Kilgore Eases to 49-0 Rout of Little Cypress-Mauriceville to Begin Playoffs
LUFKIN -- The last time the Kilgore Bulldogs led a game 28-0, Center got break after break and came back from the four-touchdown deficit to score one of the biggest upsets of the season in East Texas.
But Thursday night, in the first round of the Class 4A Division I playoffs, there was no miracle comeback. There was Kilgore, with its foot on the gas pedal, not letting up until the game was won.
Kilgore routed Little Cypress-Mauriceville, 49-0, at Abe Martin Stadium, scoring three first-half touchdowns -- largely on LCM mistakes -- and cruising into the second round where the Bulldogs will face either El Campo or Houston Kashmere next week.
Kilgore moved to 8-3 on the season, and has now gotten out of the first round every time it has made the playoffs since 2002.
The Bulldogs got another big night from running back Briant Mumphrey, who had 170 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries. Ja'Vorie Hamilton also scored twice, and finished with 20 yards.
Quarterback Patrick Jackson had 88 yards on five carries, and only threw the ball four times. He was 3-of-4 for 34 yards, and a touchdown to, of all people, big Deundre Blanton, normally a defensive end who lined up as an eligible receiver.
Early on it appeared LC-M (4-5) might give Kilgore a test. The Bears, who played without starting running back/safety Chris Winters, owned the ball for almost the entire first half, but couldn't get out of their own way.
Kilgore forced them to punt on their first possession, and then the Bulldogs had to punt on theirs -- but punter Elian Torres hit a good punt, and Kilgore special teams downed it at LCM's own 1-yard-line.
The Bears put together a very solid drive, getting all the way to midfield, exactly, before having to punt. But the long snap got by the punter, and Kilgore took over at LCM's 16.
It took only one play, a rush by Mumphrey, and he was standing in the end zone. Elivan Torres, Elian's brother, hit the extra point and gave Kilgore a 7-0 lead with 3:08 left in the first quarter, a lead the Bulldogs would never relinquish.
LCM's next drive ended on a turnover on downs, when quarterback Ethan McCollum's fourth-down pass on fourth-and-14 fell incomplete.
Kilgore took over at its 33, and on the second play, Mumphrey hit a near-home run, going for 52 yards down to the LCM 2. He scored on the next play to double the Bulldogs' lead to 14-0, with 8:47 left in the half.
The Bears patched together their best drive of the night on the next one, a 16-play drive that began at their own 17 -- and ended with a McCollum fumble at Kilgore's 20.
Jackson and the Bulldogs marched downfield quickly, keeping it on the ground until they reached the Bears' 34. At that point, Jackson hit a pass to Mumphrey that the back took down to LCM's 13, and then a pass to Jonathan Shepherd got the Bulldogs 10 more yards. Jackson's next pass, a first-and-goal from the 3, was the touchdown to Blanton. Torres' extra point gave the Bulldogs a 21-0 lead at the half.
Kilgore scored four times in the second half: two 3-yard touchdowns by Hamilton midway through the third quarter and early in the fourth; a 60-yard interception return for a score by Sebastian Mumphrey; and a 3-yard score late in the game by Tristen Shaffer.
McCollum had one fumble at the Kilgore 1-yard-line that was recovered by the Bulldogs' Isaiah Smith, which led to the second touchdown by Hamilton.