WHITEHOUSE — The Nacogdoches Dragons stayed alive in the postseason hunt by using a second-quarter scoring barrage en route to a 51-21 win over Whitehouse on Thursday.

After ending the first quarter in a 7-7 deadlock, the Dragons scored three touchdowns and a field goal in the second quarter — 10 points in the last minute of the half — to seize a 30-14 halftime edge.

Phillip Jones led a potent Dragons (4-5, 3-3 in District 16-5A) running game, as he carried the ball 29 times for 183 yards and two touchdowns.

Noah Hildebrand kept the Wildcats (2-7, 0-6) honest, completing 11 of 14 passes for 241 yards and four touchdowns.

Brandon Jones continued to log minutes on offense, scoring two touchdowns.

Whitehouse's Trent Williams (4) tries to break free of Nacogdoches' Josh Thompson during their game Thursday night in Whitehouse. (Jim Jackson, ETSN.fm)

After a slow start, the Dragons took an early 7-0 edge as Hildebrand hit speedster Alex Gregory for a 40-yard touchdown with 4:11 remaining in the first quarter.

Whitehouse answered on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Tanner Roach to Trent Williams to tie the game at 7-7 with 1:16 to play in the first.

From there, the Dragons started to take over.

Brandon Jones took a score in from 7 yards out with 8:46 left in the second quarter to kick off a scoring tear by the Dragons.

Hildebrand hit Kobe Pool in the corner of the endzone on a 19-yard pass with 3:35 left in the half to give the Dragons a 20-7 edge.

Whitehouse responded on a touchdown pass from Roach to Isaac Little with 56 seconds remaining in the half to cut the Dragons’ lead to 20-14.

But the Dragons weren’t content with a six-point halftime lead.

Hildebrand hit Brandon Jones for a 39-yard touchdown pass, and Chris Campos kicked a 37-yard field goal to give the Dragons a 30-14 advantage at intermission.

Nacogdoches’ control continued into the second half.

Phillip Jones scored two third-quarter touchdowns on rushes of 17 and 2 yards to bring the score up to 44-14.

Roach scored on a 6-yard keeper with 1:16 remaining in the third quarter to bring the Wildcats up to 21 points. It would be the last time the Wildcats reached the end zone.

With 10:41 left to play, Hildebrand hit Luther Berry for a 56-yard touchdown to seal the win at 51-21.

The Dragons close out the regular season hosting John Tyler at 7:30 p.m. next Friday, while Whitehouse travels to Lindale.

Whitehouse's Ken'tavian McDade (left) tries to bring down Nacogdoches' Josh Thompson (2) during their game Thursday night in Whitehouse. (Jim Jackson, ETSN.fm)