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PRIDE: The Gilmer Buckeyes are ready for the Celina Bobcats

Ahead of the state semifinal matchup, the Buckeyes are prepared and so are the Gilmer faithful.

GILMER, Texas — It’s state semifinal time in the Texas high school football playoffs and only the crème de la crème make it this far.

“Every year, everybody keeps saying, 'Oh man, I hope we can go this year hoping go this year,' and of course we usually are playing football past Thanksgiving and willing to December every year," Elwyn Henderson said. "But we have the opportunity to do something we've never done this year. If we win, we will make it to back to back state championship games for the first time ever so we're all excited about that.”

Excitement seems to be an understatement, but half the city has already punched their tickets the state.

“Well, yeah, the city's been like harping on the state game like just kind of skipping over this game, just assuming that we're going to win,” team captain Cody Guidry said. “But here in the field house, that hasn't really been like worried about next week. I mean, we can see the finish line, but we've got to make it through this game before we can take the next step.”

Spoken like a true team captain -- one game at a time. Celina has a massive offensive line coming into this matchup,, but according to Coach Alan Metzel, adjustments are all a part of the game.

“We understand we're not going to be able to be stationary, you know, their right guard, that guy, he’ll just envelop you, you know, and you disappear,” Coach Metzel said. “So we've got to be able to move, we can't be just sitting in a gap. We've got to be able to do some stunning and we've got to do a great job of playing with leverage.”

Two offensive juggernauts going head to head Friday night, Gilmer being led by a veteran offense who can light it up in the air, and Celina led by a Gabe Gayton rushing attack, running down the clock.

Offensive efficiency is key this week, with Gilmer averaging 57.8 points per game in the postseason, and Celina right behind with 50, but the nerves and the preparation just doesn't get easier.

“I'm definitely nervous before a game he's just that competitor is a competitor and you want that have that urge to get out there and get that first play out the way and get the feel for opponent and just go out there," senior Jose Hernandez. "Have fun."