3A Bulldogs Sink the 4A Pirates, 44-35

Junior Bulldog Dee Black, Manly’s Furniture Pigskin Bob Player of the Game, crosses the endzone for one of his four touchdowns Thursday night. Photo by Wayne Grubbs.

From Staff Reports

What a start to the 2018 Texas high school football season for the Jefferson Bulldogs! Jefferson pulled out an exciting 44-35 win over Pittsburg in KYKX’s Game of the Week.

Two separate football games were played Thursday night by these two East Texas powerhouses.

The first quarter showed the strength of each team’s passing game behind the arms and legs of Jefferson’s Trey Hodge and Pittsburg’s Jaylon Jimmerson and the speed and hands of two of the best wide receivers’ in the state, T.Q. Jackson of the Bulldogs and Keontae Burns of the Pirates.

That changed quickly when Hodge left the game in the second quarter after falling hard on his right shoulder and never returned.   Family members say he separated his clavicle bone and is questionable for the next two to three games.

Jackson and Burns were both ejected following an on-field skirmish leaving the Bulldogs without their starting QB and WR.

Jefferson then turned up their running game and Pittsburg must have wondered “Who Let the Dawgs Out?” as they scored six rushing touchdowns with more than 350 yards of rushing involving seven different players.

Texas HS football
The Jefferson Bulldogs, Pittsburg Pirates, and fans salute the flag before Thursday night’s KYKX Game of the Week.  Photo by Doug Thompson.

Junior Dee Black led the aggressive attack of the Dawg pack all night finishing with four touchdowns on over 200 yards which included two runs of over 50 yards each.  The final and key score being a 55-yard run to secure the win in the final moments of the game.

Kylan Thomas ramped-up the running game on his very first play after filling in as QB following Hodge’s injury, with a 52-yard TD run, ending up with 120 yards on six carries.

The Bulldogs played solid defense in the first half before giving up a couple of big plays just before halftime, but overall, they spent more time in Pittsburg’s backfield than the Pirates own running backs disrupting their passing game all night.

This forced Jimmerson to scramble on almost every play and was only able to complete 9 out of 21 attempts. While Pittsburgh was able to come up with some very big plays throughout the game on first and second downs, the Bulldog defense was able to hold Pittsburgh to 2 of 10 on third down conversions.  Senior Eric Gipson, who has committed to Texas State University, led the defensive effort along with senior Linebacker Brennan Varnell.

The Bulldogs will play Center, another 4A team, next week in their first home game at 7:30 P.M. for their “Salute to Service Night.”.

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