KILGORE — Kevrin Justice enjoyed a career high, rushing for 234 yards and two touchdowns as No. 5 Kilgore celebrated its homecoming with a 48-20 victory over Mount Pleasant on a wet, soupy Friday night at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium.
It was quite a home opener for the Bulldogs (3-0), also getting two touchdowns apiece from quarterback Benny Colbert and running back JuJu Brown.
The Ragin’ Red defense turned in another solid performance in limiting Mount Pleasant quarterback Cullen Grubbs, who threw for nine touchdowns in a 77-34 triumph over Terrell last week, to negative yards rushing (minus-24) and 15 of 28 passing for 147 yards. Jake Brantley had a fumble recovery and LaDarrin Anthony and friends continually applied pressure to the Tigers’ senior quarterback.
Baylor verbal commit KD Cannon, though, proved to be a thorn in the Bulldogs’ side all night. He rushed for 106 yards on just five carries — one of those a 65-yard scoring run. He also had eight receptions for 96 yards and returned a kickoff for 95 yards and another touchdown.
Justice, for Kilgore, did his damage on 15 carries, scoring on runs of 25 yards in the second quarter and 21 in the fourth. Colbert’s touchdowns came on short runs of 6 and 1 yard, while Brown, who had six carries of more than 20 yards, scored on runs of 4 and 2 yards, finishing with 146 yards on 23 carries.
Neither team scored in the first quarter, although Kilgore threatened twice, reaching the Mount Pleasant 8-yard line on its first possession before turning the football over on downs. The Tigers’ Daniel Craddock intercepted a Colbert pass in his own end zone to stifle the Bulldogs’ second scoring opportunity.
Kilgore finally got on the scoreboard, cashing in on its third possession. It was a short, quick drive, featuring a 46-yard Foy dash and a 25-yard Justice scoring run on the first play of the second quarter.
The Ragin’ Red defense set the Bulldogs up with their next score as safety Jake Brantley recovered a Grubbs fumble at the Tiger 15.
With 8:02 left in the second period, Colbert called his own number, sneaking in from 6 yards out on a fourth-and-1 play. Christian Galvan missed the extra point, leaving Kilgore with a 13-0 lead.
Cannon returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown, tightening the score to 13-7.