The Gilmer County Bobcats got their first region win of the 2019 season. Ashton White was a huge help in getting that victory.
Ashton White had 20 carries for 79 yards and one touchdown. He scored the only touchdown for the Bobcats.
Gilmer went into the half down 7-6 but came back to win 17-14. Congratulations to Ashton White- this week’s TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week for Gilmer!
Congratulations to Gilmer Sophomore Punter Seth Darling on being named Player of the Week for the Week 3 victory over Gordon Central. Darling had two key punts in the 6-3 defensive struggle that forced Gordon Central begin deep in their own territory.
Calhoun, GA — We got a taste of it against Fannin in the season opener. The Gilmer Bobcats put together a grinding, methodical drive on their first possession that resulted in points. Then a lot went wrong and the Bobcats were forced to play catch up. Not what they wanted to do. Last week in the home opener, Towns was outmatched in talent and depth the Cats were able to score early and often. Friday night at Gordon Central we really got to see how they will operate. We got to see them do what they wanted to do. They controlled the ball all night and made big defensive plays in critical moments to escape Calhoun with a 6-3 victory.
“We won a football game that we probably didn’t play really well, but we found a way to win,” said Coach Kevin Saunders after the game. Don’t let the modesty or the low score fool you. That’s exactly how this team will attempt to keep winning. Saunders then added, “They found a way to get the job done and we won, I couldn’t be prouder of them.”
There is lots to be proud of. It was Homecoming Night at Gordon Central. It’s something we’ve grown used to over the years. The assumption of victory from the opponents. The PA announcer in the stadium referred to the Cats by number all night, like an anonymous pick-up group. The PA Announcer claimed to have never gotten a roster. So off they went, #6, #1, #24, and #8 as they’d be known, all had a busy night.
After muffing the opening kickoff out of bounds, the Cats opened things up inside the 10-yard line. The drive fizzled and the Cats were forced to punt. The Warriors came out playing fast in the spread, with running back Jordan Boone breaking a few runs of over ten yards. Yet, the Cats defense able to stall the drive and force an Edgar Ramirez field goal attempt. In what turned out to be one of the bigger plays of the game, the kick was no good. The Bobcats offense took over and went to work.
Throughout the rest of the first half Gilmer was able to slowly flip field position. They cashed in with a drive that started before the end of the first quarter and didn’t end until there were only four minutes left in the half. A couple fourth and short gambles got them inside the 5 yard line. A combination of Kobe Stonecipher, Ashton White, Gray McClure, and Spenser Smith chipped away at the Gordon Central defense. Gilmer Quarterback Spenser Smith punched it in to put the Bobcats ahead. The extra point attempt was no good.
The Warriors got the ball back looking for points before the break. After a couple first downs they were forced into a fourth down at midfield. They attempted a fake punt, Punter Peyton Parker rolled right and, under pressure, threw a ball up into double coverage that was broken up. However, a questionable late hit call kept the drive alive. In what seemed like an eternity thanks to clock issues, four timeouts, and more penalties, the Warriors positioned themselves inside the red zone for a field try at the buzzer. Ramirez was able to put it through this time, making it 6-3 Gilmer.
After forcing a quick Gordon Central punt to open the third, the Bobcats went on the drive of the game. Much like the scoring drive in the first half, the Cats pounded the ball three yards at a time. Slowly working the ball into the red zone. The drive ended with no points after a failed 4th down try, but it took almost ten minutes off the clock and pinned Gordon Central deep in their own territory. Gilmer forced a quick three and out but couldn’t get anything going. That set the stage for perhaps the biggest play of the night. Punter Seth Darling pinned the Warriors inside their own 10 yard line.
Boone and Gray got back to work for the Warriors, quickly moving them down field. Once again, the Gilmer defense was able to halt them on 4th down to get the ball back and seal the game. Unfortunately, a Gilmer fumble gave the ball back at midfield with 3:00 left on the clock.
Yet again, the Gilmer defense stood tall. They turned Gordon Central over on downs in just four plays. From then it was only a matter of running the final seconds off the clock. Spenser Smith took a knee and the game was over. It was their first road win since October of 2015.
Gilmer extended their record to 2-1. It was an old-school football slugfest, a defensive struggle that went down to the wire. The score shouldn’t fool you, this was a game of long drives, key special teams plays, and clock control. “We control the football, we pound on people, and make it a four quarter game, and it’s ugly,” added Saunders.
An ugly win is always better than a pretty loss. The Gilmer Bobcats (2-1) will travel to Lumpkin County (0-3) next week. Lumpkin lost 31-0 to Jackson County in their last game.
Congratulations to Gilmer Sophomore OL/DL Will Bradburn on being named Player of the Week for the Week 2 victory over Towns County. As the right guard for the Bobcats he played a crucial role in the success of their Wing-T attack, including several impact blocks that led to big plays. On defense, Bradburn was in the backfield all night, sacking the quarterback and forcing quick decisions that disrupted the Towns offensive game plan.
Congratulations to the Gilmer Bobcats’ Kobe Stonecipher for being named this week’s Player of the Week in the season opener!
Kobe stood out in the season opener against Fannin on Friday. He had several successful kick returns, and scored the only touchdown of the night for the Bobcats! Congratulations again, Kobe! Good luck for the rest of this season!
The scoring was early and often for the Fannin Rebels in the first half of the season opener against the visiting rivals from Gilmer. For the new look Gilmer Bobcats, the first game under Head Coach Kevin Saunders unfolded much like the others during their current 31 game losing streak. Fannin moved the ball up and down the field with ease, capitalized on turnovers deep in Gilmer territory, and even caught some lucky breaks that only seem to happen to Gilmer.
Gilmer answered Fannin’s opening touchdown with a field goal in the first quarter to make it 7-3. From there, it was all Rebels. Two quick touchdowns on the ground late in the first and early in the second made it 21-3. The following Gilmer drive started with promise, as Ashton White broke through the defense on a carry of nearly 30 yards. It would be short lived. Gilmer would be stripped of the ball, only to force a second fumble of the Fannin defender. Unfortunately for the Bobcats, Fannin Safety Cohutta Hyde picked up the second loose ball at midfield and returned it all the way for another Fannin touchdown. The failed two point conversion attempt left the score at 27-3.
From there, the Rebels combined stifling defense with a mix of running and passing on offense to tack on two more touchdowns before the conclusion of the first half — highlighted by a long pass from QB Luke Holloway to TE Jalen Ingram.
A running clock in the second half sped up the inevitable result. The Gilmer defense seemed to settle in a bit more, allowing zero second half points. The lone touchdown for Gilmer happened in the waning moments of the game when Kobe Stonecipher punched it in from the 4 yard line. Final score: Fannin 41 Gilmer 9.
The Bobcats look to rebound next week in their home opener against Towns County. Towns lost their opener to Hayesville 35-0.
As the playoffs for football in the state of Georgia wind down, The individual regions select their All-Region Teams. This season, 13 GHS varsity football players were recognized on either the 1st Team, 2nd Team, or Honorable Mention.
2 Bobcats made it on to the 1st Team Offense. They are:
Jr. Levi Seabolt- OL
Sr. Thaddeus Bowers- ATH
2 Bobcats were selected to the 1st Team Defense:
Sr. Lucas Bramlett- DL
Sr. Noble Zuschlag- LB
2 Bobcats were named to the 2nd Team Offense:
Sr. Russell Cochran- RB
Sr. Alix Lopez- K
Sr. Kell Kiker (DB) was named to the 2nd Team Defense
6 Bobcats were selected as Honorable Mention. They include:
Jr. Kameron Engler- LB
Jr. Austin Lacy- DL
So. Dillan Ledford- P
Jr. Griffin Cagle- WR
Sr. Jake Parker- TE
Sr. Shane Bowman- DL
Congrats to these players on this achievement.
The Gilmer Bobcats’ football squad had one of its most successful seasons in school history, and that did not go unnoticed by the rest of 7-AAAA, who selected a grand total of total members of Gilmer High School, including head coach Wesley Tanksersley.