BULLARD -- It wasn't easy, but the fourth-ranked Kilgore Bulldogs found a way to remain unbeaten on the season.

Kilgore overcame an early second-half deficit to defeat the Panthers, 27-14, Friday night in a battle of unbeatens at a packed Panther Stadium.

"We knew coming in here (Bullard was) a good football team and we were going to have to play them for four quarters, and that's what we had tonight; we had to battle them the whole ball game," Kilgore coach Mike Wood said. "We're lucky to come out of here with a win."

The Bulldogs (5-0, 2-0 in District 16-3A) dominated the time of possession in the second half, running 37 plays to just 10 for Bullard (4-1, 0-1).

"We quit making so many mistakes that we made in the first half, shooting ourselves in the foot," Wood said.

Kilgore quarterback Cooper Coldiron led the Bulldogs, completing 9 of 17 attempts for 148 yards and two touchdowns. He added 44 yards and two TDs on the ground.

"Cooper's been doing that for a long time," Wood said. "He was a great player on defense for us last year, and he's a great player for us on offense. He can do so many things for us, and he's kind of our field general out there. We knew he was going to need to have a good game tonight, and he was ready to step up and do it."

Receiver Aaron Foy had five receptions for 121 yards both scoring receptions.

Bullard managed just 166 yards of offense -- only 48 in the second half -- and turned it over three times.

"We played really hard; we always play hard," Bullard coach Shannon Wilson said. "We made some mistakes that we normally don't make that really hurt us I think. We weren't able to capitalize on a few plays we needed to. But I'm proud of my guys."

Bullard took a 14-13 lead early in the third quarter when quarterback Colton Mebane hit Zack Holladay, who outraced the Kilgore defense for a 58-yard touchdown.

Kilgore, however, answered right back by driving 85 yards in 11 plays. Coldiron's 13-yard pass to fullback Cornelius Bell set Kilgore up with first-and-goal inside the 1, and Coldiron sneaked it in from there. The PAT was no good, but Kilgore went up 19-14 with 4:35 remaining in the third quarter.

Bullard went three-and-out on the ensuing possession, and Kilgore went back to work. The Bulldogs kept the ball for nine plays and more than four minutes, but had to punt it back to Bullard with 10:22 to go in the fourth.

The Panthers took advantage of a Kilgore personal foul penalty to extend their next drive, but went backward after that, ultimately punting it back to Kilgore with 8:14 to go.

The Bullard defense held strong, forcing Kilgore into a three-and-out, and got the ball back at its own 18-yard line with 6:20 showing on the clock.

However, on the first play of the drive, Kilgore's LaDarrin Anthony overpowered the Bullard offensive line and stripped Mebane. The ball was recovered by DaQuellan Scott at the Bullard 2, and two plays later, Coldiron put the game away with a 2-yard TD. He hit Benny Colbert on the two-point conversion, putting Kilgore ahead 27-14 with 5:27 remaining.

"Our kids up front were working hard, they worked hard all ball game," Wood said. "They sprinted to him right there and were able to get it pressed up and get a big hit on him right there and get a big turnover. That kind of put the game away."

Kilgore attempted a squibb kick, but the ball ricocheted off a Bullard player and was recovered by the Bulldogs, who ran out the remaining time on the clock.

Bullard took the game's first lead on the Panthers' first drive of the night. After a 40-yard completion from Mebane to Haden Bryant on the Panthers' first play from scrimmage, Brentavian Henderson ran it in from a yard out to give Bullard a 7-0 lead less than three minutes into the game.

Kilgore responded four plays later when Coldirion hit Foy in stride for a 49-yard touchdown pass, trying the game at 7-7.

The Bulldogs added to their lead after Q. Brewster intercepted Mebane, his second pick of the first half. Again it was Coldirion finding Foy, this time for a 24-yard touchdown. The snap was mishandled and the PAT was no good, leaving Kilgore up 13-7 midway through the second quarter.

Kilgore is off next week, while Bullard travels to Gladewater.

"This is going to be a long district race," Wilson said. "Everyone's good and it's going to be a battle every week. We've just got to put this one behind us and move on to the next week."

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No. 4 Kilgore 27, Bullard 14
At Panther Stadium, Bullard
Kilgore          7    6    6    8    --    27
Bullard          7    0    7    0    --    14
First Quarter
BUL--Brentavian Henderson 1 run (Weston Gray kick), 9:13.
KIL--Aaron Foy 49 pass from Cooper Coldiron (Hector Peralez kick), 7:17.
Second Quarter
KIL--Foy 24 pass from Coldiron (kick failed), 6:47.
Third Quarter
BUL--Zack Holladay 58 pass from Colton Mebane (Gray kick), 9:28.
KIL--Coldiron 1 run (kick failed), 4:35.
Fourth Quarter
KIL--Coldiron 2 run (Benny Colbert pass from Coldiron), 5:27.

                                             KIL                BUL
First Downs                              17                   10
Rushes-Yards                    47-190               30-51
Passing Yards                         148                 115
Comp.-Att.-Int.                    9-17-1             4-13-2
Punts-Avg.                          5-33.0             4-32.2
Fumbles-Lost                           1-0                  2-1
Penalties-Yards                     10-95                5-40

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING--Kilgore, JuJu Brown 21-88, Cooper Coldiron 9-44, Austin Jordan 12-30, Cornelius Bell 4-27, Kevrin Justice 1-1. Bullard, Colton Mebane 14-29, Brentavian Henderson 7-19, Houston Alexander 8-10, Jess Wood 1-(-7).
PASSING--Kilgore, Coldiron 9-17-1--148. Bullard, Mebane 4-13-2--115.
RECEIVING--Kilgore, Aaron Foy 5-121, Q. Brewster 2-7, Bell 1-13, Nick Orange 1-7. Bullard, Haden Bryant 2-48, Zack Holladay 1-58, Wood 1-9.

Bullard's Houston Alexander is brought down by Kilgore's LaDarrin Anthony on Friday in Bullard. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

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