Gunter mashes Millsap to advance to the third round

Herald Democrat
Gunter's Lane Dophied snags an interception during the Tigers' victory against Millsap in a Class 3A Division II Region II area round game.

GRAPEVINE — The Gunter Tigers produced another dominating performance in a season full of them as they advanced to the third round of the playoffs with a 62-12 victory over Millsap in a Class 3A Division II Region II area round match-up at Mustang-Panther Stadium.

Gunter (12-0), which scored at least 60 points in consecutive games for the first time since it was playing eight-man football in 1968, will face either Palmer or Dublin the region semifinals at 2 p.m. on Friday. The location will depend on the opponent.

Hudson Graham ran for 141 yards and three touchdowns on five carries to go with 7-of-10 passing for 92 yards and two TD passes with an interception, Ashton Bennett had five carries for 74 yards and a score, Ethan Sloan totaled 63 yards and a TD on five carries and Cannon Lemberg finished with four catches for 31 yards and a touchdown for the Tigers, who did all their scoring in the first 20 minutes of the game.

Cole Lemons' lone reception for the other TD pass by Graham while Brayden Hinton and Ivy Hellman also scored on the ground for Gunter.

Millsap (6-6) had its best season since 1999 after earning just the second playoff win in program history last week to advance. The Bulldogs scored twice in the fourth quarter and became just the fifth team this season to score in double figures against Gunter.

Millsap opened the game with an onside kick but failed to recover it and Graham finished off the short drive with an 18-yard TD run.

The Tigers went up 14-0 when Graham hit Lemons for an 11-yard receiver screen on the right side.

Graham widened the gap when he got loose down the right sideline for a 70-yard touchdown run.

Bennett pushed Gunter’s advantage to 28-0 on a four-yard run with two-and-half-minutes left in the first and Hinton scored on an eight-yard run as the Tigers picked up their fifth TD of the first quarter.

It didn’t take long for Gunter to score again in the second quarter. Cooper Wade came up with an interception and Sloan raced 35 yards on a touchdown run 20 seconds into the frame.

Less than a minute later Graham notched his final TD run — this one from 39 yards out — and it was a 56-0 margin when Hellman took a toss left 15 yards to reach the end zone.

Lane Dophied had an interception which set up Gunter’s final touchdown of the night. Graham connected with Lemberg in the right side of the end zone and he pulled in the 10-yard pass over a defender, using only his right hand, to make it 62-0 with 4:14 left on the clock in the first half.

It is the seventh time this season that Gunter has scored at least 50 points and the Tigers are into the third round for the sixth straight season.