Another matchup between Gilmer and Argyle.
Only this time, the Buckeyes hope to come out on top.
No. 10 Gilmer (11-1) meets seventh-ranked Argyle (11-1) in the Class 3A Division II regional playoffs at 7:30 p.m. today from Mesquite Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes were eliminated from the past two postseasons by the Eagles, falling 41-14 in 2010 and 51-35 in 2011.
Given those defeats, Gilmer has every reason to be motivated after cruising through the first two rounds of these playoffs — 51-36 over Canton and 57-13 over Atlanta. Argyle, which fell by seven points to Wimberley in last season’s state final, has been equally impressive so far in the playoffs — 45-0 over Bridgeport and 42-14 over Melissa.
The teams clash just down the road from another tandem of powerhouses — Henderson (8-4) and eight-time state champion Celina (10-2), which meet at 7:30 today at Mesquite’s E.H. Hanby Stadium. The winner of the games will advance to meet each other in the state quarterfinals next week.
The most recent loss to Argyle was the Buckeyes’ only setback of the season, which concluded with a 13-1 record and a 12th consecutive trip to the playoffs.
Gilmer, which won state titles in 2004 and ’09, has won 10 consecutive games since falling to TAPPS power Plano Prestonwood during the second week of the season. The winning streak includes a 20-14 win against Kilgore, which earned the Buckeyes the District 16-3A title.
Argyle, in the meantime, has claimed 11 straight victories since falling 31-14 to 4A playoff team Wylie in the season opener. The Eagles’ smallest victory margin during the streak has been 21 points, which came in a 28-7 victory against Forth Nolan Catholic during the second week.
Gilmer, which has scored 50 points or more in five of its last seven games, has been led by quarterback Tanner Barr, who’s completed 181 of 303 passes for 2,234 yards and 19 touchdowns with 12 interceptions. The junior has also carried the ball 97 times for 644 yards and two scores.
Buckeyes sophomore running back Kris Boyd has 108 carries for 1,026 yards and 17 scores on the season, while fellow sophomore Chase Tate has a team-high 48 receptions for 414 yards and three TDs.
Argyle has also been led by juniors and sophomores at the skill positions, evidenced in part by sophomore running back Nick Ralson’s 227 carries for 1,656 yards and 21 touchdowns this season. The passing game is manned by junior quarterback Brandon Boyzuick, who’s completed 122 of 218 passes for 1,838 yards and 19 touchdowns.
His favorite target as been fellow junior Ian Sadler, who has 46 receptions for 969 yards and 12 touchdowns. Sadler has 344 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground, three punt returns for touchdowns and two kickoff returns for scores.
The Henderson-Celina game is also a rematch from last season, a state quarterfinal in which Henderson claimed a 42-19 victory.