Hawks’ Josh Gibson compares Caddo Mills to Gilmer Buckeyes

Caddo Mills
Freshman Jaylen Boardley hauls in a touchdown pass against Nevada Community. Boardley will also play in the secondary Friday night against unbeaten Caddo Mills in the Region II-4A Division II semifinals at Royse City. Photo by Kevin Cross


ROYSE CITY, Texas – If you looked in a mirror to see what the Caddo Mills football team looks like, you might see the Gilmer Buckeyes.

“Gilmer would be a real good comparison to Caddo Mills,” said Pleasant Grove coach Josh Gibson, whose Pleasant Grove team plays Friday in a Region II-4A Division II semifinal at RCISD Stadium. “Gilmer’s quarterback (Brandon Tennison) is really good. Caddo Mills’ quarterback (Tyler Townley) is probably just as good, may even be a better runner. He’s one of the best quarterbacks in the state, and that’s why they’re undefeated (11-0).

“Townley is not their whole team either. Like Gilmer, they’ve got a great team. They’re balanced, and really run the ball well. I would say Townley is sort of like a Johnny Manziel. Caddo Mills is definitely as good as Gilmer, or any team we might play the next three weeks.”

Caddo Mills
Pleasant Grove running back Logan Johnson (1) is touchdown bound. Photo by Kevin Cross

Caddo Mills quarterback is a stud

Townley’s statistics support Gibson’s evaluation. He has 1,134 yards on 109 carries, scoring 19 touchdowns. He’s completed 125 of 180 passes for 2,430 yards and 29 touchdowns, with only 7 interceptions.

Caddo Mills won District 6-4A, and never faced a real challenge. Nevada Community lost by two touchdowns to the Foxes, and was eliminated by the Hawks last week, 42-0. Pleasant Grove also eliminated Bullard, 55-21. The Foxes beat Bullard earlier this season, 61-7.

It’s no secret that Pleasant Grove must find a way to slow down Townley, who has a stable of good receivers.

Senior Gavyn Beane has 44 receptions for 762 yards and 12 touchdowns. Senior Cayden Davis has caught 30 passes for 772 yards and 8 TDs. Jett Saldivar and Jaden Lenamond have combined for another 31 receptions, 547 yards, and 7 TDs.

Tougher schedule helps Pleasant Grove

“Caddo Mills is just like Gilmer, Argyle and Carthage, they’re really good,” said Gibson. “One thing that is advantageous for us is that Caddo hasn’t played anyone like those three this year. We have played some of the best teams in the state. Four were ranked, including Paris. Caddo hasn’t played that type of schedule.”

Gibson and his staff have also made some lineup changes to prepare for the Foxes, with sophomore R.J. Collins and freshman Jaylen Boardley playing defense. Both have contributed this season at running back.

“We haven’t played Collins in the secondary since Week 1,” said Gibson. “He was injured four or five weeks, but he played last week and had a long touchdown run. Boardley is a gifted player. I think we’ll be better in the secondary.”

The winner of this game gets Gilmer or Sunnyvale for the Region II championship. The Hawks have won the last three regional titles.

Caddo Mills

In other regional games:

Region III-3A Semifinals

Elysian Fields (10-2) vs. Paul Pewitt (8-3), 7:30 p.m., Friday, Bear Stadium, Gladewater; winner advances to play West Rusk or Waskom.

Regular Season

Texas High (8-0, 5-0) at Nacogdoches (4-3, 3-2),  5 p.m.