Kilgore Runs All Over Palestine in 51-0 Shutout
PALESTINE – Kilgore rushed for 492 yards on 45 carries to power past Palestine 51-0 in the District 9-4A-I opener for both teams on Friday and Wildcat Stadium.
Kilgore used its option very effectively, using the confusion it gave Palestine's defense and its own speed to average 10.9 yards per carry and score six touchdowns.
Kilgore (4-2, 1-0) has won four consecutive games. Palestine (1-5, 0-1) has lost four straight games by a combined score of 225-41 and has been shut out in its last two games.
Kilgore quarterback Patrick Jackson was his team's catalyst in a mild surprise. After rushing for 257 yards in Kilgore's first five games, Jackson rushed for 108 yards and two touchdowns on Friday, all in the first half. Ja'Quorius Smith added 138 yards and a touchdown on just seven carries for the Bulldogs.
Meanwhile, Palestine's ground game never got going. The Wildcats had 26 yards on the ground as Kilgore had seven tackles for losses, two by Isaiah Smith.
Palestine's offensive production took a big hit in the second quarter. One offensive lineman was ejected after a skirmish with 10:08 remaining. Later in the quarter, standout lineman Korbin Boles had to be carted off the field with an undetermined injury.
Kilgore took command of the game quickly. The Bulldogs marched 60 yards on the game's opening drive, capping it on a screen pass from Jackson to Kamron Carbonneau that went 26 yards for a touchdown for Kilgore's lone touchdown through the air. Kilgore's Isaiah Smith blocked Palestine's first punt to give Kilgore the ball at the Palestine 27-yard line, setting up a 16-yard touchdown run by Caylon Williams with 7:03 left in the first quarter.
Palestine's best chance to get back in the game was on its second drive as Claude Rodgers connected with Devonte Mims for a 47-yard pass, but on the play Isaiah Smith knocked the ball out of Mims' hands at the Kilgore 7-yard line and Mateo Meraz recovered the give Kilgore a touchback.
Kilgore extended its lead to 21-0 on a 61-yard touchdown run up the middle by Ja'Quorius Smith with 11:10 left in the second quarter. Meraz ended Palestine's next drive with an interception, his third of the season, and the Bulldogs followed with a 59-yard drive ending with a 14-yard touchdown run by Jackson.
Jackson added a 13-yard touchdown run to give Kilgore a 35-0 lead with 2:15 left in the second.
Palestine had a moment of triumph with 6:39 left in the third quarter as when Marquis Hernandez stopped Ja'Quorius Smith for no gain on a fourth-and-goal play at the Palestine 1-yard line, but on the next play Kilgore's Kenderick Fagans tackled Irric Deyon in the endzone for a safety.
Kilgore needed just three plays to move 52 yards after the ensuing kickoff with a 42-yard run by Melek Hamilton setting up a 2-yard touchdown run by Rodney Coleman. Hamilton had 79 yards rushing on seven carries.
Rodgers, filling in for academically-ineligible starter Tyler Gray, passed for 171 yards. Palestine linebacker Edward Reese led all players with seven tackles while Hernandez added six.
Kilgore hosts rival Carthage next Friday while Palestine hosts Chapel Hill.