GUNTER — They keep coming in waves, like killer bees.

GUNTER — They keep coming in waves, like killer bees.

Junior running backs Garrett Hunter, Kevin Teems and Seth Brewer have formed a partnership that has carried the Tigers into the area round of the playoffs for the seventh time in as many years. The Tigers (9-2) will take on undefeated Scurry-Rosser tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Class 2A Division II bracket at Mesquite’s Memorial Stadium.

On one series, opposing defenses will see Hunter in the backfield. Then they’ll see Teems on the next series and Brewer on the next.

"It’s good to keep fresh legs in there," Hunter said. "Everybody’s fresh and ready to go and can run at full speed. It really helps. Defenses get tired and we can put somebody else in there to get fresh legs."

All three are starters on defense for the Tigers. Hunter starts at free safety, and Teems and Brewer start at linebacker.

"They play off of each other, and all three of them do a great job," Gunter head coach Jake Fieszel said. "They all deserve to play, and they all do a great job. We’re thankful to have them."

To keep them fresh, Fieszel uses them one at a time in the Tiger offensive backfield. Normally it’s possession by possession, but if one running back breaks a long run, another is ready to fill in.

"The great thing is, there’s absolutely no selfishness between any of them," Fieszel said. "They’ve bought into the fact that for us to be good, we’ve got to have fresh legs out there all the time. We’ve also got to be able to play good defense."

Hunter is the leading rusher for the Tigers with more than 1,500 yards on the year. Against Clarksville last Thursday, he took more of a supporting role for his two cohorts, carrying only eight times for 51 yards in a 49-14 victory.

"He’s a tough, hard-nosed kid who runs real well between the tackles," Fieszel said. "He’s very reliable and we know we’re going to get 100 percent effort out of him every single time just like the other two. He’s had a fantastic year and we hope he continues."

Last week was a chance for both Teems and Brewer to grab the spotlight. Brewer carried 10 times for 138 yards and a touchdown, and Teems finished with 15 carries for 121 yards and a score as the Tigers topped the 600-yard plateau in total offense.

Brewer is a relative latecomer to the backfield arrangement who’s earned more and more touches as the season has progressed.

"Kevin’s a good change-of-pace guy," Fieszel said. "He hits the hole real hard. He’s a kid who’s also good between the tackles. Seth has shown that he can run it up in there too and he’s good going to the outside.

"All three of them have different things, but they bring a physical and tough style of running that we expect out of our backs."

One effect of such an effective running attack is it opens up the passing game, something Gunter hasn’t been known for. Junior quarterback Austen Gressett has thrown for 1,109 yards and nine touchdowns this season, with Rhett Taylor — one of only six Gunter seniors on the roster — catching 36 passes for 633 yards and five TDs. Spencer Lashley, yet another junior, has 16 catches for 262 yards and five TDs.

The big aerial play has been a huge part of Gunter’s success all year. Gressett completed 8-of-12 passes for 215 yards and two TDs last week.

"It gives us another threat," Fieszel said. "To get some of those throws over the top, sometimes you’ve got to get them down in there and get those safeties down and fill the alleyways. That goes back to our offensive line opening up holes for our running backs, our running backs running hard, and our receivers doing a good job of running good routes and Austen putting it on them."

The young Tigers expect to be put to the test tonight against Scurry-Rosser, which has a strong running back in Rodney Sample and a dual-threat quarterback in sophomore Paten Snell.

The Wildcats run the spread and are about 50-50 in running and passing, Fieszel said.

"They’re an explosive team that’s got some really good players," he said. "They’re well-coached on both sides of the ball. There’s a reason they’re 11-0; they’re really good. We know we’ll have to go out there and be ready to play a really good game, a mistake-free game, if we have an opportunity to win the game."

Optimism abounds at Gunter, not just for tonight’s playoff game but for the future.

"The whole junior class is a tight group," Fieszel said. "Our whole team is a tight group really, but those kids, it goes back to doing whatever it takes to help the team and those kids have bought into that for sure."

Hunter and the rest of the junior class at Gunter know they have a whole another year ahead of them, but the immediate task at hand is tonight’s game.

"It’s real exciting, but we try not to get overwhelmed," Hunter said. "We want to stay focused on this one year and see how far we can go."