The 2013 football season has been one of redemption for the Kilgore Bulldogs, who have avenged their only two losses from 2012 and are one win from their second-ever state championship.

Kilgore went 11-2 last season, its first in Class 3A after dropping from 4A during realignment. Its only two defeats came to eventual 3A D-II state finalist Gilmer, 20-14, in the regular-season finale and to eventual 3A D-I champion Stephenvile -- 42-32 in the state semifinals.

The Bulldogs exercised those demons this year by taking out Gilmer for the District 16-3A title with a thrilling 34-29 win in the regular season's final week, and delivering a convincing 44-6 state-semifinal win over Stephenville.

Kilgore (14-0) enters Friday's Class 3A Division I state final against old rival Carthage (14-1) having outscored its last three playoff opponents by a cumulative score of 159-46.

Below is a recap of every game Kilgore has played this season, complete with a hyperlink to a story from each contest. We hope you enjoy reflecting on one of the best seasons in a storied program's history as you prepare for Friday's all-East Texas showdown in JerryWorld.

2013 Kilgore Bulldogs

Season Review

Non-district

  • Aug. 30 -- Kilgore 42, Marshall 7
  • Recap: The Bulldogs set the tone for a run to the championship game early by picking off a pass on the first play of the season en route to 28 first-half points and an easy season-opening win.

 

  • Sept. 6 -- Bye
  • Recap: After Sweeny backed out of its two-year agreement with Kilgore, the Bulldogs attempted to replace the opponent with Lubbock Estacado, which also reneged during the summer.

 

  • Sept. 13 -- Kilgore 56, Pine Tree 7
  • Recap: The Bulldogs erupted for 35 points before halftime, scored twice in a seven-second span in the second half and dominated a Pine Tree offense that had score more than 100 points in its first two games.

 

  • Sept. 20 -- Kilgore 48, Mount Pleasant 20
  • Recap: Kilgore dominated its third third consecutive Class 4A opponent by accounting for more than 440 rushing yards on a rain-soaked Friday night.

 

District 16-3A

Kilgore's Stefun Tatum (4) celebrates a recovered Gilmer fumble during the Bulldogs' 34-29 home win on Nov. 8. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)
  • Sept. 27 -- Kilgore 41, Spring Hill 12
  • Recap -- The Bulldogs began "District of Doom" play in dominating fashion as junior running back Kevrin Justice rushes for 100 yards and four touchdowns.

 

  • Oct. 4 -- Kilgore 49, Bullard 7
  • Recap -- Kilgore's dominating ways continued with a 35-point first quarter, which began with Justice's 59-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage.

 

  • Oct. 11 -- Bye
  • Recap -- Having begun the district schedule with easy wins over 16-3A's eventual sixth- and seventh-place teams, Kilgore rested for the stretch run.

 

  • Oct. 18 -- Kilgore 24, Gladewater 6
  • Recap -- In a game marred by 10 combined turnovers, Kilgore continued its winning ways on the strength of a 14-point first quarter thanks to a pair of Justice touchdown runs.

 

  • Oct. 25 -- Kilgore 42, Chapel Hill 25
  • Recap -- After building a 19-point lead after three quarters, Kilgore withstood a Chapel Hill rally by putting the game away in the fourth on two of Justice's four touchdown runs on the night.

 

  • Nov. 1 -- Kilgore 63, Henderson 10
  • Recap -- The Bulldogs allowed Henderson the game's first touchdown, but dominated in every facet after that, scoring 42 points and limiting longtime rival Henderson to only one first down in the second half.

 

  • Nov. 8 -- Kilgore 34, Gilmer 29
  • Recap -- In a classic played before more than 8,000 fans, the "District of Doom" championship was won after Justice's 22-yard touchdown run with 1:38 remaining that capped an eight-play, 62-yard drive that followed a Gilmer touchdown and go-ahead two-point conversion with 5:02 to go.

 

Class 3A Division I Region II Bi-district Playoff

Kilgore's Benny Colbert fires a pass during a 49-7 first-round playoff victory over Van at Lindale's Eagle Stadium on Nov. 15. (Mike Davis, ETSN.fm)
  • Nov. 15 -- Kilgore 49, Van 7
  • Recap -- The Bulldogs began the postseason with an offensive performance than eclipsed 500 yards, including a 166-yard, three-touchdown performance by quarterback Benny Colbert.

 

Class 3A Division I Region II Area Playoff

  • Nov. 22 -- Kilgore 21, Kaufman 14
  • Recap -- Kilgore survived its closest call of the season when Colbert, who started at cornerback last season before moving to quarterback full-time this year, deflected a pass for an incompletion on fourth down late in the fourth quarter.

 

Class 3A Division I Region II Semifinal

Kilgore's Aaron Foy is forced out of bounds by Frisco Lone Star's Chris Miller during the Bulldogs' 56-21 regional-semifinal playoff win on Nov. 29 in Forney. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)
  • Nov. 29 -- Kilgore 56, Frisco Lone Star 21
  • Recap -- Kilgore set up an all-District of Doom showdown with Chapel Hill for the regional title by piling up almost 500 rushing yards in a dominating regional-semifinal win that also included 10 sacks and two interceptions on defense.

 

Class 3A Division I Region II Final

Kilgore's Joseph Shepherd is wrapped by Chapel Hill kicker Johnny Bonilla on a kickoff return during Kilgore's 59-19 regional-final playoff win Dec. 6 in Tyler. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)
  • Dec. 6 -- Kilgore 59, Chapel Hill 19
  • Recap -- In the rematch from the regular-season, Kilgore took advantage of great field position to build a 31-6 halftime lead in an impressive win that included three 100-yard rushers on a bitterly cold night at Tyler's Rose Stadium.

 

Class 3A Division I State Semifinal

Kilgore's Kevrin Justice runs for yardage during the Bulldogs' 44-6 state-semifinal win over Stephenville on Dec. 14 in Corsicana. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)
  • Dec. 14 -- Kilgore 44, Stephenville 6
  • Recap -- The Bulldogs did whatever they wanted in their semifinal rematch with Stpehenville, finishing with nearly 500 rushing yards and holding a potent Yellow Jackets offense to 41 points and 265 yards below its season average.

 

Class 3A Division I State Championship

  • Dec 20 -- Kilgore (14-0) vs. Carthage (14-1), 12 p.m. Friday, AT&T Stadium in Arlington