Friday night will bring a clash of a stout defense versus an explosive offense when the #14 Gladewater Bears visit the #11 Gilmer Buckeyes in a highly anticipated district rivalry matchup.
The Buckeyes, who’s only loss on the year is to #18 Carthage, are averaging just under 53 points per contest behind the arm of star quarterback Aaron “Poppy” Brown. In addition to his 22 touchdowns, Brown, who is in his first year starting for the Buckeyes, has already thrown for just over 2,000 and is averaging 366 yards over his teams first six games. Averaging over 100 yards per game, senior receiver LaMarcus Morton has solidified himself as Browns favorite target on the outside; however, the Buckeyes have seven other receivers on the roster that average double digit yards per game.
While the Buckeyes have put up extremely impressive offensive stats so far this season, they’ll be facing a Gladewater team that is holding opposing offenses to under 12 points per game. Led by senior linebacker Bryston Oliver, the Bear’s defense hasn’t let up more than 15 points since week one when they beat Kilgore by a score of 29-27. On the other side of the ball for the Bears, quarterback Cameron Callaway will attempt to keep the momentum rolling after his offense scored a season high 62 points in a 62-7 rout of district opponent Spring Hill. The Bears were able to notch nearly 500 yards on the ground and 85 yards through the air against the Panthers.
While Gladewater isn’t typically known for their offensive production, Callaway will lead his dangerous rushing attack into a Gilmer defense that has had it’s share of troubles so far this season. The Buckeye’s defense is allowing just over 35 points per game this year and has had problems defending teams with strong rushing attacks such as Liberty-Eylau and Carthage. While the impenetrable Gladewater defense and the unstoppable Gilmer offense makes for an exciting matchup, this contest will be decided depending on who can make more plays: a surging Gladewater offense or a Gilmer defense that still seems to be searching for its identity.