HENDERSON – The latest installment of the Kilgore/Henderson rivalry turned into a slugfest, with the visiting Kilgore Bulldogs rallying for a 35-34 win over the Lions in a District 9-4A Division I showdown at Lions Stadium.
Kilgore trailed 34-21 with 10:35 left in the contest after Devin Phillips hauled in an 18-yard touchdown pass from Jacobe Robinson, but Da’Morion Van Zandt tossed a couple of touchdown passes late to lift the Bulldogs to victory.
Kilgore moves to 7-1 overall and 4-0 in district play with the win. The Lions drop to 4-4 and 1-3.
Trailing 34-21, Van Zandt hooked up with Corey Rider on a 38-yard TD pass with 9:08 to play to pull Kilgore to within six points.
Then, with 2:40 showing on the clock, Van Zandt and Rider hooked up again – this time from 15 yards out – and Kilgore took a 35-34 lead following the extra points.
Henderson drove to the Kilgore 33 late, but turned it over on downs to end the contest.
Kilgore took a 7-0 lead early on a TD pass from Van Zandt, but Henderson stormed back with a 57-yard TD pass from Robinson to Deuce Davis to tie it and then got a 74-yard connection from Robinson to Ya’Corus Porter to take a 13-7 lead after a missed PAT.
Rider caught a 39-yard TD pass from Van Zandt at the 8:11 mark of the first to put Kilgore back on top 14-13, but a 15-yard Robinson-to-Porter TD pass moved Henderson in front 20-14 and that was the score at the half.
A 1-yard TD run by Van Zandt and the made PAT with 9:06 left in the third gave Kilgore a 21-20 lead, but Robinson hit Davis on a 20-yard scoring strike and then connected with Phillips from 18 yards out to boost the Lion lead to 34-21 and set up the fantastic finish by Kilgore.
Kilgore returns home to host Athens and Henderson visits Mabank next week.