Gilmer Buckeyes vs. Center Roughriders
What: Class 4A Division II Regional Playoff
Where: Earl Campbell Field at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium, Tyler
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Records: Gilmer 12-0, Center 10-2
Coaches: Gilmer, Matt Turner; Center, Barry Bowman
Last Week's Result: Gilmer 63, Mexia 14; Center 42, Fairfield 28
Quick look at Gilmer: The Buckeyes are on a 28-game winning streak, tops in school history. Demarco Boyd, the University of Texas commit, is a top player on offense and defense. The 6-0, 220-pound senior has 480 yards rushing with 12 touchdowns on 71 carries. Boyd has 29 catches for 356 yards and four TDs. Defensively, he has 53 tackles, three sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery. He plays both on the line and at linebacker. Running back Kelton Collier, a junior, has 731 yards and 12 TDs on 110 carries. Directing the attack is quarterback Zac Spears, brother of former Bullard High School and Texas Tech basketball player Minta Spears, who is now at Vanderbilt. Spears has hit on 161 of 283 pass attempts for 2,283 yards, 27 TDs and 6 interceptions. He can also rush the ball with 31 carries for 127 yards and a TD. Also on defense, lineman Tristian Olivares plays havoc on the opposing team with 76 tackles, nine sacks and 15 quarterback pressures. Gilmer junior safety Kollin Hurt has 10 interceptions on the season, including five in two playoff games.
Quick look at Center: Roughriders quarterback Kyle Parks has thrown for 2,048 yards and 19 touchdowns. He has hit on 145 of 231 passing attempts. Parks is also a threat on the ground, rushing for 1,134 yards and nine TDs on 177 carries. The main running backs are DaCorey McGee (54-588, 17 TDs) and Sayodrrick Barnes (65-492, 10 TDs). The top receiver is JaTerious Evans (29-553, 3 TDs).
Quick Slant: The schools have two common opponents - Tatum and Texarkana Pleasant Grove. The Buckeyes won over Tatum 23-0 on Sept. 11, while Center defeated Tatum 42-7 on Oct. 16. Center downed Pleasant Grove 57-35 on Oct. 30, while Gilmer edged Pleasant Grove 40-36 on Nov. 13 in a bi-district game.
By the Numbers: Gilmer started playing football in 1914 and has an all-time record of 655-373-39 with a playoff mark of 70-24-1 according Texashighschoolfootballhistory.com. This is the Buckeyes' 35th playoff appearance with 34 district titles. Gilmer has won three state championships, including last year. Center started playing football in 1921 and has an all-time record of 400-508-28 with a playoff mark of 20-26-1. The Roughriders have 30 playoff appearances with 17 district titles.
Next Up: Winner vs. Lorena-Atlanta winner, next week, Class 4A Division I state quarterfinals.
- Phil Hicks
Arp Tigers vs. Waskom Wildcats
What: Class 3A Division II Regional Playoff
Where: Pine Tree Pirate Stadium, Longview
When: 6:30 p.m. Friday
Records: Arp 7-5, Waskom 12-0
Coaches: Arp, Dale Irwin; Waskom, Whitney Keeling
Last Week's Result: Arp 32, Lone Oak 6; Waskom 28, Gunter 7
Quick look at Arp: The Tigers are on a six-game winning streak since dropping a 55-23 game to Waskom in Arp on Oct. 9. That loss to the Wildcats was Arp's fifth straight after winning the season opener 20-0 over Omaha Paul Pewitt. Arp has two players with more than 1,000 yards rushing - Julian Herndon (172-1,309, 16 TDs) and Kayce Medlock (110-1,184, 15 TDs). On defense, Medlock has five interceptions, while Demarvion Overshown (118 tackles) and Tommy Reese (107) lead in tackles.
Quick look at Waskom: The defending state champions are hoping for another state title. The Wildcats are ranked No. 5 in the state and are led by Chan Amie, who rushed for 196 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Gunter last week. Waskom was ahead 7-0 at halftime, but big plays by Eric Stephens III (81-yard TD run) and Dylan Harkrider (30-yard TD pass) broke open the game.
Quick Slant: The schools are in the same district - District 8-3A Division II. It was a close game in Waskom last year, with the Wildcats defeating the Tigers 34-24.
By the Numbers: Arp began playing football in 1932 according to Texashighschoolfootballhistory.com. The Tigers have an overall record of 457-372-14 with 20 playoff appearances and 14 district titles. Arp has a playoff record of 33-19. Waskom played 11-man football in 1931-32 before playing six-man. The school started 11-man football again in 1957. The Wildcats have an overall record of 326-280-14 with a playoff mark of 17-15. Waskom has 17 playoff appearances with 15 district titles and a state championship.
Next Up: Winner vs. West Rusk-Omaha Paul Pewitt winner, next week, Class 3A Division II state quarterfinals.
- Phil Hicks