The Zone

Kilgore’s Dalton McElyea poses for a photo, on Wednesday July 24, 2019, at the East Texas Oil Museum in Kilgore. (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

KILGORE — The fact it was Friday the 13th with a full moon overhead didn't seem to bother Kilgore or Pine Tree in the home opener for the Bulldogs at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium.

Deciding a winner was a little more difficult, but when it was all said and done, Kilgore won 64-62 in triple overtime to remain unbeaten at 3-0.

The loss drops the Pirates to 1-2.

A six-yard Kennieth Lacy scoring run, followed by a Dalton McElyea completion to Donovan Adkins in the third OT lifted the Bulldogs to the win.

But not until Pine Tree pulled to within a two-point conversion with a completion from backup quarterback Corey Thomas, Jr., to Keelan Turner, covering 25 yards in a contest that went back-and-forth down the stretch.

Thomas' conversion pass into the back of the end zone sailed incomplete and only then could the Bulldogs could breathe a collective sigh of relief.

McElyea, making only his third varsity start, threw for five touchdowns and 255 yards. His scoring tosses covered 57-yards to Bobby Owens, 13-yards to Brian Brown, 18-yards to DaVondrick Crowe as well as a 15-yarder to Adkins with 9.1 seconds remaining to send the game to overtime tied at 49-all after Thomas and Turner hooked up for a 35-yard scoring strike of their own with just 43.3 seconds left to play to give the visitors a 49-42 lead.

Neither team could score in the first OT.

The Pirates scored first in the second overtime as Thomas and Turner combined for a touchdown and Brandt Herber converted, putting Pine Tree ahead 55-49.

McElyea and Adkins answered for a Ragin' Red with a TD in the second overtime and Kilgore's Chris Baldazo connected on his eighth extra point of the game to knot the score again at 55.

The teams combined for 126 points and nearly 1,000 yards of total offense.

DJ Freeman, the Pirates starting quarterback, threw scoring passes of 13 and 31 yards to Turner. Freeman, who was injured twice in the contest, also ran for 14-yards and three-yards for touchdowns. He was the Pirates' leading rusher with 133 yards. Tyler Sheffield added 104 yards.

Kilgore's leading rusher was Tray Epps with 107 yards on 12 carries. He scored on runs of 32- and two-yards.

Pine Tree is idle Friday, and will open district play at home on Sept. 27 against Hallsville. The Bulldogs host Texas High next Friday.

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