NACOGDOCHES - Noah Hildebrand threw for 243 yards and two touchdowns in leading the Nacogdoches Dragons to a 48-21 victory over Kilgore on Friday night at Dragon Stadium,
Jaylon Maxie, one of his favorite targets, finished with 11 receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown, covering 9 yards. Hildebrand’s second scoring toss covered 40 yards to Jed Morgan.
Phillip Jones led the Dragon rushing attack with 121 yards and one touchdown.
Before opening night was history, Isiah Smith added scoring runs of 1 and 16 yards to go with a 98-yard kickoff return by Josh Thompson, and field goals of 30 and 45 yards by Chris CamposGonzalez in a game Nacogdoches dominated.
Nacogdoches scored on every possession of the first half in rolling to a 27-7 halftime lead.
Kilgore managed 302 yards total offense, getting 91 yards and two scores, coming on runs of 3 and 68 yards by Melek Hamilton.
Hamilton, the go-to back in this year’s Pistol offense, scored both of his touchdowns in the fourth period with Nacogdoches leading 41-7.
Kilgore quarterback Buddy Jackson was 9 of 10 passing for 136 yards and rushed for 45 more. Cole Wood led the Bulldogs’ receiving corps with 7 catches for 70 yards. Deiontrae Wheat added one catch for 58 yards, setting up one of Hamilton’s scoring runs. Jonathan Shepherd had one reception for 8 yards.
Hildebrand, an Arkansas-Monticello commit, started fast at quarterback leading the Dragons on a 50-yard drive that stalled at the Kilgore 20 yard line, leading to a 30-yardCampos Gonzalez field goal. Later in the half he booted a 45-yarder,
In between Hildebrand threw scoring tosses of 9 yards to Maxie and a 40-yard strike to Morgan.
Phillip Jones added a 60-yard run.
Kilgore got on the scoreboard with a Jamal Nobles run of 2 yards, after Nobles made the big play of the drive with a 28-yard scamper, getting the Ragin’ Red to the 2 yard line.
This was all Dragons early. Nacogdoches, coming off a four-win season a year ago, held a decided total yardage edge over Kilgore. At the end of first quarter, the Dragons led 10-0 on the scoreboard and 111 to minus 3 in total yardage.
Kilgore did not make its first first down of the season until the 11:50 mark in the second period. It came on a 30-yard Jackson run.
Thompson, a University of Texas commit, used his blazing speed, returning the opening kickoff of the second half down the visitor’s sideline.
The ‘Dogs wound up with only 11 first downs, compared to the Dragons’ 24,
Nacogdoches, which has won its last four meetings against Kilgore, hosts Lufkin on Friday, while Kilgore returns home to entertain Gladewater.