Time goes by quickly, and as difficult as it is to believe, Kilgore High School football is already to its midway point of the season – the Bulldogs have their open date this Friday night.
Kilgore is 3-2 overall, 1-0 in District 9-4A, Division I play, and – other than one awful quarter of football against Gladewater and a run-in with the number one team in the state – the Ragin’ Red have done about as well as they could’ve.
Coach Mike Wood’s Bulldogs lost their season opener to top-ranked Carthage, 27-7, but then blasted Terrell here, 26-7, and then shut out overmatched Alvarado on the road, 45-0.
Kilgore lost somewhat of a head-scratcher on homecoming night to Gladewater, 35-28; that game saw Kilgore go up two touchdowns in the second half, only for Gladewater to come back for the win. Last week, though, the Bulldogs bounced back with a 49-28 victory at Palestine. That was the District 9-4A, DI opener for both schools, and in that game, there were some impressive numbers: quarterback Dalton McElyea threw four touchdown passes; Donovan Adkins scored three touchdowns in three different ways; and running back Tray Epps not only ran for 120-plus yards and a score, he also caught a touchdown pass.
The Bulldogs are off this Friday night, and then host Mabank on Oct. 9. A trip to Chapel Hill follows on Oct. 16. Henderson visits KHS on Oct. 23; the Bulldogs go to Athens on Oct. 30; and the regular season finishes up with what looks to be a huge game against Lindale here at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium on Nov. 6.
In the impressive win over Palestine last week, Epps had 127 yards rushing on 18 carries, and a touchdown, a 67-yarder that put the game out of reach.
McElyea was lights out. He went 15-of-22 for 214 yards, and four touchdown passes. They were to Adkins (14 yards), Epps (45 yards), Omarion Smith (11 yards) and Jermaine Roney (45 yards).
Cade Pippen was actually the leading receiver, with four catches for 71 yards, including a key catch on the Bulldogs’ first drive of the game to extend the drive to allow McElyea and Adkins to hook up for that first score. Roney had four catches for 52 yards. Adkins had three for 31. Epps had two for a total of 43 (he had one where he was thrown for a loss), and Brian Brown had a catch. Smith had that 11-yard touchdown catch late in the first half.
In addition, Chris Baldazo was 7-of-7 in extra point kicks, and Pippen punted three times, averaging 42 yards a punt.
Adkins not only scored on a touchdown pass, but also on a 48-yard kick return for a score, and a 28-yard interception return for a score. He also had four tackles and a pass break-up.
Eli Caruthers had two tackles for loss and a sack.
Kilgore held the Wildcats to 190 rushing yards, 113 passing yards, 393 total yards and forced five three and outs, including three in the first three Palestine possessins.