NEW CHAPEL HILL — Gilmer finished the opening quarter with no points and locked in a defensive struggle. But the Buckeyes only needed a few minutes to change everything.
Gilmer scored 28 points in the last five minutes of the opening half to build a 22-point lead. The top-ranked Buckeyes then pulled away for a 56-28 victory against Chapel Hill in a District 16-3A showdown Friday night at Bulldog Stadium.
Gilmer (6-0, 2-0), playing in the top spot of the AP poll for the first time this season, looked like one of the state's best teams once again after outscoring its first five opponents by almost 40 points a game. In doing so, the Buckeyes used their punishing ground game to overpower Chapel Hill, a state champion just two seasons ago, which fell to 3-3 overall and 1-1 in league play.
Buckeyes seniors Darrian Lewis and Kris Boyd combined for 329 yards and six touchdowns on the ground; Lewis finished with 19 carries for 149 yards and four TDS while Boyd stepped off 18 carries for 180 yards and two scores.
Lewis scored three times (10, 28 and 26 yards) to help Gilmer score 20 points in the third quarter and win in blo wout fashion. The Buckeyes beat Chapel Hill 50-28 in last season's meeting.
Chapel Hill quarterback Andrew Black finished 17 of 33 for 249 yards and two touchdowns, plus carried the ball 16 times for 85 yards and a TD.
Following a scoreless opening quarter, Gilmer tallied 29 points in the second quarter and scored three times in a three-minute span to take a 29-7 lead into the break.
On the their first score, the Buckeyes capped an 11-play, 86-yard drive with a 3-yard run by Jamel Jackson with 5:41 left in the half. On the extra-point attempt, Chapel Hill was flagged for a 15-yard personal foul penalty to be marked off on the ensuing kickoff.
Kicking from Chapel Hill's 45 and playing stingy defense so far, Gilmer opted for an onside kick and made good on the attempt when Devondrick Dixon fell on the ball at the Bulldogs' 30. The penalty and onside kick provided the game's turning point, because two plays later Boyd took a handoff and scampered for 21 yards to make it 14-0 with 5:10 left.
On their next possession, the Buckeyes scored in six plays (Darrian Lewis 2-yard run) to make it 21-0 and post their third touchdown in exactly three minutes. The Buckeyes answered Chapel Hill's only score of the half — a 54-yard play-action pass from Black to Reggie King — with Barr's 30-yard TD pass to Desmond Pollard with 48 seconds to go.
No. 1 Gilmer 56, Chapel Hill 28
At Bulldog Stadium, New Chapel Hill
Gilmer 0 29 7 20 — 56
Chapel Hill 0 7 7 14 — 28
GIL – Jamel Jackson 3 run (Pablin Olivares kick), 5:41
GIL – Kris Boyd 21 run (Olivares kick), 5:10
GIL – Darrian Lewis 2 run (Olivares kick), 2:41
CH – Reggie King 54 pass from Andrew Black (Johnny Bonilla kick), 1:16
GIL – Desmond Pollard 30 pass from Tanner Barr (DeMarco Boyd run), :48
GIL – Kris Boyd 43 run (Olivares kick), 6:46
CH – Wesley Thompson 2 run (Bonilla kick), 2:53
CH – Gabriel Robinson 37 pass from Black (Bonilla kick), 11:13
GIL – Lewis 10 run (Olivares kick), 7:32
GIL – Lewis 28 run (Olivares kick), 5:17
CH – Black 6 run (Bonilla kick), 3:48
GIL – Lewis 26 run (run failed), 2:40
First Downs 32 19
Rushes-Yards 56-444 32-225
Passing Yards 108 249
Comp.-Att.-Int. 14-20-0 17-33-1
Punts-Avg. 5-30.8 6-33.3
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 3-1
Penalties-Yards 11-86 11-88
RUSHING — Gilmer, Darrian Lewis 19-149, Kris Boyd 18-180, Tanner Barr 11-53, Jamel Jackson 4-30, Chase Tate 2-15, Demarco Boyd 1-13, Jordan Williams 1-4. Chapel Hill, Andrew Black 16-85, Wesley Thompson 12-70, Malik Walker 2-54, Jeffery Minor 1-10, Jesse Mumphrey 1-6.
PASSING — Gilmer, 14-20-0—108. Chapel Hill, Black 17-33-1—249.
RECEIVING — Gilmer, Desmond Pollard 4-48, Jaidon Parris 3-27, Tate 3-22, Boyd 3-4, Nick Smith 1-7. Chapel Hill, Minor 7-94, Reggie King 3-64, Lex Heckel 3-30, Gabriel Robinson 1-37, Kevone Kennedy 1-13, Thompson 1-7, Kenyotta Henderson 1-4.