PRINCETON — One thing was certain about Thursday night’s Class 2A Division II bi-district opener: A blue-clad group of Tigers was going to win.

PRINCETON — One thing was certain about Thursday night’s Class 2A Division II bi-district opener: A blue-clad group of Tigers was going to win.


Austen Gressett, Spencer Lashley, Rhett Taylor and a host of other Gunter players made certain it was their team that came out on top.


"Like I told the kids after the game, if you want to get on any run, you’ve got to win the first one," Gunter head coach Jake Fieszel said. "It was a great team effort tonight."


Gressett passed for 215 yards and two touchdowns, Lashley ran for two scores and caught a third, Taylor ran and caught for one each, and Gunter overpowered Clarksville, 49-14, at Jackie Hendricks Stadium.


"We just went out there and did what we were coached to do," Gressett said. "We just played Gunter football, pretty much."


Seth Brewer ran for 138 yards and a score, and Kevin Teems added 121 yards and a TD as Gunter (9-2) won its seventh bi-district game in as many years. The Tigers will play Scurry-Rosser next weekend in the area round.


Lashley finished with three catches for 98 yards, and Taylor added three catches for 70 yards.


"The passing game helps us a lot," Gressett said, "since we’re known for running."


Terrence Tinnell ran for a touchdown and threw for another for Clarksville (4-7), which is expected to "drop" back to the new Class 2A in the upcoming UIL realignment.


Garrett Hunter and Troy Watson each had interceptions for Gunter.


Clarksville showed some fight early, but wore down as the game progressed and Gunter kept rotating in fresh running backs, mixing in a few devastating passes.


"They were packed in there," Fieszel said. "We knew they had some physical guys in there too, and we knew we had to throw a little early to loosen them up. Austen Gressett did a great job, and our receivers and our backs did a good job catching the ball."


After Gressett’s 14-yard pass to Taylor gave Gunter the lead with 7:06 left in the first quarter, Clarksville drove 54 yards and scored on Tinnell’s sneak from the 1. But the extra-point try by Frankie Olguin was low and blocked at the line, keeping Gunter in the lead.


The rest of the half was all Gunter as the Tigers were never forced to punt.


First, Teems took in a toss sweep late in the first to bump the lead to 14-6. Then Brewer ran another toss four yards; Gressett hit Lashley deep for a 44-yard TD; and finally, Lashley ran in untouched from a yard out for a 35-6 advantage at the break.


Taylor showed his running chops in the third quarter, taking a reverse 44 yards to the house.


"He’s the fastest kid on the team," Gressett said.


Teems almost scored Gunter’s final touchdown when he broke loose 50 yards before being hauled down at the 1. Lashley eased in up the middle to complete Gunter’s activity.


Tinnell rounded out the final score for Clarksville on a deep 50-yard pass to Gemack Woodberry with 4:20 left in the game.


"It was an overall team effort," Fieszel said. "The offensive line played great, the quarterbacks, the receivers, the backs, the defense. That’s an explosive team over there. They’ve been scoring some points."


Thursday’s game


UIL playoffs


Bi-district round


Class 2A Division II


At Princeton


Gunter 49, Clarksville 14


Gunter 14 21 7 7 — 49


Clarksville 6 0 0 8 — 14


FIRST QUARTER


G — Rhett Taylor 14 pass from Austen Gressett (Brian Sommers kick), 7:06


C — Terrence Tinnell 1 run (kick blocked), 4:59


G — Kevin Teems 1 run (Sommers kick), 1:15


SECOND QUARTER


G — Seth Brewer 4 run (Sommers kick), 10:05


G — Spencer Lashley 44 pass from Gressett (Sommers kick), 3:31


G — Lashley 1 run (Sommers kick), 0:27


THIRD QUARTER


G — Taylor 44 run (Sommers kick), 2:16


FOURTH QUARTER


G — Lashley 1 run (Sommers kick), 5:47


C — Gemack Woodberry 50 pass from Tinnell (Woodberry pass from Tinnell), 4:20


Stats Gunter Clarksville


First downs 21 13


Rushes-yards 48-394 16-68


Passing yards 215 148


C-A-I 8-12-0 16-31-2


Punts-average 2-33.0 6-35.3


Penalties-yards 7-56 11-80


Fumbles-lost 5-1 1-0


Individual statistics


Rushing — Gunter: Seth Brewer 10-138, Kevin Teems 15-121, Garrett Hunter 8-51, Rhett Taylor 1-44, Edgar Fuentes 6-27, Spencer Lashley 5-10, Austen Gressett 3-3; Clarksville: Jacqualein Coleman 6-52, Desmond Duckett 2-9, Terrence Tinnell 8-7.


Passing — Gunter: Austen Gressett 8-12-0 215; Clarksville: Terrence Tinnell 16-29-2 148, Gemack Woodberry 0-1-0 0, Jacqualein Coleman 0-1-0 0.


Receiving — Gunter: Spencer Lashley 3-98, Rhett Taylor 3-70, Hadley Johnson 2-47; Clarksville: Gemack Woodberry 3-73, Rayzon Allen 3-33, Desmond Duckett 1-20, Duanea Brown 2-16, Jacqualein Coleman 7-12.