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Gilmer, White Oak to face off in state 7-on-7 tourney

By Jimmy Carter jcarter@news-journal.com
July 11, 2013 at 4:35 p.m.


LEANDER - Gilmer will be one of the favorites to make a repeat trip to the 3A Division II state championship game when the football season kicks off in a month.

The Buckeyes looked like one of the state's best 7-on-7 teams Thursday during pool play at the Division II state tournament.

Gilmer went 3-0 to win Pool J and advance to the championship round Friday morning. The Buckeyes will enter the single-elimination portion of the tournament with plenty of confidence after beating LaMarque 27-14, topping Rockdale 20-6 and knocking off Wellington 39-12.

"We have the potential to go all the way," senior quarterback Tanner Barr said. "It's just mind over matter. Once we get our minds right, it's hard to stop us. When we start playing as a team, defense going good and offense going good, we have the potential to go all the way.

The Buckeyes will face regional foe White Oak in the first round of the championship bracket at 9 a.m. Friday. The Roughnecks qualified as the No. 2 seed in Pool B after going 2-1 Thursday.

They started the day off with a 46-33 win over McGregor and a 47-28 win over Crane before losing 41-20 to All Saints. They earned the championship bracket berth thanks to owning a head-to-head win over McGregor.

White Oak figures to have its hands full with Gilmer. Barr was efficient in the three wins Thursday, throwing 13 touchdown passes in the victories, including a key 45-yard bomb to Devondrick Dixon in the LaMarque win.

"We had a big game right off the bat," Barr said. "They had athletes and we had athletes. So we knew just knew we had to come out and play and be ready … I feel like we're getting better. Our chemistry's getting there. Our receivers are catching the ball a lot better."

Gilmer's defense was also strong throughout the day, giving up just 32 points in the three games and keeping pressure off the offense.

"Our defense is playing tremendous right now," Barr said. "They're holding us in there."

The winner of the Gilmer-White Oak game will face the winner of the Houston Westbury-College Station game in the round of 16.

<strong>CARTHAGE FALLS TO CONSOLATION BRACKET</strong>

Carthage picked up an impressive early win, but ended the day with two straight losses to fall to the consolation bracket in one of the more surprising developments of the first day of the tournament.

The Bulldogs opened the day with a 32-0 win over Gatesville, but followed it up with a 38-27 loss to La Grange. They led Sonora 20-14 late in the second half of a must-win final game, but gave up a short touchdown pass and subsequent conversion pass with less than a minute remaining to fall 21-20 and fail to make the championship bracket.

Carthage looked like it had momentum against Sonora after senior quarterback Blake Bogenschutz lofted a 45-yard touchdown to O'Keeron Rutherford on the final play of the first half. But the Bulldogs sputtered in the second half, turning the ball over twice and giving up the game-winning drive.

They will face Abilene Wylie in the consolation bracket at 8 a.m. Friday.

<strong>LOBOS KICK OFF POOL PLAY TODAY</strong>

Longview opens its second consecutive trip to the Division I state tournament by competing in pool play Friday.

The Lobos face San Antonio O'Connor in a Pool O opener at 2 p.m. Their other pool games are against Carrollton Creekview at 4 p.m. and Cinco Ranch at 6 p.m.

Longview has to finish in the top two of its pool to advance to the championship bracket. The Lobos went 3-0 in pool play last year and won a game in the championship bracket before losing to DeSoto in the round of 16.

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Follow Jimmy Carter on Twitter @jimmy__carter

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