PREVIEW: Kilgore Looks to Build on First Win + Hosts Pittsburg
Pittsburg Pirates (2-2)
Kilgore Bulldogs (1-3)
7:30 p.m. Friday
R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium, Kilgore
- Pittsburg: Brad Baca
- Kilgore: Mike Wood
- Pittsburg: at Rusk, Oct. 5
- Kilgore: idle
Players to watch
- WR/S Keontae Burns, Sr., 6-3, 175 (20 catches, 301 yards, 2 TDs; 1 carry, 25 yards, 1 TD; 15 tackles, 3 for loss, 4 PBUs)
- QB/CB Jaylon Jimmerson, Sr., 6-0, 190 (55 of 96, 797 yards, 6 TDs, 2 INTs; 57 carries, 417 yards, 6 TDs; 27 tackles, 1 for loss, 3 INTs, 3 PBUs, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
- WR/CB Keithlen Griffin, Sr., 6-0, 160 (18 catches, 273 yards, 3 TDs; 11 tackles, 1 INT, 4 PBUs, 1 fumble recovery)
- RB/LB Antwon Robertson, Sr. (38 carries, 198 yards, 1 TD; 1 catch, 6 yards; 16 tackles, 3 for loss, 1 sack, 6 QB pressures)
- LB Camryn Edney, Sr., 6-0, 208 (42 tackles, 8 for loss, 2 sacks, 4 QB pressures, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
- LB Mason Monts, Jr., 5-10, 175 (41 tackles, 2 for loss, 4 QB pressures, 2 forced fumbles)
- DT Undra Bates, Jr. (17 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 sack, 6 QB pressures)
- WR Promous Morrison, Jr., 5-9, 176 (8 catches, 137 yards, 1 TD)
- RB Kennieth Lacy, Jr. (54 carries, 391 yards, 6 TDs; 5 catches, 45 yards)
- RB Tray Epps, Soph., 5-10, 175 (44 carries, 266 yards, 1 TD; 1 catch, 3 yards)
- QB Gus Witt, Sr. (23 of 50, 290 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT; 26 carries, 188 yards, 1 TD)
- WR Deiontrae Wheat, Sr. (6 catches, 95 yards, 2 TDs)
- LB Nesba Brown, Sr. (44 tackles, 4 for loss, 2 sacks, 3 QB pressures, 1 fumble recovery)
- DL Deundre Blanton, Jr., 6-2, 265 (21 tackles, 4 for loss, 2 sacks, 2 QB pressures)
- LB Khaylon Clayton, Sr. (35 tackles, 6 for loss)
- DB Damien Parker, Sr., 5-10, 175 (55 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 QB pressure, 1 blocked kick)
Just the facts
- Pittsburg begins District 6-4A Division II play Oct. 12 at Pleasant Grove.
- Pittsburg is averaging 29.3 points and 417.3 yards per game -- 214.5 rushing and 202.8 passing.
- Pittsburg senior quarterback Jaylon Jimmerson has accounted for 12 of his team's 16 offensive touchdowns.
- Pittsburg is allowing 25.3 points, and has forced nine turnovers -- four interceptions and five fumbles.
- Kilgore begins District 10-4A Division I play Oct. 12 at Chapel Hill.
- Kilgore is averaging 25 points and 309 yards per game -- 236.5 rushing and 72.5 passing.
- Bulldogs junior running back Kennieth Lacy is averaging 7.2 yards per carry.
- Kilgore is allowing 27.3 points, and has forced two turnovers -- no interceptions and two fumbles.
Key matchup: Kilgore rushing attack vs. Pittsburg defensive front. The Bulldogs were slow to start offensively this season, which in part explains its uncharacteristic 0-3 beginning. But it seemingly all came together last week in its impressive 42-14 road win over Texas High. The Bulldogs rolled up 325 rushing yards, and got a pair of 100-yard performances from junior Kennieth Lacy and sophomore Tray Epps. Lacy racked up 166 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries, while Epps finished with 121 yards and a score on 22 attempts. In the first three games of 2018, Kilgore averaged just 207 rushing yards, so if Kilgore can get back to its dominance on the ground that could spell bad news for Pittsburg.
The Pirates have played a tough schedule thus far, suffering losses to Jefferson and Van, who are a combined 7-1 on the year. Pittsburg's two wins have been against Pine Tree and Center. The common opponent Pittsburg shares with Kilgore is Pine Tree, which defeated Kilgore, 38-28, and lost to Pittsburg, 27-16. Pittsburg's defense is very quick and athletic, especially in the back end. But Kilgore won't go to the air that often, so it will be up to the Pirates' seven-man front to keep the Bulldogs' running game in check. Defensive linemen Undra Bates and Camryn Edney along with linebacker Mason Monts and Antwon Robertson will need to have big games.
Don't be surprised if: Kilgore builds on its positive momentum following its win last week. Few were counting on the Bulldogs to go up to Texarkana and knock off Texas High last week following their disappointing 0-3 start to the season. Kilgore had suffered losses to 5A programs Nacogdoches, Hallsville, and Pine Tree, which had combined to win only five games in 2017. Not only did Kilgore score the upset win, it did so in emphatic fashion, which should re-boost the team's confidence level as it closes in on district play.