Kilgore Hangs On To Defeat Gladewater, 35-28, For Third Consecutive Win
GLADEWATER -- Kilgore made things much closer than they had to be.
The result, though, Friday night was a finish that came down to the last play.
Gladewater's Marcello Jackson was stopped at the Kilgore 2-yard-line as time expired by a host of Kilgore defensive players, allowing the Bulldogs to escape with a 35-28 win, their third straight.
Kilgore (3-2) is off next week, then visits Palestine Oct. 9 to begin its district schedule. Gladewater (1-4) also has an open date, then starts district play Oct. 9 at Tatum.
The Bulldogs had a 21-point lead twice -- once at the end of the first quarter, then again with 8 1/2 minutes left in the game.
But the fourth quarter was the most interesting.
Kilgore quarterback Patrick Jackson scored with 8:25 remaining in the contest to give the Bulldogs a 35-14 lead, enough to potentially put the game away.
But the Bears got a little magic going -- a fourth-and-12 pass to Cameron Callaway from quarterback Blake Guthrie that resulted in a 32-yard touchdown. It seemed still like too little, too late, with Gladewater trailing, 35-21, with 5:18 to play.
But Kilgore fumbled on a snap that got past Jackson on the Bulldogs' next offensive series, allowing Gladewater to recover and take over at Kilgore's 14-yard-line. Marcello Jackson scored on first down, leaving Kilgore's lead at just seven, 35-28, with 3:55 left.
The Bulldogs managed to run off quite a bit of clock, but wound up with fourth-and-1 at their own 35 with just over a minute remaining. After an unsuccessful attempt to draw the Bears offsides, Kilgore punted. Gladewater took over with 59 seconds to play at its own 37.
With just 20 seconds remaining and the clock stopped after an incomplete pass and a Kilgore timeout, Guthrie had one final scare for the Kilgore fans. He threw to his left, completing a pass to fullback Justice Centers at the 1-yard-line. The clock stopped, of course, on the first down, and Guthrie ran to the line. He spiked the ball with eight seconds remaining, allowing Gladewater one more play.
Gladewater was flagged for delay of game, though, and the ball was moved back to the Kilgore 6. On what would be the game's final play, Jackson took the handoff and tried to bull into the end zone, but the Kilgore defense collapsed on him, tackling him at the 2, as time expired.
Jackson was huge for the Bears in the contest with 179 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries. Guthrie was 7-of-14 for 130 yards and the touchdown pass to Callaway.
Kilgore got two touchdowns each from running back Ja'Quorius Smith and from Jackson, and another touchdown from Melek Hamilton. Smith rushed for 124 yards on 22 carries and the two scores. Jackson was 5-of-7 for 67 yards -- one of them was a 33-yard pass to Chris Toombs.
Kilgore finished with 333 total yards.