After descending into the rare despair of downfall last week, the Gilmer Buckeyes vowed not to sustain a second stinging Thursday night as they exterminated the Mineola Yellowjackets, 52-0, in a Class 3A Division II bi-district win at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
Gilmer quarterback Tanner Barr, who only played the first half, sprayed the Yellowjackets with insecticide as he completed 12 of 14 heaves for 261 yards and three TDs.
Fueled by additional TDs on a fumble return and a punt return, the Buckeyes bopped to a 45-0 lead at halftime, thanks to a 35-point second quarter.
Gilmer (10-1), which lost the District 16-3A blue ribbon and its No. 1 ranking to undefeated Kilgore last week, makes its next playoff appearance against the victor of tonight’s Pittsburg-Wills Point tilt.
Gilmer controlled things so much against Mineola that officials let the clock run somewhat nonstop starting about midway through the third quarter.
Mineola (5-6) remained winless over Gilmer since 1962 in several clashes since then.
Gilmer scored on all its first half possessions, stifling Mineola after the opening kickoff before plodding 76 yards in 10 plays (overcoming a 12-yard penalty as well).
Barr shipped a 12-yard TD to Desmond Pollard with 7:34 left in the opening period before Pablin Olivares airlifted the first of six straight PATs.
Mineola managed a first down before punting again and Gilmer hiked 56 yards in seven plays before running out of petrol at the Yellowjackets 4, resulting in Olivares launching a 21-yard field goal with 2:44 left in the first.
While the ‘Jackets played somewhat respectably in the opening quarter, they found themselves overwhelmed by a landslide of Gilmer touchdowns in the second period.
Buckeye runner Kris Boyd legged five yards for the first score with 10:39 left to halftime, writing finis to a 67-yard, 5-play offensive after Mineola surrendered the pigskin on downs.
Then the avalanche really intensified. On the third play after the ensuing kickoff, Mineola runner Rhett Self didn’t get the handle on a handoff, and Gilmer defender John McPherson delivered the fumble 16 yards to the end zone with 9:47 left in the second.
When the Yellowjackets punted on their next possession, Devondrick Dixon took the kick and screamed 62 yards to another tally with 7:14 still remaining to the break.
Mineola then yielded the ball on downs, and Barr immediately winged a 42-yard TD to Chase Tate with 5:01 left in the period.
After another Mineola punt, the Buckeyes stormed 80 yards in only five plays and scored on Barr’s 29-yard sling to Pollard with 23 seconds left in the quarter.
The second half’s only score came when Gilmer took the kickoff and inched 57 yards in 11 plays, overcoming a 10-yard penalty en route. Cambron Granville gunned 21 yards for the tally and backup kicker Tristan Olivares clanged the PAT with 7:27 left in the third.
Mineola’s deepest penetration came late in the contest when the ‘Jackets reached the Buckeye 17 only to again forfeit possession on downs. Self, who carried for four yards on the game’s final play, came up just shy of a 100-yard night with 99 yards on 23 deliveries.