TEXARKANA -- Texas High gave notice early that Friday's game against old rival Kilgore wouldn't be an instant classic.

Tigers quarterback and North Texas verbal commit Cade Pearson guided Texas High to a 21-0 first-quarter lead, then landed the knockout blows before halftime to send the Bulldogs home with a 44-0 loss.

Kilgore fell to 1-3 on the season and will Palestine next week to open District 9-4A Division I. Texas High (4-0) plays at Marshall in the 16-5A opener next Friday night.

Devuntay Walker got the Tigers on the scoreboard early, with 7:30 remaining in the first quarter, after a Kilgore drive stalled and a short punt gave Texas High great field position on the Kilgore 32-yard-line.

The Tigers' defense held Kilgore's vaunted running game in check, and after a second punt, Texas High doubled its lead on a 68-yard pass from Pearson to Quan Hampton. Hampton had another score later and finished with 97 yards and the two touchdowns on four catches.

A second touchdown pass from Pearson went to Tevailance Hunt, on another long play, 55 yards. The Tigers led 21-0 at the start of the second quarter.

Kilgore quarterback Buddy Jackson was injured midway through the first quarter and did not return. His replacement, Jay Copeland, completed 3-of-5 passes -- two to Cole Wood and one to Deiontrae Wheat -- but for just 17 yards.

The Bulldogs just couldn't find offense. But Texas High could, scoring 13 more points in the second quarter -- an 8-yard touchdown pass from Pearson to Hampton with 5:08 remaining, and then a 1-yard run by Markese Martin. Kilgore's Isaiah Smith blocked the extra point following the touchdown pass to Hampton, but the Tigers still led 34-0 at the half.

A 31-yard third-quarter field goal, and a 4-yard touchdown run by Chris Sutton were the only scores of the second half.

Kilgore's Melek Hamilton led the Bulldogs in rushing, but with only 28 yards.