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ETBU hosting annual 7-on-7 football tourney

By Tyler Clifton,
May 23, 2013 at 11 p.m.

MARSHALL - The sixth annual East Texas Baptist University 7-on-7 Tournament takes place Saturday, with 12 teams competing in three separate pools and the top two teams in each group advancing to the finals.

Tiebreakers for advancing past pool play are head-to-head competition, points scored, points allowed and a coin flip if necessary. Tournament seeding will be based on overall record, points scored, points allowed and a coin flip, and the top two seeds will have an automatic bye in the tournament.

Quarterfinals begin at noon, with the semifinals set for 1 p.m. and the final following at 2 p.m. at Ornelas Stadium, with all games consisting of two 20-minute halves with a 10-minute halftime. There will also be a 10-minute period between games, and a concession stand area will be available as well.

Registration takes place at 7:30 a.m. in the ETBU Football Field House Lobby, and assumption of risk forms signed by each players' parent or guardian must be brought in order for them to participate.

"I feel like we're going to have another great tournament and am excited about it," said ETBU assistant coach Thad Fortune, who is in his first year heading the event. "It's not an all-day marathon as it's been in the past. Instead of being done with pool play at 3 p.m., we're going to be done with the entire tournament by 3 p.m. this year. It still gives people time to start enjoying their Memorial Day weekend."

Pool 1 consists of Chapel Hill, Queen City, Scurry-Rosser and Tatum and will play at Ornelas Stadium. Pool 2 has Gilmer, Grace Community, Mount Pleasant and Quitman and competes on the practice field. Pool 3 includes Hallsville, TK Gorman, Daingerfield and Gilmer JV and will play on the ETBU soccer field.

Gilmer won its own tournament recently at the Azalea Orthopedics 7-on-7 event on May 18, led by rising senior quarterback Tanner Barr, and the Buckeyes will add two members to their team for Saturday's games in Jamel Jackson and Jaidon Parrish, two members of the school's baseball team.

Fortune said there have also been talks with 7-on-7 officials out west about making the ETBU event a state qualifier as early as 2014 in the north region depending on how well it is received by area coaches.

Pool 1 schedule has Chapel Hill vs. Scurry-Rosser on the north side and Queen City-Tatum on the south side at 8:30 a.m. Chapel Hill stays north to play Queen City, and Tatum stays south to face Scurry-Rosser at 9:30 a.m., while Queen City stays north to play Scurry-Rosser, and Tatum squares off against Chapel Hill with its third straight game on the south side at 10:30 a.m. to decide the pool's quarterfinalists.

Pool 2 schedule has Gilmer vs. Quitman on the north side and Grace Community-Mount Pleasant on the south side at 8:30 a.m. Gilmer stays north to play Mount Pleasant, and Grace Community stays south to face Quitman at 9:30 a.m., while Mount Pleasant stays north to play Quitman, and Grace Community plays Gilmer in its third straight game on the south side at 10:30 a.m. to decide Pool 2's quarterfinalists.

Key Pool 3 games include Hallsville vs. TK Gorman on the east side at 8:30 a.m., Daingerfield vs. TK Gorman on the west side at 9:30 a.m. and Hallsville vs. Daingerfield on the east side at 10:30 a.m.

"I think the biggest reason this event is sticking around is due to the quality of high school football that East Texas teams bring to the field," Fortune said. "It's a testament to how great things are here when you can throw a rock in any direction and hit a quality football team, and Marshall is a nice locale for it."

Carthage defeated Daingerfield, and Gilmer beat Pittsburg, with the Buckeyes defeating the Bulldogs to capture the inaugural 2008 tournament, and the event has been going strong the last five years.

Gilmer defeated Daingerfield, and Marshall defeated Lake Hamilton (Ark.) to set up a 2010 final in which the Buckeyes beat the Mavericks 39-33 despite Marshall's comeback attempt down 26-7 at halftime. Daingerfield gave the Buckeyes a run for their money before falling short in a 47-33 Gilmer win in 2011.

The even-numbered years continued to be beneficial for Gilmer, with Parrish throwing the winning touchdown pass to Patrick Finch for a 24-22 win against Lake Hamilton after beating Tyler Grace 41-40.

For questions about Saturday's tournament, call Fortune at the ETBU football office at (903) 923-2200.



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