Kilgore locks 30-14 win, advances to semifinals
By George Whitley, Sports correspondent
Nov. 30, 2012 at 5:24 p.m.
FORNEY - For only the second time in school history, the <a href="http://www.news-journal.com/etvarsity/high_school/schools/kilgore/" target="_blank">Kilgore</a> Bulldogs have advanced to the semifinals.
Behind the 137-yard rushing performance from sophomore <a href="http://www.news-journal.com/etvarsity/high_school/football/kevrin-justice/player_5c35f03e-eaf3-11e1-80f1-0019bb2963f4.html" target="_blank">Kevrin Justice</a>, the Bulldogs locked up a 30-14 victory over the previously undefeated Gainesville Leopards here in Class 3A, Division I, Region II final at City Bank Stadium.
Kilgore (11-1) built a 24-14 halftime lead and relied on its to do the rest in the second half. The Bulldogs iced the game when <a href="http://www.news-journal.com/etvarsity/high_school/football/hector-peralez/player_5add6ffa-eaf3-11e1-80f1-0019bb2963f4.html" target="_blank">Hector Paralez</a> picked off Leopard quarterback Denzel Johnson and ignited what turned into a back-breaking, 10-play, 95-yard drive that put the finishing touches on the triumph.
Senior fullback <a href="http://www.news-journal.com/etvarsity/high_school/football/cornelius-bell/player_dd032bea-e65d-11e1-80f1-001a4bcf887a.html" target="_blank">Cornelius Bell</a> bulled in from a yard out for his second score of the night at 7:00 of regulation to round out the scoring. Back-to-back sacks by <a href="http://www.news-journal.com/etvarsity/high_school/football/josh-daniels/player_61f78488-eaf3-11e1-80f1-0019bb2963f4.html" target="_blank">Josh Daniels</a> of Johnson and a Q. Brewster pick at 2:42 sealed the Gainesville fate.
Kilgore is tentatively set to play Stephenville in the Class 3A, DI semifinals Friday at Mainsfield.
<a href="http://www.news-journal.com/etvarsity/high_school/football/cooper-coldiron/player_dcea5f70-e65d-11e1-80f1-001a4bcf887a.html" target="_blank">Cooper Coldiron</a>, who finished the evening 7 of 14 for 111 yards, launched a 50-yard rainbow on the second snap of the game that connected with Brewster just 48 seconds into play.
Not to be outdone, Gainesville responded with a quick score of its own. Johnson, who was 8 of 19 for 178 yards and 2 TDs to go along with 3 interceptions, hooked up with tight end Chris White for 17 yards on second and 13.
Johnson paired up with David Moore the final 58 yards to pull the Leopards even with 9:19 left in the first quarter. Moore had a tremendous first half, finishing with 106 yards on four receptions.
Kilgore regained control with a typical, methodical, time-consuming march that totaled 14 plays, covered 87 yards and chewed up 5:51 of the play clock. Justice ripped off a 31-yard run on second down and converted a third and short with an eight-yard push. Justice closed out the first half with 103 yards on six carries.
Coldiron and <a href="http://www.news-journal.com/etvarsity/high_school/football/aj-davis/player_5d0b5d5a-eaf3-11e1-80f1-0019bb2963f4.html" target="_blank">AJ Davis</a> matched up for a 14-yard pass-and-catch on fourth down in the drive. Bell plowed over from a yard out less than a minute into the second period to make it 14-7.
<a href="http://www.news-journal.com/etvarsity/high_school/football/benny-colbert/player_5a7ec6ee-eaf3-11e1-80f1-0019bb2963f4.html" target="_blank">Benny Colbert</a> collected his sixth pick of the season as Johnson threw an ill-advised pass after being flushed from the pocket. The Bulldogs needed two plays to move the 37 yards following Colbert's theft. Coldiron and <a href="http://www.news-journal.com/etvarsity/high_school/football/jack-johnson/player_59726ad0-eaf3-11e1-80f1-0019bb2963f4.html" target="_blank">Jack Johnston</a> teamed up on a 12-yard pass play and Justice polished off the possession with a 23-yard dash at 10:32 of the half.
The Leopards appeared on the brink of being blown out, but came up with a 13-play, 75-yard scoring sojourn that culminated with a 28-yard scoring pass from Johnson to Moore on fourth down with 5:40 left in the second period. Peralez appeared to have the ball played well, but it slipped through his grasp and into the arms of Moore just before he stepped out of the back of the end zone.
Kilgore overcame a blocked punt on its next drive and concluded the first half with a 34-yard field goal from Peralez as the halftime horn sounded. The Peralez kick culminated a 12-play, 77-yard drive that used the final 2:25 of the half.