LONGVIEW —Gilmer remained unbeaten in District 16-3A with a wild 28-26 victory against Henderson in a District 16-3A football matchup Saturday night at a packed Lobo Stadium.
The KYKX Saturday Night Game of the Week ended with Henderson's fans booing the officials off the field, due to a pair of go-ahead touchdowns being called back for illegal procedure and a game-tying two-point conversion being negated for the same reason.
Henderson (3-3, 1-1) almost rallied from an 18-point deficit to remain unbeaten in league play, but Gilmer held off the charge to improve to 6-1 on the season and 3-0 in district. The Lions also dropped a pair of potential go-ahead touchdown passes in the final quarter to fall to the Buckeyes for the third consecutive season.
Henderson standout Patrick Brown, who played most of the game at quarterback, led the Lions with 19 carries for 169 yards and a touchdown. The senior ran 21 yards on fourth down to keep the designated home team's hopes alive, then connected with receiver Jamie Anthony for a 47-yard pass to set up Diamante Wright's 1-yard touchdown to make the score 28-26 with just over a minute remaining.
On the two-point conversion, Brown connected with Travon Roquemore in the corner of the end zone to seemingly tie the game at 28-28 and potentially force overtime. But the officials called the Lions for illegal procedure to negate the score and force a retry, which fell incomplete in the other corner in front of a host of defenders.
The ensuing onside kick failed with a minute remaining, leaving Gilmer only needing to run the clock out.
Gilmer finished the night with 197 yards on the ground, led by sophomore Kris Boyd's eight carries for 60 yards and touchdown.
The Buckeyes, who entered the night having struggled getting started, raced out to a 21-3 lead in the opening half to seemingly take total command, but Henderson got a late touchdown to make it an 11-point game at the break.
Gilmer ran for 149 yards in the half and got 53 yards from Boyd, who ran for nearly 300 yards in the Buckeyes' 50-28 win against Chapel Hill last week. He scored from 10 yards out to extend the advantage to 18 points with 8:06 remaining in the second quarter.
Gilmer's first score came on its first possession of the night, a six-play drive that started at Henderson's 39 following a 15-yard punt into heavy wind. Barr and sophomore Chase Tate hooked for the score, a 16-yard pass with 8:12 left in the first quarter.
Henderson's attempt to answer ended in failure as a handoff exchange resulted in a fumble, giving the Buckeyes the ball at Henderson's 26. But the Lions defense stood up to the challenge, allowing Gilmer only three yards on the possession and turning the ball over on downs.
That wasn't Gilmer's last threat, though.
On the Buckeyes' possession, Jamel Jackson took a handoff on the first play and scampered 47 yards to the end zone to make the score 14-0 with 3:47 left in the quarter.
Henderson finally reached the scoreboard in the second quarter, thanks to William Mann drilling a 34-yard field goal to pull the Lions to within 14-3. Patrick Brown set Henderson up in good field position by returning the kickoff 51 yards.
The Buckeyes then put together an eight-play, 75-yard drive to extend the lead to 21-3 on Boyd's 10-yard TD. But with time running out in the half, Brown put his speed on display with a 65-yard touchdown run with 1:30 on the clock en route to finishing the half with seven carries for 95 yards.
KYKX Saturday Night Game of the Week
Gilmer 28, Henderson 26
At Lobo Stadium, Longview
Gilmer 14 7 0 7 -- 28
Henderson 0 10 7 9 -- 26
GIL — Chase Tate 16 pass from Tanner Barr (Pablo Olivares kick), 8:12
GIL — Jamel Jackson 47 run (Olivares kick), 3:47
HEN — FG William Mann 34, 11:17
GIL — Kris Boyd 10 run (Olivares kick), 8:06
HEN — Patrick Brown 65 run (Mann kick), 1:30
HEN — Diamante Wright 9 run (Mann kick), 7:54
GIL — Josh Walker 24 run (Olivares kick), 7:04
HEN — FG Mann 28, 4:20
HEN — Wright 1 run (pass failed), 1:06