Kilgore's defense has been a huge reason for the Class 3A No. 4-ranked Bulldogs' 5-0 start.Junior defensive tackle LaDarrin Anthony had a big hand in keeping that record unblemished this past Friday.

Kilgore DT LaDarrin Anthony. (Courtesy Kilgore ISD)

Anthony had nine tackles and three sacks, the third of which saw him chase down Bullard quarterback Colton Mebane at the Panther 10-yard line to force a fumble that gave the Bulldogs the ball at the Bullard 2-yard line. Two plays later, Kilgore punched in the game-sealing touchdown and two-point conversion for a 27-14 lead -- the final score -- with 5:27 left in the game.

For his efforts, Anthony is the Dairy Queen Defensive Player of the Week.

"He just plays so hard. He works hard inside, gets off blocks. He just plays sideline to sideline every play," said Kilgore coach Mike Wood. "He's been like that. He played some for us last year and came on this year as a junior."

The 6-foot, 225-pound Anthony has 34 tackles, 11 for loss, 6 sacks, and two fumble recoveries in the Bulldogs' first five games.

Kilgore has held its first five opponents to 27 combined points, or 5.4 points per game. Players such as Anthony, standout middle linebacker A.J. Davis, and previous DQ Defensive Player of the Week winner Benny Colbert -- who blocked a field goal against Bullard -- are big reasons for the Dogs' defensive success.

"We've been able to win the turnover margin, and we've been able to just get some stops," Wood said of his team's defensive success. "We haven't completely shut down anybody offensively, but we've been able to get stops at times. We've gotten some turnovers at opportune. The biggest thing is we've been able to get off the field."

Kilgore is off this week before hosting Gladewater on Oct. 19.

Dairy Queen Defensive Players of the Week

Oct. 4-6: LaDarrin Anthony, DT, Kilgore
Sept. 27-29: Arqez Walton, LB, Henderson
Sept. 20-22: Benny Colbert, DB, Kilgore
Sept. 13-15: DeQuante Woods, DB, John Tyler
Sept. 6-8: Corey Bartley, FS, Longview
Aug. 30-Sept. 1: Coby Bradford, DE, Hallsville