Football: Gilmer 37, Pittsburg 22

Published on Saturday, 11 November 2017 22:03 - Written by PHILLIP WILLIAMS, Sports Correspondent

PITTSBURG - Gilmer Buckeyes quarterback Aaron “Poppy” Brown hoofed for three touchdowns and heaved for two as Gilmer plundered the Pittsburg Pirates, 37-22, in their District 7-4A Division II regular season finale Friday night at Pirate Stadium.

However, both teams proceed to playoff paradise as Gilmer pole vaulted to 8-2 overall and 4-1 in district dustups while Pittsburg was set back to 6-4 and 3-2. Meantime, the Buckeyes totted up their eighth straight vanquishing of the hosts, who have not conquered Gilmer since 1996.

The Pirates landed the first cannonade on the game’s opening possession. Quarterback Jaylon Jimmerson heaved a 35-yarder to Keithlen Griffin in the end zone, which followed 10 consecutive rushing plays.

Alex Rodriguez plunked the PAT with 5:42 left in the opening quarter.

After the teams exchanged turnovers on successive plays, Gilmer hammered its initial haymaker when Brown hit a wide-open Morgan Lusty with a 20-yard scoring sling. Adan Ibarra airlifted the first of his three PATs with 3:27 left in the opening chapter.

The Pirates retrieved custody of the lead when Rodriguez bonked a 27-yard field goal with 10:49 left in the second period.

But Gilmer spurted ahead to stay when Brown barreled five yards for a TD with 9:27 left to intermission and Rashaad Ward hoofed for a two-point conversion on a feigned kick - the “swinging gate.” Gilmer thus led 15-10 at twirling time.

The Buckeyes lengthened the lead when Brown zinged a 13-yard TD to JaMareon Granville with 6:27 left in the third.

Then, on the first play after Jimmerson momentarily left the contest with an injury, backup Pittsburg quarterback Ty Jordan lofted a 33-yard TD throw to Griffin. However, the PAT kick failed, likely due to a high snap, with 2:55 remaining in the third.

And Gilmer sent a big blow over the bow when Brown whipped five yards for a TD with 1:25 left in the third.

Then a Pittsburg pratfall resulted in sending the fray beyond the Pirates’ reach. The Pittsburg punter kicked after a snap over his head, and the ball traveled maybe a yard, ending up at the hosts’ 23 - some 17 yards behind the line of scrimmage.

On the next play, Brown screamed 23 yards for a TD with 10:56 left in the battle. Ward ran over the conversion.

Pittsburg then concluded the pointmaking as Jordan Turner banged a yard with 3:03 remaining. Jordan's pass for points was purloined by a Gilmer defender, however, before an onside kick failed.