Kilgore + Bullard, 16-3A’s Last Two Unbeatens, Square Off
NO. 4 KILGORE BULLDOGS (4-0, 1-0)
BULLARD PANTHERS (4-0, 0-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Panther Stadium, Bullard
Kilgore: Mike Wood
Bullard: Shannon Wilson
Kilgore: def. Spring Hill, 41-0
Bullard: at Gladewater
- QB Cooper Coldiron, Sr., 5-11, 170 (6 of 10, 115 yards, 1 TD; 4 carries, 34 yards last week vs. Spring Hill)
- CB Benny Colbert, Jr., 5-10, 175 (4 tackles, 1 INT for TD, 1 fumble recovery last week vs. Spring Hill)
- TE/MLB A.J. Davis, Sr., 6-0, 220 (14 tackles, 1 tackle for loss last week vs. Spring Hill)
- RB JuJu Brown, Jr. (9 carries, 36 yards, 2 TDs last week vs. Spring Hill)
- WR Nick Orange (2 catches, 48 yards, 1 TD last week vs. Spring Hill)
- OL Clay Wiley, Jr., 6-1, 280
- DT LaDarrin Anthony, Jr., 5-11, 225 (7 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 2 fumble recoveries last week vs. Spring Hill)
- QB Colton Mebane, Sr., 5-10, 180 (29 of 51, 557 yards, 6 TDs; 31 carries, 243 yards, 1 TD)
- WR Haden Bryant, Sr., 5-10, 170 (15 catches, 360 yards, 5 TDs)
- RB Brent Henderson, Soph., 5-10, 170 (46 carries, 386 yards, 8 TDs)
- RB Houston Alexander, Sr., 5-9, 170 (30 carries, 108 yards, 3 TDs)
- LB Zack Holladay, Sr., 5-10, 185
- DB Holden Bryant, Sr., 5-9, 150
- K Weston Gray, Sr., 5-8, 150
Just the facts
- The Kilgore Bulldogs have taken to their drop to 3A with great success thus far, outscoring opponents 145-13 through their first four games.
- Kilgore's closest game this season was a 24-7 win over Sweeny on Oct. 8, a game dominated by the Bulldogs' defense and special teams.
- After beginning the reason ranked outside the top 10 in the Associated Press poll, Kilgore has shot all the way up to No. 4.
- Bullard has been just as dominant, if not more so, than Kilgore. The Panthers are outscoring the opposition by an average score of 46-3.
- The Panthers are led offensively by the duo of Colton Mebane and Haden Bryant, who have accounted for more than half of Bullard's offense.
- This is the first-ever meeting between Kilgore and Bullard.
Key matchup: Bullard offensive line vs. Kilgore defensive front. This will without a doubt be the toughest test the Panthers have faced up to this point in the season. Bullard has had little trouble against the likes of Quitman, White Oak, Diboll and Huntington. But Kilgore presents an entirely different level of competition. Kilgore's size on both lines is comparable to teams at the elite 4A level, and its athleticism is on par with some of the best teams in the area, evidenced by the Bulldogs' run to the 4A state quarterfinals a season ago. Bullard's undersized,
yet quick, offensive line will have its hands full against a fast and physical Kilgore front led by defensive tackle LaDarrin Anthony and middle linebacker A.J. Davis. If Bullard is to have much success on the offensive side of the ball, the Panthers must give their playmakers ample time and space to operate.
- Bullard coach Shannon Wilson on the keys to a victory over Kilgore: “They’re a big zone run, power run team. We’re going to have to be able to run the game and be able to do the same offensively, picking and choosing between the run and the pass.”
- Wilson on the biggest challenges Kilgore present his team: “They’re a really good team and well coached. I think there’s a bunch of that in our district, so it’s just that we’re going to have to step up our game. They’re a quality team and we need to play at a high level.”
Don't be surprised if: Bullard attempts a lot of quick screens in the passing game and an array of draws and counters in the running game in the hopes of exploiting a fast and powerful defensive front. However, Colton Mebane must be aware of Kilgore's ball-hawking defensive back Benny Colbert, who has returned interceptions for touchdowns in each of the past two games. On paper, this appears to be a physical mismatch. But football games are decided on the field, where Bullard has been proving doubters wrong for the last two years.