Brownsboro Tries to Throw Wrench In Kilgore’s District Title Plans
DISTRICT 9-4A DIVISION I
Brownsboro Bears (4-4, 2-1)
Kilgore Bulldogs (6-2, 3-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium, Kilgore
- Brownsboro: Jason Hooker
- Kilgore: Mike Wood
- Brownsboro: vs Palestine, Nov. 6
- Kilgore: at Henderson, Nov. 6
- QB/ATH Tamrick Pace, Sr., 6-2, 190 (27 of 50, 396 yards, 8 TDs, 5 INTs; 137 carries, 1,193 yards, 11 TDs)
- QB/DL Wyatt Rinehart, Jr., 6-3, 195 (10 of 30, 100 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs; 65 carries, 414 yards, 8 TDs; 31 tackles, 4 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery, 1 PBU)
- WR/DB Xavier Richardson, Sr., 5-10, 155 (14 catches, 205 yards, 4 TDs; 55 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 1 recovery, 1 PBU)
- WR/DB Jamal Bell, Jr., 6-2, 165 (19 catches, 341 yards, 5 TDs; 15 carries, 63 yards; 33 tackles, 1 INT, 3 PBUs)
- RB Kevon Thompson, Soph., 6-1, 165 (81 carries, 463 yards, 2 TDs)
- LB Caleb Seale, Sr. (63 tackles, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 INT, 1 PBU)
- DB Clayton Orr, Jr. (37 tackles, 1 INT, 5 PBUs)
- DB Brailyn Brimage, Sr., 5-11, 155 (49 tackles, 1 INT, 1 PBU, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
- RB Ja’Quorius Smith, Sr., 5-10, 180 (125 carries, 1,009 yards, 12 TDs)
- QB Patrick Jackson, Soph., 5-9, 150 (34 of 57, 372 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT; 99 carries, 543 yards, 5 TDs)
- WR Jonathan Shepherd, Soph., 6-3, 180 (5 catches, 70 yards)
- WR Cole Wood, Jr., 6-1, 170 (8 catches, 93 yards, 1 TD)
- LB Ty Wallace, Soph. (76 tackles, 4 for loss, 2 sacks, 5 QB pressures, 2 forced fumble, 2 recoveries, 1 PBU)
- LB Mason Shelton, Sr., 5-9, 200 (83 tackles, 3 for loss, 2 sacks, 5 QB pressures, 1 fumble recovery)
- WR/DB Chris Toombs, Sr., 5-11, 185 (5 catches, 104 yards; 54 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT, 8 PBUs)
- DB Mateo Meraz, Jr. (46 tackles, 1 for loss, 4 INT, 5 PBUs, 1 fumble recovery)
Just the facts
- Kilgore and Brownsboro have met just once since 1980, and that was last season’s 27-7 Kilgore victory.
- A Kilgore win would clinch the district’s No. 1 seed in the Class 4A Division I playoffs.
- Brownsboro is averaging 29.5 points and 364.6 yards per game — 292.3 rushing and 72.3 passing.
- The Bears are currently in position to make the playoffs for the first time since 2010.
- Brownsboro’s four wins have come against Quinlan Ford, Rusk, Chapel Hill, and Henderson, which are a combined 10-22 on the season.
- Kilgore is averaging 27.8 points and 279.8 yards per game — 229.4 rushing and 50.4 passing.
- The Bulldogs are allowing 19.9 points and 328.1 yards per game — 148 rushing and 180.1 passing.
- Kilgore is in the playoffs for the 19th time in the last 21 seasons.
Key matchup: Brownsboro running game vs. Kilgore defense. The Bears have surprised most of East Texas with its push for the playoffs this season. However, there is still work to be done, and this week’s test against district-leading Kilgore could be Brownsboro’s toughest to date. After beginning 9-4A Division I play with consecutive wins over Chapel Hill and Henderson, Brownsboro stumbled last week on the road at Carthage, but still controls its own playoff destiny. A win either this week or next week against Palestine (1-7, 0-3) will clinch the Bears’ first playoff trip since the 2010 season. Standing in the way from getting the job done before the final week of the regular season is a Kilgore team that’s in the midst of a six-game winning streak.
And like most Kilgore teams, the Bulldogs are led by their defense. For the season, Kilgore is allowing a shade less than 20 points per game, but during district play, Kilgore has held league foes Palestine, Carthage, and Chapel Hill to just 35 total points. While not as stout up front as in years past (Kilgore enters with 12.5 sacks as a team in eight games), the Bulldogs are forcing turnovers. For the year, Kilgore has recorded six interceptions and recovered five fumbles, which has helped the team overcome being outgained on average by almost 50 yards.
Brownsboro did not score until late in the third quarter in last week’s loss to Carthage. Senior quarterback Tamrick Pace, who’s been the Bears’ biggest offensive weapon, was injured early in the Carthage game and never returned. The game-time status of Pace, who has rushed for a team-best 1,193 yards and 11 touchdowns, is unclear at this point. If the Bears are to pull off the upset, Pace will need to be close to 100 percent. Without him in the game against Carthage, the Brownsboro offense sputtered, registering just 300 yards — most of which occurred after the Bears had fallen behind, 42-0.
Don’t be surprised if: Kilgore loads the box in order to stop Brownsboro’s ground attack. Passing offense has not been the Bears’ strong suit this season. Brownsboro has used three different quarterbacks so far, and they’ve combined to complete 43.5 percent of their passes with eight interceptions in 92 attempts. Pace has been Brownsboro’s most effective thrower with a completion percentage right at 54 percent, and with Kilgore’s defense focusing most of its efforts into penetrating the backfield to slow down the Brownsboro running game, whichever quarterback gets the call Friday night will likely need to make a few plays through the air. In those situations, it will be up to Bears receivers Xavier Richardson and Jamal Bell to handle one-on-one coverage against a rangy and athletic Kilgore secondary.