HALLSVILLE - Hallsville High School was unable to stop Nacogdoches' running back Phillip Jones in a 35-14 loss on Homecoming Night on Friday.
Jones scorched the Bobcats defense for 272 yards and three touchdowns. He had scoring runs of 54, 64 and 34 yards. All three of his touchdowns put Nacogdoches ahead by two scores. Hallsville allowed a total of 303 rushing yards for an average of 8.1 yards per carry.
Despite not being able to stop the run, Hallsville played competitive until the fourth quarter. After Jones' second touchdown put the Bobcats behind 21-7 in the third quarter, Tye Smith intercepted Nacogdoches quarterback Noah Hildebrand and returned it for a 32-yard touchdown.
In the fourth quarter and down by 14, the Bobcats were unable to convert a fourth-and-1 at their own 29. The Dragons put the game away as Hildebrand completed an 18-yard pass to Jaylon Douglas for his second touchdown pass. The Nacogdoches quarterback finished with 145 yards passing and one interception.
Blair Hernandez was the Bobcats' leading rusher with 86 yards on 10 carries. Starting running back Jamall Davis only carried the ball three times on the first drive for 19 yards before leaving with an injury. He was later taken to the hospital. Peyton McGarvey completed eight of 14 passes for 72 yards. Chris Kuler led the Bobcats in receiving with four receptions for 52 yards.
Both teams had first quarter drives that advanced to the opponents' territory end with fumbles. Nacogdoches' Kris Wade caught a pass and fumbled to give Hallsville the ball at its own 45. McGarvey broke a 26-yard run on third-and-two from the Dragons 34 but fumbled at the eight. Nacogdoches recovered and took over at its own 23.
The Dragons (3-1) took advantage of Hallsville's miscue. Hildebrand threw a 44-yard pass to Jed Morgan who took it to the Bobcats 31. They connected again for a seven-yard touchdown pass to put Nacogdoches ahead 7-0. Jones added to the lead as he broke a 54-yard touchdown run down the sideline.
Hallsville got back in the game with a four-play 75-yard drive. Hernandez broke a 47-yard run to the Dragons 28. A horse collar penalty moved the ball to the 14. The Bobcats used some trickery as wide receiver Ty Meissner threw a 10-yard TD pass to McGarvey to cut the deficit to seven.
Nacogdoches will host Gilmer next week, while Hallsville (0-4) opens district hosting Mount Pleasant.