GILMER - Mother Nature wasn't all that rained on the Rains Wildcats here Friday night.
The Gilmer Buckeyes' Kelton Collier quenched them with a quartet of touchdowns, hoofing for three and snaring a pass for another, as defending state champion Gilmer totted up its 26th consecutive conquest and a perfect 10-0 regular season by dousing Rains, 49-22.
The District 5-4A Division II titlelists, in their first season under coach Matt Turner, confront Pleasant Grove in bi-district next Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Mount Pleasant.
With rain falling during part of the contest, the Buckeyes fell behind 6-0 early only to whomp the Wildcats partly with a bevy of big bangs for TDs. Gilmer's first three tallies covered distances ranging from 35-90 yards after the Buckeyes ran only three offensive plays in a first quarter in which they didn't score.
Rains, stopped on the game's opening possession, recovered a fumbled punt at the Buckeye 29 and scored on the sixth play afterward, all rushes by quarterback Ryan Ratliff. He procured points on a 2-yard bop, but Cesar Colunga's PAT kick was blocked with 6:40 left in the first quarter.
The Buckeyes unleashed their first TD torpedo when Collier screamed 90 yards right after a 58-yard Wildcat punt. Juan Esquivel airlifted the first of seven consecutive PATs with 11:31 remaining till twirling time.
On its next possession, Gilmer sped 70 yards in only three plays to TD territory as quarterback Zac Spears uncorked a short screen pass to Collier, who wended his way through traffic to turn it into a 70-yard scoring sling with 8:07 left in the half. That play constituted nearly one third of Spears' 211 aerial yards on the evening.
The Buckeyes made it 21-6 at music time as Spears air mailed a 35-yard TD toss to Demarco Boyd on a fourth down play with 3:10 left to the break.
In the second half, Gilmer would unleash three more TDs within the first 6 1/2 minutes before Rains could tally again. Collier got the first on a 4-yard trip with 11:09 left in the third. Devin Smith secured the next on a 27-yard rumble with 8:41 left, and Boyd trooped 13 yards for the next TD with 5:37 left in the quarter.
Rains (6-4, 2-3) surged a bit as Ratliff sneaked two yards for a touchdown with 11:01 left in the game before hurling the first of a pair of two-point conversion passes to Dusty Rhodes.
Collier wheeled three yards for the Buckeyes' last six-pointer with 8:54 left before Rains' Naim Diego reaped the game's final TD by motoring 33 yards with 5:28 remaining.
At halftime, former Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor was honored in a ceremony marking this year's renaming of Buckeye Stadium as Jeff Traylor Stadium. Traylor, a Gilmer High graduate and now an assistant coach at the University of Texas at Austin, guided the Buckeyes to three state championships in 15 seasons as coach.