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Vaunted Rushing Attack Helps Kilgore Eliminate Unbeaten Gainesville, 30-14

(Noreen Nartia, ETSN.fm)

FORNEY — Kilgore had a face-off with a 12-0 team Friday night at City Bank Stadium — and it was the 12-0 team that blinked.

The Bulldogs handed Gainesville a 30-14 loss in the Class 3A Division I Region II final on Friday night, rolling up over 300 yards rushing in the process, and shutting down a Gainesville offense that had averaged about 40 points per game this year.

Kilgore (11-1) will face Stephenville next Friday night in Mansfield. The winner of that game will head to the 3A Division I state championship game on Dec. 14 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington against either Carthage or El Campo.

The Bulldogs scored on the second play of the game, a 50-yard pass from quarterback Cooper Coldiron to wide receiver DaQuavian Brewster. Gainesville tied the contest on an equally-impressive 58-yard pass from Denzel Johnson to wideout David Moore on its first possession.

Kilgore built a two-touchdown lead in the second quarter, getting a 1-yard scoring run from Cornelius Bell, and then a 23-yarder by Kevrin Justice (following an interception made by Kilgore corner Benny Colbert).

Gainesville got back within a touchdown when Moore caught a ball in the end zone off a tip. Gainesville kicker Hector Sagrero hit the extra point, and made it 21-14 Kilgore.

But the Bulldogs had stockpiled all three of their time outs, and although the Leopards pinned Kilgore back at its own 6-yard-line, Justice and Austin Jordan dug them out of the hole. Justice matched his number with a 24-yard run to get the Bulldogs to midfield, and Coldiron worked the sidelines, hitting Colbert for another first down. Aaron Foy pulled in a catch at Gainesville’s 17, close enough for Hector Peralez to hit a 34-yard field goal as time expired and send the Bulldogs to the half with a 10-point lead, 24-14.

Gainesville had its chances, but couldn’t convert on a fourth-and-2, missed a 45-yard field goal following a Kilgore fumble, and then, after a sack, again couldn’t convert, this time on a fourth-and-18.

Gainesville’s best chance came early in the fourth after Johnson had a 56-yard run down to Kilgore’s 11. But Peralez picked off Johnson on third down and long, and gave the Bulldogs back the ball at their own 5. Kilgore put together a 95-yard, clock-eating drive, ending with another 1-yard run by Bell. The point after was missed, but Kilgore held a 30-14 lead with exactly seven minutes to play. Brewster picked off another Johnson pass, his third interception of the night, to seal the win.

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