Kilgore coasts past Pine Tree in 56-7 victory
By George Whitley, Sports correspondent
Sept. 13, 2013 at 5:50 p.m.
A tumultuous week for the Pine Tree Pirate football program ended Friday night with a reality check. Reality is the fifth-ranked Kilgore Bulldogs are good, real good.
The Bulldogs, fresh from a week off, piled up 388 yards on the ground and another 81 through the air, coasting to a convincing 56-7 victory over the previously unbeaten Pirates.
Kilgore (2-0) had four players with over 80 yards on the ground. Kevin Justice led the way with an even 100 on seven carries and a score. JuJu Brown recorded three TDs and tallied 97 yards on a dozen totes. Reserve tailback Jacobie Vidal wound up with a career-high 84 yards on 11 tries and scored a touchdown, while Aaron Foy added 80 yards on just three carries with a tally.
Bright spots for Pine Tree (2-1) included quarterback Dalvin Manns and wide out Mason Hayes. Manns finished the evening with 19 completions on 33 attempts for 242 yards and a TD. Hayes was on the receiving end of six passes for a game-high 99 yards and the lone Pirate score.
There was plenty of first half fireworks on both sides even though Kilgore carried a comfortable 35-7 lead in at the break.
Jarod Wood took the game's opening kick for Kilgore and rumbled 28 yards to the Pine Tree 41. The Bulldogs proceeded to drive the necessary distance in eight snaps as Brown slipped in from the two at 8:33 of the first period.
The Dogs and Bucs swapped possessions when Stefun Tatum picked a Manns' pass and raced 42 yards inside the Pine Tree 10 to the eight. On the ensuing play Brown coughed up the pigskin and Dakota Lynn fell on it for the Pirates.
Kilgore struck ultra-quick on its next two scores as Foy blew through the middle of the Pine Tree defense and glided 70 yards for a touchdown at 3:04 of the first period. Kevrin Justice added a 79-yard scoring jaunt at 10:22 of the second quarter to make it 21-0.
The Justice score came on the heels of a foiled Pirate field goal attempt after Ladarrin Anthony dropped Manns for a 5 yard loss on third down. Jared Jimenez lined up for what would have been a 27-yard kick, but a mishandled snap and Foy tackled holder Hays to turn the ball over on downs.
Kilgore increased its lead to 28-0 with an 8-play, 80-yard march that used 3:42 of the play clock. Colbert lofted a beautiful 48-yard rainbow that found Foy as he fell back into the end zone for the score at 3:03 of the half.
Pine Tree responded before the break going 64 yards in seven plays as Manns connected with Hays from 7 yards out at 1:02. The duo had paired up three plays earlier for a 39-yard pitch-and-catch.
The Pirates were burned by a short kickoff which Wood lumbered 50 yards down the sideline to the Pine Tree 17. This enabled Kilgore to score for a fifth time in the first half when Brown skated in off right tackle from four yards out with just under 30 ticks left.
Kilgore added three scores in the second half when Brown capped an 8-play, 85-yard drive with a two-yard plunge at 6:06 of then third. Trey Tinney was ever the opportunist with an eight-yard scoop and score of a Tra Darden fumble on the ensuing kickoff to make it 49-7.
Vidal got his first varsity TD in the fourth, polishing off an 11-play, 50-yard sojourn for two yards out at 10:35 of regulation. Kilgore place kicker Christian Galvan, who was a perfect 8 of 8 on PATs, closed the books on the Bucs at 56-7.
Pine Tree takes to the highway Friday with a visit to Lindale, while Kilgore hosts Mount Pleasant in its annual homecoming.