PITTSBURG - Gilmer Buckeyes quarterback Aaron â€śPoppyâ€ť 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 gameâ€™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 â€śswinging gate.â€ť 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 Piratesâ€™ reach. The Pittsburg punter kicked after a snap over his head, and the ball traveled maybe a yard, ending up at the hostsâ€™ 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.