The Gilmer Buckeyes looked every bit the pre-season number one team Saturday in a six touchdowns to none thrashing of Atlanta in a scrimmage at Rabbit Stadium.
The Buckeyes amassed a whopping 541 total yards on 54 plays while limiting Atlanta to only 70 total yards and forcing 6 turnovers.
"Our depth and conditioning just wore Atlanta down," explained Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor.
Atlanta's first series of twenty plays were marred by an interception by senior defensive back Ben Griffith and a fumble recovery by senior linebacker Mikey Wilson.
Gilmer's first possession wasn't very impressive either as the Buckeyes totaled 134 total yards and only one score, a 3-yard touchdown run by junior running back
The Buckeyes offense got rolling on their second possession, totaling 217 yards and three scores on only 15 plays. Back-up quarterback Braylon Webb hit senior receiver Daniel McLaren for a 66-yard touchdown followed by a 28-yard touchdown to senior receiver J.T. Beecham. Sophomore quarterback
Jordan Traylor completed the scoring with a 5-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Tristan Holt.
Gilmer's offense kept the pace with two more touchdowns in the final series. Senior quarterback Darian Godfrey hit Holt with a 15-yard touchdown pass, before Webb closed out the scoring with a 26 yard touchdown pass to Beecham.
"Our quarterbacks threw the ball around well. Our receivers caught the ball well," said Traylor. "That was good."
Traylor also praised his defense, which held the Rabbits to -4 rushing yards on 28 carries. "I thought our defense was physical," Traylor stated. "We hit well. That was good to see; how much more athletic, how much stronger we looked compared to this time last year."
Gilmer's pass defense was just as impressive, limiting Atlanta to only 74 yards on 25 attempts and intercepting the Rabbits five times. Griffith led the secondary with two picks while Paul Chesnut, Chad Tennison, and Holt had one each.
"There were some bright spots obviously and there were some bad spots," cautioned Traylor. "Our offensive line was not very good. We were extremely disappointed with that. We had way too much pressure, and we didn't run the ball all that well either."
The Buckeyes totaled 117 yards on 20 carries, but Traylor was pleased with the running of Osborne. "I thought Gus played well at running back," said Traylor.
Traylor was also pleased in the development of two of the team's question marks entering the season; the receivers and defensive line.
"We played fourteen receivers and most of them played pretty good," Traylor said. "We feel like we're going to be fine. We don't have many difference makers, but I think we'll be solid there."
"We played twelve kids on the defensive line," continued Traylor. "They all played pretty good. Obviously we can't always keep playing twelve, but we'll play nine for a while and we'll eventually get down to six."
While Traylor was happy with his team's play on the field, he was more pleased that no players were injured during the scrimmage. "That was a blessing," Traylor said. "We still have a couple of kids out due to sickness and an injury in practice; but we didn't lose anybody in the scrimmage."
Gilmer wraps up the pre-season schedule with a scrimmage at New Boston Thursday night. Freshmen and JV will scrimmage at 5 p.m. with the varsity taking the field at 6 p.m.
The Lions should be a stiff test for the Buckeyes as they return 14 starters from a 10-2 team last season. Traylor said he likes to face Rick Barker coached teams. "He's a good coach. His kids play hard and they're always good."