Photo by Lauren Landes,

GILMER, Texas- The matchup between Carthage and Gilmer had built up a lot of hype throughtou the week. ​Both​ ​teams​ ​had​ ​fans​ ​lined​ ​up​ ​at the​ ​gates​ ​2​ ​hours​ ​prior​ ​to​ ​kickoff​ ​at​ ​Jeff​ ​Traylor​ ​Stadium​ ​in​ ​Gilmer.​ ​The​ ​Gilmer Buckeyes​ ​were​ ​riding​ ​a 29​-​game​ ​home​ ​winning​ ​streak​ ​and​ ​hadn’t​ ​lost​ ​back-to-back​ ​games​ ​to​ ​the​ ​same​ ​team​ ​since​ ​the 1999 season.

That​ ​all​ ​came​ ​to​ ​a​ ​halt​ ​tonight,​ thanks to an impressive second half ​comeback​ ​by​ ​the Carthage​ ​Bulldogs coming out on top by a 48-28 margin.

Photo: Lauren Landes,

Gilmer​ ​won​ ​the​ ​opening​ ​toss​ ​and​ ​elected​ ​to​ ​receive​ ​and​ ​the​ ​Buckeyes​ ​came​ ​out​ ​firing​ ​on​ ​all cylinders.​ ​The​ ​Gilmer​ ​offense​ ​moved​ ​down​ ​the​ ​field​ ​with​ ​quick​ ​strikes​ ​and​ ​tempo,​ ​but​ ​the​ ​drive stalled​ ​out​ ​after​ ​a​ ​50​ ​yard​ ​drive​ ​and​ ​Gilmer​ ​kicker​ ​Adan​ ​Ibarra​ ​missed​ ​the​ ​field​ ​goal.
Carthage​ ​took​ ​the​ ​ball​ ​over​ ​and​ ​began​ ​their​ ​march​ ​towards​ ​the​ ​end​ ​zone.​

​The​ ​Bulldogs​ ​were pass​ ​heavy​ ​using​ ​star​ ​Keaontay​ ​Ingram​ ​as​ ​a​ ​decoy,​ ​while​ ​Gunner​ ​Capps​ ​found​ ​Dee​ ​Bowens​ ​for a​ ​35​ ​yard​ ​touchdown.​ ​The​ ​Gilmer​ ​offense​ ​was​ ​quick​ ​to​ ​respond,​ ​Poppy​ ​Brown​ ​threw​ ​a​ ​nice touchdown​ ​pass​ ​on​ ​the​ ​corner​ ​of​ ​the​ ​end​ ​zone,​ ​knotting​ ​the​ ​game​ ​up​ ​at​ ​7,​ ​with​ ​5:11​ ​left​ ​in​ ​the first​ ​quarter.

Carthage​ ​finally​ ​established​ ​the​ ​running​ ​game​ ​late​ ​in​ ​the​ ​first​ ​quarter,​ ​when​ ​Keaontay​ ​Ingram busted​ ​a​ ​huge​ ​run​ ​putting​ ​the​ ​Bulldogs​ ​inside​ ​the​ ​5​ ​yard​ ​line.​ ​Capps​ ​was​ ​high​ ​on​ ​two​ ​passes towards​ ​the​ ​goal line. ​After​ ​a​ ​penalty​, ​Carthage​ ​went​ ​for​ ​it​ ​on​ ​fourth ​down,​ ​but​ ​were​ ​unsuccessful. Gilmer​ ​went​ ​to​ ​the​ ​ground​ ​with​ ​Bran​non ​Webb,​ ​as​ ​he​ ​broke​ ​a​ ​50​ ​yard​ ​run​ ​that​ ​put​ ​the​ ​Buckeyes​ ​in the​ ​red​ ​zone,​ ​but​ ​Aaron ‘Poppy’​ ​Brown​ ​was​ ​picked​ ​off​ ​in​ ​the​ ​end​ ​zone.

Carthage​ ​was​ ​able​ ​to​ ​take​ ​advantage​ ​of​ ​the​ ​turnover​ ​when​ ​Keaontay​ ​Ingram​ ​caught​ ​a​ ​51​-​yard touchdown​ ​pass​ ​from​ ​Capps with a missed extra point. ​Gilmer​ ​came​ ​right​ ​back,​ ​as​ ​Poppy Brown​ ​launched​ ​a​ ​60​ ​yard​ ​bomb​ ​setting​ ​up​ ​a​ ​QB​ ​keeper​ ​to​ ​reclaim​ ​the​ ​lead​ ​14-13.​ ​A​ ​Tra Fluellen​ ​interception​ ​return​ ​for​ ​a​ ​touchdown​ ​extended​ ​the​ ​Buckeyes​ ​lead​ ​to​ ​21-13.​ ​The​ ​Gilmer defense​ ​held​ ​Carthage​ ​in​ ​check,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​Buckeyes​ ​found​ ​the​ ​end​ ​zone​ ​once​ ​more​ ​before​ ​the half,​ ​when​ ​Brown​ ​hit​ ​Morgan​ ​Lusty​ ​on​ ​a​ ​20​ ​yard​ ​touchdown​ ​pass​ ​bring​ ​the​ ​score​ ​to​ ​28-13 Gilmer​ ​at​ ​the​ ​half.

Gilmer​ ​out​ ​gained​ ​Carthage​ ​362-281​ ​yards​ ​at​ ​the​ ​half​ ​and​ ​held​ ​Keaontay​ ​Ingram​ ​to​ ​94​ ​rushing yards​ ​on​ ​11​ ​carries.​ ​Both​ ​quarterbacks​ ​threw​ ​for​ ​two ​touchdowns​ ​and​ ​an ​interception; Brown was​ ​15​ ​of​ ​23​ ​for​ ​264​ ​yards​ ​and​ ​Gunner​ ​Capps​ ​was​ ​12​-​for-​23​ ​for​ ​175​ ​yards.

Photo: Lauren Landes,

The​ ​third ​quarter​ ​was​ ​a​ ​defensive​ ​battle​ ​back​ ​and​ ​forth​ ​with​ ​turnovers​ ​by​ ​both​ ​offenses​ ​and​ ​a turnover​ ​on​ ​downs​ ​for​ ​the​ ​Buckeyes.​ ​Carthage​ ​was​ ​finally​ ​able​ ​to​ ​end​ ​the​ ​scoring​ ​drought,​ ​when Keaontay​ ​Ingram​ ​punched​ ​the​ ​ball​ ​in​ ​for​ ​1​-​yard​ ​touchdown​ ​run​ ​with​ ​16​ ​seconds​ ​left​ ​in​ ​the​ ​3rd quarter.​ ​The​ ​Bulldogs​ ​were​ ​able​ ​to​ ​get​ ​a​ ​two-​point​ ​conversion​ ​and​ ​they​ ​recovered​ ​an​ ​onside​ ​kick, when​ ​Mykel​ ​Johnson​ ​jumped​ ​on​ ​the​ ​ball​ ​at​ ​the​ ​22​ ​yard​ ​line.

​​Mekhi​ ​Colbert​ ​took​ ​a​ ​jet​ ​sweep​ ​in​ ​for​ ​a​ ​Bulldog​ ​touchdown​ ​bringing​ ​the​ ​score​ ​to​ ​28-28​ ​with 11:46​ ​in​ ​the​ ​fourth ​quarter.​ ​On​ ​the​ ​following​ ​Gilmer​ ​possession​ ​Patrick​ ​Williams​ ​picked​ ​of​ ​a​ ​PoppyBrown​ ​pass​ ​and​ ​took​ ​it​ ​to​ ​the​ ​house​ ​giving​ ​Carthage​ ​their​ ​first​ ​lead​ ​of​ ​the​ ​night.​ ​The​ ​Bulldogs were​ ​able​ ​to​ ​score​ ​21​ ​points​ ​in​ ​1:43​ ​of​ ​actual​ ​game​ ​time.

​The​ ​Buckeyes​ ​made​ ​a​ ​huge​ ​special​ ​teams​ ​error​ ​and​ ​almost​ ​cost​ ​themselves​ ​a​ ​safety,​ ​but​ ​got the​ ​ball​ ​inside​ ​their​ ​1​ ​yard​ ​line.​ ​Gilmer​ ​fumbled​ ​on​ ​the​ ​drive​ ​and​ ​Carthage’s​ ​Jacorey​ ​Ware​ ​took​ ​it 12​ ​yards​ ​for​ ​another​ ​Bulldogs​ ​score,​ ​increasing​ ​the​ ​lead​ ​to​ ​41-28.

Gilmer​ ​was​ ​doing​ ​what​ ​they​ ​could​ ​to​ ​stay​ ​focused​ ​and​ ​respond,​ ​but​ ​the​ ​Carthage​ ​defense swarmed​ ​Poppy​ ​Brown​ ​for​ ​a​ ​sack​ ​and​ ​ripped​ ​his​ ​jersey​ ​off​ ​in​ ​the​ ​process.​ ​Keaontay​ ​Ingram​ ​was able​ ​to​ ​add​ ​exclamation​ ​point,​ ​with​ ​a​ ​19​ ​yard​ ​touchdown​ ​run​ ​giving​ ​Carthage​ ​35​ ​unanswered points and capping off a Bulldog flurry.

Carthage​ ​will​ ​travel​ ​to​ ​Henderson​ ​next​ ​week​ ​to​ ​take​ ​on​ ​the​ ​Lions,​ ​while​ ​Gilmer​ ​will​ ​look​ ​to bounce​ ​back​ ​at​ ​home​ ​with​ ​the​ ​Nacogdoches​ ​Dragons.

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