Chapel Hill, Texas (KETK)-There was no better way to kick off Friday night lights than with a top ten matchup with two 4A powerhouses in Gilmer and Chapel Hill.
The Gilmer Buckeyes went on to pull out a 51-27 win. Head coach Alan Metzel is proud of the way his guys focused on the task at hand and the task was to beat Chapel Hill and not listen to the outside noise.
“Coming in we knew it was going to be a war against such a good Chapel Hill team, I’m really pleased with my guys, we had some adversity right at the first of the game and just battled right back,” says head coach Alan Metzel.
The Bulldogs came out and scored a touchdown by Rickey Stewart early but the Buckeyes didn’t let that adversity phase them and answered right back with a kick return touchdown of their own.
“When you’re playing the game with that emotion you have to not get too high or too low on that rollercoaster, and I thought that they did a great job in staying level and playing the next play,” explains Metzel.
After overcoming some adversity the black flag defense was swarming forcing four first-half turnovers leading to points for Gilmer.
“They did a great job to the ball, we were able to get them in some negative chain situations which allowed us to play some coverages that were tough on them and get what I believe is four interceptions in the first half and 3 fumble recoveries in the 2nd half so huge when you can get 7 turnovers, then you know you got a good chance to win,” adds Metzel.
Many people had questions about the Buckeyes’ offense with a new sophomore quarterback under center but coach Metzel was proud of the way Caden Tennison commanded his troops.
“He stayed level, kept the operation and emotions calling the plays and getting the information to the other guys, and he will continue to get better. He is a tremendous athlete,” declares Metzel.
Tennison’s cousin Ashton Haynes helped take some pressure off the young gun as he scored two touchdowns.
“We put a lot on his shoulders having a young quarterback and we wanted him to carry the ball quite a bit. He came through and had right around 150 yards rushing and several touchdowns.. he is someone we know we can count on,” exclaims Metzel.
The Buckeyes had young guys like Ta’Erick Tate step up big and give Gilmer a boost in their big win.
“Ta’Erick is one of those that was on the radar and his needle is pointing up. We’re excited for a big year from him,” said Metzel.
The Gilmer Buckeyes will take on the Kilgore Bulldogs on Sept. 2 at 7:30 p.m. as they look to continue their winning ways.