GILMER, Texas (KETK) — The Gilmer Buckeyes are having a phenomenal season this year with a 12-1 record and headed to the state quarterfinals for the third year in a row.

Head coach Alan Metzel credits their success to focusing on one step at a time.”Our focus this week is this week, be where our boots are, PG that’s all, nobody else and we’re not worried about whether other people won or lost or whatever and they are doing a great job of that right now,” says Metzel.

A key part of the Gilmer Buckeye program is their defense, a very opportunistic group, forcing a lot of turnovers week after week.

“Even when guys get down inside the 10 and teams get it inside there, they know they’re battling, ripping the ball out and they’re trying to get their hands on it,” tells Coach Metzel.

Those turnovers, give the ball back to one of the most explosive offenses in the state.

“I feel like the defense makes plays, everybody gets hype and our offense just feeds off that and wants to also make the same plays to help our team out,” explains running back Ashton Haynes.

“If the offense is flying around making plays that just makes the defense want to come around and make plays for the offense and help each other out,” exclaims defensive back Tyson Wilson.

Now Gilmer has a date with a familiar foe, district rival Pleasant Grove, a team that has steadily improved this season, and will be even more dangerous, now that their quarterback has returned from injury.

“We’re going to put a lot of people in the box and we want to be physical so you want to be able to take away their best plays and make them have to do things they don’t prefer to do,” declares coach Metzel.

 “I think we’re going to try to spy the quarterback because we know he has a lot of speed and they might switch up the offense on us since they got him back to make it a little difficult for our defense but I think we can adjust,” adds Haynes.

The Hawks and Buckeyes rematch will take place this Friday in Mount Pleasant, as Gilmer looks to take another step, toward getting back to the state championship game.