Already-Eliminated Henderson Surprises Rival Kilgore With 30-10 Upset Victory
HENDERSON -- The Henderson Lions lived up to the "archrival" moniker on Friday night, dealing their biggest rival, the Kilgore Bulldogs, a setback the week before Kilgore enters the Class 4A postseason.
Henderson used a three-pronged running attack of Matthew Childers, J.T. Boone and Trae Hall, rolling up over 400 yards rushing, to hand Kilgore a 30-10 loss.
Kilgore (7-3) hadn't lost since the second week of the regular season. The Bulldogs are the District 9-4A Division I champions, and will play their first-round playoff game Thursday night in Lufkin against an opponent to be determined.
Henderson was playing strictly for pride Friday night. The Lions had been eliminated from the postseason contention last week with a loss at Chapel Hill. But they held Kilgore off the scoreboard in the first quarter, then executed a 95-yard drive to take a lead they would not relinquish.
Childers, the Lions' starting quarterback, scored on a 7-yard run after connecting with Tariq Gray on a 24-yard pass to Kilgore's 7-yard-line. The Lions missed a two-point conversion, but took a 6-0 advantage.
The highlight of the second quarter was a 65-yard run by Kilgore tailback Ja'Quorius Smith, from the shadow of his goal line to Henderson's 35. But Kilgore had a penalty and lost yards on two running plays, and wound up not getting any points off the drive. Linebacker Isaiah Smith had given Kilgore the ball when he intercepted a pass by Childers at Kilgore's 2.
The only other score of the first half was an 18-yard field goal by Henderson's Julio Cervantes, just before halftime. The Lions led 9-0 at the break.
Henderson extended its lead in the third quarter on a 36-yard run by Hall, and then Kilgore finally got on the scoreboard midway through the quarter on a 15-yard pass from Patrick Jackson to receiver Jesus Avalos, who was all alone in the back of the end zone. Kilgore's score left the Bulldogs behind, 17-7.
Kilgore got as close as a touchdown back with a 39-yard field goal by Christian Galvan with 9:17 left in the game, but on the first down after the kickoff, Childers broke the game open on a 75-yard touchdown run.
Henderson managed to keep the ball for most of the game's final seven minutes, with Boone scoring from 2 yards out with just under 30 seconds to play.