Nacogdoches Rallies in Second Half to Beat Hallsville, 24-21
NACOGDOCHES -- The Nacogdoches Dragons overcame a 14-point halftime deficit with a big second half in capturing a 24-21 win over Hallsville at Dragon Stadium on Friday night.
Nacogdoches (3-1) capitalized on Hallsville’s turnovers in the second half, scoring 17 points after three fumbles. The Dragons also intercepted two passes, both of those late in the game to turn back threats by the Bobcats.
With the score tied at 14-14 late in the third quarter, Nacogdoches took its first lead of the game on an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown by sophomore Brandon Jones.
The Dragons increased the lead to 24-14 with 6:55 left to play on Rudy Fuentes’ 44-yard field goal.
But Hallsville (3-2) cut the score to 24-21 on quarterback Macailyn Wilder’s 14-yard touchdown pass to Andre Jones with 2:10 left in the game.
Hallsville then recovered an onside kick, but Wilder was intercepted by Nacogdoches’ Tabious Newsome.
After the Dragons punted again, Hallsville’s final possession ended with another interception, this one by Jadarrius Ervin. He returned it to Hallsville’s 2-yard line before the Dragons ran out the clock.
Hallsville led 14-0 at halftime on two scoring throws by Wilder, a 5-yarder to Jones and a 53-yarder to Jamil Young.
Nacogdoches was hurt by two fumbles and some crucial dropped passes in the first half. But the Dragons feasted on Hallsville’s mistakes in the second half.
Coronado Tolbert, who rushed for 111 yards 27 carries for Nacogdoches, scored on a 4-yard run on fourth down after Hallsville lost a fumble.
Nacogdoches closed to within 14-13 on quarterback Hunter McClellan’s 40-yard throw to Sam Morgan.
Jones’ 81-yard punt return and McClellan’s pass to Morgan on the two-point try gave the Dragons a 21-14 lead. McClellan threw for 149 yards in the game.
Wilder threw for 231 yards. Hallsville’s running game was limited to 39 yards.
Hallsville defensive tackle Dexter Ward had a huge game, making several tackles, including two sacks and other stops behind the line of scrimmage.
Nacogdoches’ defensive front turned back Hallsville’s offensive progress, although the Bobcats did manage some big plays to capture the 14-0 lead.