Nacogdoches Hammers Kilgore, 48-21
NACOGDOCHES – It was supposed to be a matchup of playoff contenders. For much of the first half, it was.
Then Nacogdoches turned on the afterburners.
The Dragons scored 17 points in the second quarter at home Friday night and jumped out to a big lead against rival Kilgore, then held off the Bulldogs for a 48-21 win.
Phillip Jones had a 60-yard run for Nacogdoches (1-0), Noah Hildebrand and Jed Morgan connected on a 42-yard scoring strike and the Chris Campos-Gonzalez booted a 44-yard field goal as time expired in the half to blow the contest open.
Texas commitment Josh Thompson started the second half with a 95-yard kick return to all but finished Kilgore (0-1), which hosts Gladewater next Friday night. Nacogdoches will host Lufkin.
Kilgore failed to convert a first down on its first possession, and the Dragons’ initial possession of the year ended with a field goal from 30 yards out by Campos-Gonzalez -- after Kilgore’s A.J. Henson tipped away a sure-thing pass in the end zone from Hildebrand to Jaylon Maxie.
Nacogdoches extended its lead to 10-0 on a 9-yard pass from Hildebrand to Maxie then saw Kilgore cut into that lead on a 2-yard scoring run by Jamal Nobles. Nobles set up his own score by rumbling 28 yards the play before, on a fourth-and-1.
Jones reeled off the 60-yard run to put Nacogdoches back up by 10 points, 17-7, and then Hildebrand tossed the ball up to Morgan, who caught it at the goal line and managed to score on the 42-yard play.
Kilgore turned the ball over on the ensuing kickoff. The end result was Campos-Gonzalez’s 44-yard field goal at the end of the half.
Thompson got free for the lengthy kickoff return for a touchdown to open the second half, and Isaiah Smith scored two rushing touchdowns later in the act to cap Dragons’ scoring.
Kilgore scored two second-half touchdowns, both from running back Melek Hamilton; a 3-yarder and a 68-yarder.
Nacogdoches finished with 487 total yards, including 121 rushing yards by Jones. Hildebrand was 18-of-24 for 255 yards and the touchdown passes.
The Dragons only punted the ball twice in the game.
Kilgore quarterback Patrick Jackson went 9-of-10 for 132 yards, including seven completions to Cole Wood and one to Deiontrae Wheat for 54 yards. Jackson also ran for 45 yards.
Hamilton finished with 88 yards on nine carries and the two scores.