Bulldozed by Bulldogs

Kilgore’s Kennieth Lacy carries the ball through the Tigers’ defense September 21, 2018 at Tiger Stadium. The Bulldogs defeated Texas High 42-14.

The Kilgore Bulldogs rained on the Texas High Senior Night as they drug the Tigers through the mud 42-14 at Tiger Stadium on Friday night.

The Tigers were forced to punt on their first possession. The Bulldogs then scored the first touchdown of the game as wide receiver Damien Parker punched it into the end zone from two yards out.

The Tigers then answered back with a 71-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Coltin Clack to sophomore wide receiver Rian Cellers.

The Bulldogs then drove into Tiger territory as the first quarter ended and then scored when quarterback Gus Witt handed off to running back Tray Epps, making the score 14-7. On their next drive, Parker scored from a yard out.

As rain began to fall and the first half winded down, Bulldogs’ running back Kennieth Lacy scored after another long drive. Both teams then went to the locker rooms with Kilgore up 28-7.

The Tigers started the second half better by stopping the Bulldogs on their initial drive. They then responded with a 70-yard touchdown pass from Clack to senior wide receiver Myles Washington to cut into the lead and make it 28-14.

The next drive seemingly wrapped up the game as the Bulldogs took over eight minutes on their drive that resulted in Witt punching it in from six yards out. This came after the Tigers had three defensive penalties on third downs that extended the drive.

The Tigers mustered one last effort as they drove near the Bulldogs’ red zone before turning the ball over on downs. The Bulldogs then added a punctuation mark to their victory as running back Jerrick Ervin scored another rushing touchdown to seal the deal. The Tigers then ran out the clock and finished the game on the wrong side of a 42-14 scoreline.

“I think we just have to figure out what our character is going to be like and what our effort is going to be like, and I think that’s a lot more than just football,” Stanford said. “[The team] is going to have to search inside themselves, and they’ve got to figure out what they really want out of this deal. [I think the tone of the game] started on Monday. I don’t think it’s something that started tonight.”

For the Bulldogs, this marks their first win of the season after they had previously lost to Nacogdoches, Hallsville and Pine Tree. They hope to build on this win as they enter district play next week.

“[The win tonight] was something we needed,” Bulldogs head coach Mike Wood. “We were 0-3, and we were our own worst enemy. Coming out here and playing a good football team like [the Tigers] and being able to come out with a win was just very fortunate.”

Miscues and penalties on the offensive end doomed the Tigers throughout the night. Besides two long touchdown passes, they were unable to sustain a drive against a stout Bulldog defense.

“We didn’t execute well. We didn’t play to the best of our ability,” Clack said. “We just gotta clean up the little things, touches, drop balls, missed protections, stuff like that.”

The Tiger defense was a point of concern after the Bulldogs racked up 314 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. This will be a focus in practice as the team prepares to enter district play.   

“I think being able to run the football was a big key tonight,” Wood said. “We leaned on our offensive line a lot and being able to get off the field on defense.”

Clack completed 17 of 26 passes with two touchdowns. Senior running back Chris Sutton had four carries and 25 yards. Washington had four catches for 115 yards and a touchdown reception.

Witt completed all four of his passes for 83 yards. Lacy had 14 carries for 164 yards and a score while Epps had 23 carries for 124 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver AJ Smith had two catches for 53 yards.

Things don’t get any easier for the Tigers as the district favorite John Tyler Lions come to town next Friday at 7 p.m.