KILGORE - Nacogdoches' Noah Hildebrand threw for 215 yards and two touchdowns, and Phillip Jones ran for two other scores, leading the Dragons to a 28-10 victory over Kilgore on Friday night at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium in the season opener for both teams.
Hildebrand started hot and finished completing 14 of 17 passes, including scoring strikes of 40 yards to Alex Gregory and 41 yards to Jalen Maxie as Nacogdoches rolled up 378 yards of total offense compared to Kilgore's 113.
Jones, who scored on runs of 6 and 11 yards, rushed for 155 yards on 29 carries. Gregory was the game's leading receiver with six catches for 122 yards.
Kilgore struggled offensively, finishing with just four first downs and 113 yards.
The Bulldogs' only scoring plays came on a 20-yard Christian Galvan field goal, and a 62-yard punt return by Chris Toombs.
Kilgore's Ja'Quorius Smith led the Bulldogs' rushing attack with 58 yards on 12 carries. Sophomore Buddy Jackson, making his first varsity start, completed 3 of 4 passes for 54 yards and rushed for 13 yards on nine carries.
Kilgore reached inside the Nacogdoches 10 yard line twice and came away with only three points.
Meanwhile, Nacogdoches scored on its initial possession of the season, driving 45 yards in 6 plays with Jones scoring his first touchdown of the evening on a 6-yard run.
Chris Campos-Gonzalez added the PAT, giving the Dragons a 7-0 lead with 7:25 left in the first quarter.
On its next possession, Kilgore used its running game to march 69 yards to the Dragon 5 yard line. The drive stalled, bringing Galvan on to attempt a 22-yard field goal attempt blocked by Pearce Adams.
Hildebrand, who completed his first 4 passes in a row, was picked off by Kilgore's Mateo Meraz at the Nacogdoches 41.
Galvan came back in just minutes later to boot a 20-yard field goal, closing the deficit to four, after a 38-yard Jackson completion to Chris Toombs, which gave Kilgore the football at the Nacogdoches 3 yard line.
Hildebrand and the Dragons were quick to answer with an 83-yard march in just four plays. Two of those were Hildebrand completions of 44 and 40 yards to Gregory.
A Kilgore turnover late in the half opened the door for another Nacogdoches touchdown, coming on Jackson's 11-yard scamper with just 30 seconds left in the second quarter.