China Spring takes down Gilmer in UIL 4A DII Championship

First championship for Cougars in 43 years
Gilmer vs China Spring
Gilmer vs China Spring(ktre sports)
Published: Dec. 17, 2021 at 2:41 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 17, 2021 at 8:27 PM CST
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ARLINGTON, Texas (KLTV) - The No. 2 ranked Gilmer Buckeyes could not overcome the No.5 China Spring Cougars in the 4A DII State Championship game.

China Spring won 31 to 7 claim their second state title in school history and their first since 1978. Gilmer ended the year 14-2. It was the second straight loss in the 4A DII championship for the Buckeyes.

Early on in the game it was all about defense, with both team’s high powered offenses seeing no results. The game started with Gilmer driving the field for the first seven minutes but China Spring was able to keep Brandon Tennison from converting a third down in the red zone. Gilmer looked to get a field goal but China Spring caught a break with the kick going off the upright to keep the game scoreless. China Spring had a chance at a 48-yard field goal but their result was the same as the Buckeyes to keep the game 0-0 early in the second quarter.

The Buckeyes marched down the field with four big runs by running back Ashton Haynes that resulted in a touchdown after a 2 yard-run that capped off a 61 yard drive. The Cougars would get their offense going and quarterback Major Bowden would get the Cougars on the board with a running touchdown and the game was tied 7-7. The China Spring drive was also 61 yards.

Gilmer took the rest of the first half to move down the field and with six seconds left but China Spring blocks the Jose Hernandez field goal and Gabe Watkins would return it 85 yards to send the Cougars into the half with a 14-7 lead.

Bowden and the Cougars started the second half the same way they ended the first half with a score. China Spring ended their first drive with a field goal to extend their lead 17-7. After Gilmer would force a China Spring punt the Cougars defense stepped up and stopped Gilmer on a 4th and 1 with under a minute to go in the third quarter to keep the game 17-7 entering the fourth.

The Cougars would control the clock and Bowden would extend the score to 24-7 with a 14 yard run by Bowden, putting Gilmer in a 17 point hole with 8:25 to go in the game. China Spring would then get a second straight 4th down stop on defense. Bowden collected his third touchdown with 4:52 in the game to extend the lead to 31-7.

That score would stand as the final. The game was only Gilmer’s 4th loss in two seasons. The other three came against Carthage, who lost to China Spring in the third round of the playoffs.

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