Mistakes Cost Kilgore In 25-21 Loss To Gladewater
KILGORE — A last-second loss on a field goal, a touchdown pass allowed in the final seconds in Houston, a triple-overtime defeat at Texas High, and now a bizarre third quarter against Gladewater have added up against the Kilgore Bulldogs.
Last year’s Class 3A Division I state championship game participant wrapped up its non-district schedule with a 25-21 loss at home against Gladewater.
The Bulldogs (1-4) will take next Friday, Oct. 3, as their open date, and then begin District 9-4A Division I play at home against Palestine on Oct. 10.
They’ll likely want a better third quarter that day than they had Friday night against the Bears (4-1).
The first half saw just one touchdown scored, a 14-yard run by Kilgore tailback Kevrin Justice. The Bulldogs had reached Gladewater’s 1-yard-line moments before, but they were stopped on fourth and goal.
The Bears were unable to move the football and punted the ball back to Kilgore, who took over at Gladewater’s 28-yard-line.
Quarterback Xavier Gaona hit Vic Wallace for a 14-yard gain, and then Justice broke free for the go-ahead score. Livan Torres hit the extra point to give Kilgore a 7-0 halftime lead.
Then things got weird.
Kilgore’s William Colbert broke the opening kickoff for a 96-yard touchdown, and Kilgore took the two-score lead, 14-0.
Gladewater quarterback Nick Canaguier hooked up with teammate Caleb Williams down the middle, and Williams was loose, but was caught from behind by three Kilgore defenders. Williams lost his handle on the ball, and the pack of Kilgore players fell on it at the Bulldogs’ 1.
Two plays later, though, Gladewater did score — a safety, when the Bears’ defensive front wrapped up Justice in the end zone.
Leading 14-2, Kilgore kicked the ball back to the Bears. Kilgore’s defense got a stop, and the Bears punted, leaving the Bulldogs in horrible field position again at their own 4.
Incredibly, it was the same result. Justice was swarmed by Gladewater defenders, who got him in the end zone for the second safety.
There was a big play, though. Kilgore’s Trey Tinney was Johnny on the spot when Canaguier and running back James Reese couldn’t connect on a pitch-out. The result was a fumble, which Tinney picked up and raced to the opposite end zone for a 60-plus-yard score.
Kilgore led 21-4, but that would be all the Bulldogs would get.
After the kickoff, Gladewater managed to drive the ball into Kilgore territory. Canaguier hooked up with teammate Cameron Calloway. Calloway got free for a 46-yard score and Gladewater trailed by just 10, 21-11.
Kilgore took the kickoff and disaster struck. On first down, the Bulldogs fumbled the ball back to Gladewater, which took over at Kilgore’s 14.
Canaguier scored four plays later on a 2-yard run and cut Kilgore’s lead to just three, 21-18.
Kilgore got the kickoff yet again, and on that drive’s third play, there was a mishandled snap. The Bears fell on the loose ball once again and scored a few plays later on a 27-yard throw from Canaguier to Wade.
That would be the final score of the contest, coming in the waning seconds of the third quarter.
For Kilgore, Gaona was 12-of-17 for 117 yards, to four different receivers. Nick Orange had seven of those catches for 59 yards.
The Bulldogs were held to 43 yards rushing in the contest, far below their 300-yards-per-game average. Justice led the way with 34 yards and the first-half touchdown.
Gladewater’s offense did little the first half, but Canaguier finished 15-of-22 for 188 yards and two touchdowns. The Bears had 147 rushing yards, led by Justice Centers, who had 43.