HALLSVILLE — Even weather that was predicted to be frigid enough to give frostbite to polar bears could not void the volcanic offense of the unvanquished Gilmer Buckeyes in their bi-district dustup with the Pleasant Grove Hawks on Friday night.
Quarterback McLane Carter heaved three touchdown tosses as state-ranked Gilmer totted up a 36-0 lead at twirling time and pilloried the Pleasant Grove Hawks, 50-7.
Although it was Gilmer’s (11-0) third-lowest point total of the year, and the landlubbing Hawks (6-5) moved the ball efficiently at times, the Buckeyes still triumphed in typical fashion, tallying TDs on their first five possessions.
Officials ran the clock part of the second half after Carter created aerial agony for the Hawks, completing 10 of 15 passes for 220 yards (including 197 before halftime.) Also in the first half, teammate Blake Lynch completed both of his passes for another 52 yards.
Carter displayed aviational artistry on the Buckeyes’ opening offensive play, lofting a 43-yard scoring sling to Quinn Fluellen, who had five receptions for 122 yards overall (including the two passes from Lynch).
Juan Esquivel airlifted the first of six PATs with 9:45 left in the first.
Kris Boyd wheeled 20 yards around left end for the next TD, culminating a 58-yard offensive with 4:59 left in the first. Running the “swinging gate,” Gilmer procured a two-point conversion on DeMarco Boyd’s run.
Gilmer’s defense then showed its wares as Kelton Collier purloined the first of his two interceptions off Hawk quarterback Jacob Smith, setting up the Buckeyes’ next raid on Pleasant Grove’s end zone. On the third play afterward, Gilmer finished a 75-yard TD trek as Carter hurled a 50-yard scoring sling to Nick Smith with 11:04 left in the second period.
Jamel Jackson thundered 11 yards for the next TD with 8:32 left until halftime, writing finis to a 63-yard, seven-play TD trek, before Carter upped a 25-yard TD throw to Lynch with 3:12 left to the break. That ended a 79-yard, five-play hike that began when Gilmer stopped the Hawks on downs.
The Buckeyes’ final two tallies came in the third quarter on Jackson’s 4-yard rumble with 8:20 left, and Lynch’s 13-yard dash with 4:32 remaining.
Pleasant Grove averted the shutout when Ty Everett ran one yard for the Hawks’ lone TD with 8:05 left in the game. Dalton Hinton notched the PAT.
The score was set up when backup Gilmer quarterback Zach Spears fumbled to the Hawks at his 26.