the Bucks to move the ball the 16 yards into the end zone. The score came with 1:13 left in the quarter when Tennison tossed a 16-yard TD pass to Dylan Fluellen. Hernandez added the extra point, pushing the lead to 31-0.

Pitt started at their 33 after the kickoff, and after picking up 44 yards on the first play, Davion Smith picked off Putt McCain on a 4th down play at the Gilmer 8 and returned the ball up to the 23 on the first play of the second quarter.

The offense moved the ball down to the 10 over 9 plays and 4:17 and concluded the drive with a 32-yard Hernandez field goal with 7:35 left in the half, bringing the score to 34-0.

Pittsburg began their next drive on their 34 and picked up one first down before the Black Flag forced a Ramsey punt down to the Gilmer 17.

The Buckeyes had a three-and-out on the possession and Cody Guidry punted the ball up to their 49.

The Black Flag pitched another three-and-out and Gilmer got the ball back at their 48 with 3:18 left in the half.

It took just 1 minute and 3 plays to move the 52 yards to the end zone. The score came on a beautiful 38-yard TD pass from Tennison to Luke Watson. The defense was guilty of pass interference but Watson came up with the contested catch and fell into the end zone for the score with 2:18 left in the half. Hernandez split the uprights on the extra appoint and the Buckeye lead swelled to 41-0.

The Black Flag forced another three-and-out on the next Pittsburg possession, and after getting the ball back at the Pitt 45 the offense ran 1 play and the half ended.

Gilmer received the ball to begin the second half, and following a fair catch at the Buckeye 33 by Mason Hurt the offense hit the field to begin the half.

The Buckeyes drove the ball down to the Pirate 17 over the span of 3:14 second and ran 10 plays before Hernandez came in for a 35-yard field goal attempt. The kick was wide left and the ball went over to the Pirates at their 20.

The Black Flag continued their dominance, forcing another three-and-out, and after a Ramsey 23-yard punt and a 29-yard Guidry return the Gilmer offense hit the field again with Hurt at quarterback and a number of new offensive players in the game as well.

For the first time in the game, Pittsburg didn’t allow but one series. Gilmer turned the ball over on downs at the Pitt 35.

Another three-and-out was the result of the possession, as the Black Flag continued their dominance over the hapless Pirates. Following the punt Gilmer was back in business at their 17.

Pittsburg appeared to have another three-and-out on the possession, but Guidry saw a running lane around the right side when he rolled out to punt and ran for 12 yards and a Buckeye first down. The offense gained one more first down before Guidry boomed a 40-yard punt down to the Pirate 20.

As was the case almost the whole night, another 1-series possession was forced by the dominant Black Flag.

Following a punt to the Gilmer 41 Parker Gilow came in to quarterback the 4th quarter and more backup players got the chance to hit the field and get important reps with the playoffs looming in just 4 weeks.

Since a lot of these young men had not played together a lot in a game, the starters for Pittsburg held the Bucks to a 1-series drive, as they came up 2 yards short on 4th down, giving Pittsburg the ball back at their 34.

McCain led his team on their longest drive of the night, as they picked up 3 first downs and ran 13 plays before a 1-yard gain on 4th and 10 and the ball turned back over to Gilmer on downs at their 26.

It looked as though it would be a 1-series possession, but the Pirates were called for a 15-yard personal foul penalty when Gilow was hit brutally after he had fallen on a bad snap. Guidry had to punt the ball away on the next series and the Pirates got the ball one last time with 22 seconds left in the game.

By now Gilmer had gone deep in the bench on defense and Pittsburg took advantage as McCain hit Giovanny Rojas on a 56-yard TD pass with 14 seconds left in the game to avoid the shutout. Rojas’ PAT was no good, but the Pirates were on the board and trailed 41-6.

The Bucks got the ball back and ran 1 play and the game ended.

Coach Alan Metzel was very happy when we talked with him after the game, as he saw his team in attack mode in the first quarter for the first time this season, something he had stated he was frustrated with the first 6 games of the year.

“That was what we were looking for, and it doesn’t matter who we were playing. I was pleased with the execution, with the focus, with people making plays when the play was there to be made. That was the step we were looking for this year.”

When we pointed out that the Buckeyes scored on their first 6 possessions of the night, the coach responded, “That’s what you want. We’ve been looking for that rhythm, you know, and I thought we had a really good rhythm early. We moved the ball around; a lot of guys were touching it. That’s what a balanced offense is and that’s what we’re looking to do.”

We also talked about the fact he didn’t have to run Brandon Tennison much in the game which helped him avoid a lot of hits in the game.

“Correct, no doubt. They did a great job giving him a good throwing platform. Obviously, we didn’t spend a lot of time running him tonight, you know, but that will change game to game and scheme to scheme. Tonight we felt like we could get it on the perimeter with some of our bubble screens and getting it to the backs, and I was really pleased with the way they ran the ball.”

There is an old saying in sales that the hardest sale to get is the first sale, and that applies in football as well. The hardest time to get a fast start in a game is the first time you do it. We asked Coach Metzel if he agreed now that his team had come out hot at the start of the game if it would be easy to build on that from this point forward.

“No doubt, no doubt, and that will be our standard right there. That’s the standard that we want to come out with next Friday and execute. Defense again started out on fire, you know, got us the ball back right away. That’s good stuff when it’s all working together.”

We also asked if he was not excited that he got a chance to play all three quarterbacks in the game.

“Absolutely! It was good for Mason to get some game reps again. You know, he hasn’t done that as much this year. Of course, he’s obviously a very skilled quarterback in his own right. We got Parker Gilow to come in and finish the game for us. He was our quarterback all last year playing for the JV, so it’s good to get guys game experience. You can do it all you want in practice, but we got to do it in a game and that was good.”

We asked the coach his thoughts about the total dominance by the Black Flag Defense in the game.

“When you’re getting them three-and-out and giving us the ball on their end of the field, we’re getting put in a really good position. Our special teams came up with a great play on the kickoff where they covered down there. Just good stuff all the way around; good team win right there.”

We asked the coach if he had ever been involved with a team that had two unusual kickoff recoveries in back-to-back games like his team did last week and this week.

“No, that’s just bizarre! It’s a credit to first of all, a great kick with backward spin, and secondly, those guys that are racing down the field, avoiding and getting on the ball; fantastic job on their part!”

The coach also had a lot of praise for the Army of Buckeyes who made the short trip north and the job they did of getting into the game early.

“Oh, they were wonderful. You felt it, especially early in the game; there was just all that energy. I hope a lot of people got to watch it on the square tonight too.”

We ended our visit by asking Coach Metzel his early thoughts about next week’s opponents, the Liberty-Eylau Leopards, who have bounced back well from last year’s 0-10 season.

“They’re very athletic. I’ve seen them early in the year against Atlanta and someone else. They’ve got some dudes so we’ll have to pick our game up and be ready to go.”

Congratulations go out to the Scout Team Players of the Week. Sergio Echeverria was the offensive scout team player of the week and Eric Nelson was the defensive scout team player of the week.

The Buckeyes will return back home to the friendly confines of Jeff Traylor Stadium in Gilmer Friday night when they entertain the Leopards in a 7:30 PM District 8-4A Division II game. L-E will enter the game with a 5-2 season record and a 2-0 district record following a forfeit by Spring Hill due to COVID-19 cases on their team.

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