KILGORE – The Kilgore Bulldogs have had a few good halves this year, and even have one dominating win to their credit over a Class 5A team.

But Kilgore hasn’t been able to put it all together, and the combination of being just a bit off – and big plays – helped visiting Pittsburg spoil the Bulldogs’ homecoming, 25-19, here at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium on Friday night.

Kilgore falls to 1-4 on the season and is off next week. They’ll begin district play at Chapel Hill Oct. 12. Pittsburg moves to 3-2, and has one more non-district game left at Rusk next Friday night.

The Pirates didn’t score a single first-half point against a Kilgore defense that was stingy for the first half, and couldn’t seem to get a kick away without trouble: Kilgore’s Donovan Adkins had two blocked punts, and the Bulldogs had two blocked kicks.

Kilgore took a 10-0 lead into halftime on a 10-yard touchdown run by Tray Epps, and a 29-yard field goal by Elivan Torres as the first half expired. The teams traded punts. Kilgore used punter Efraim Mojica and quarterback Gus Witt to set the Pirates back with those punts.

Epss’ touchdown run came with 1:11 left in a quickly-played first quarter.

Kilgore’s offense had trouble converting third downs in the second half, and Adkins’ second blocked punt of the night resulted in a safety and put the Bulldogs up 12-0 in the third quarter, the tide changed soon after.

Pittsburg quarterback Jaylon Jimmerson finally got his team onto the scoreboard on a 64-yard connection with receiver Keithlen Griffin. Jimmerson heaved the ball downfield and Griffin caught it inside Kilgore’s 20 yard line and got into the end zone. Pittsburg trailed 12-7 with two minutes left in the third.

The go-ahead score was a punt return from Jimmerson. He picked it up off a bounce, and ran about 70 yards for the score. The point after got blocked, but Pittsburg led, 13-12. They wouldn’t trail again.

A fumble on Kilgore’s next possession – on first down – allowed Pittsburg the ball at its own 30, and the Pirates added a score, a 23-yard run by Desmond Allen. That gave the Pirates a 19-12 cushion with four minutes left. He scored again with just over a minute and a half from 7 yards out, to put Pittsburg up, 25-12.

Witt and the Kilgore offense scored fairly quickly – a 16-yard pass to Nick Hooper with 32 seconds left – but the Bulldogs failed to grab an onside kick. Pittsburg recovered and sealed the win.

Epps had 67 yards rushing for Kilgore; Kennieth Lacy had 47. Witt was 8-of-14 for 109 yards and the touchdown pass to Hooper. Hooper caught four balls for 52 yards and the touchdown.

Jimmerson was 13-of-19 for 145 yards, the touchdown and an interception (which was caught by Kilgore’s Deiontrae Wheat in the fourth quarter). Allen had 55 yards and the two fourth-quarter touchdowns.

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