Buckeyes slow Monsta, rally for win
By Jimmy Carter, email@example.com
Dec. 7, 2012 at 6:18 p.m.
Gilmer's "Black Flag" defense was Monsta-proof on Friday night.
And now the black flag that stands on the Buckeyes sideline to showcase beaten opponents will have Lions added to it for the second time this season.
Gilmer rallied from a 31-14 deficit for a 41-34 win thanks in large part to its ability to slow Henderson quarterback Patrick "Monsta" Brown as the game progressed.
Brown finished with 123 yards, but was limited to just 39 yards in the final three quarters against a swarming Buckeyes defense.
"You have to keep hitting them and keep hitting them," Gilmer junior linebacker and Texas A&M commit Josh Walker said. "And eventually they'll go away. That's what he did. The 'Black Flag' defense, we fight to the death. No matter what the score is.
"We get the last hit in and that's what we hang our hats on."
Brown moved to quarterback in the teams' first meeting on Oct. 13, finishing with 168 rushing yards on 19 carries and nearly leading Henderson back from a 20-3 deficit in a 28-26 loss.
The first quarter looked like a continuation on Friday. But the Buckeyes buckled down in the rest of the game.
The defense held Brown to negative-two yards on nine carries in the second and third quarter after the senior picked up 84 yards on just seven carries in the first period. Shutting him down coincided with Gilmer scoring 27 unanswered points to take control of the game.
"We started playing harder," Gilmer coach Jeff Traylor said. "They were whooping our tail for a while. We got after our kids and our kids just took it personal and came back and fought them."
Brown left the game limping multiple times and showed signs of fatigue in the second half against a defense that gang tackled him on nearly every carry. The Gilmer defense stepped up after halftime, forcing Brown and the Lions to punt twice in the fourth quarter while Gilmer took a lead it wouldn't give up.
"We went in at half and the defense got chewed out because we weren't playing our ball game," Walker said. "We had to do a better job tackling 3 (Brown). He's elusive. We weren't wrapping up so we stressed wrapping up so we could win the game."
Brown finally broke several runs and had 41 yards in the fourth quarter, but couldn't break free for a big run and the Buckeyes managed only a field goal.
Clearly fatigued, Brown took longer and longer to get up after every tackle as the clock ran down and Gilmer players jumped around excitedly, moments away from another win over Henderson another addition to the black flag.
"Our defense has done that for years," Traylor said. "We might be undersized, people might say we don't look real good out there, except for Xavier (Fluellen) and Josh (Walker). The rest look like misfits, but they play. they play extremely hard and take great pride in that 'G' on the side of their helmet."
<em>-Follow Jimmy Carter on Twitter: @jicarterspots</em>