LUFKIN - Quality over quantity.
The Kilgore Bulldogs made the most of a few plays in the first half to build a big lead, and then coasted after the break en route to a 49-0 win over Little Cypress-Mauriceville in a Class 4A Division I, Region III bi-district football game at Abe Martin Stadium.
Kilgore (8-3) moves on to face El Campo, a 53-6 winner over Houston Kashmere, next week in the area playoffs. LC-M ends the season with a 4-5 record.
The Bulldogs had the ball for just 14 plays in the first half, while the Bears dominated time of possession and ran 43 plays.
It didn’t matter.
Briant Mumphrey carried seven times for 91 times and scored twice in first half, and Patrick Jackson tossed a TD pass as the Bulldogs built a 21-0 cushion. Mumphrey finished the night with 15 carries for 171 yards and the two scores. Jackson added 85 yards on the ground, and the Bulldogs finished with 305 rushing yards.
LC-M quarterback Ethan McCollum carried 23 times for 113 yards and passed for 81 yards in the loss.
All three touchdowns in the first half came after big defensive plays or special teams plays.
LC-M drove from its own 1-yard line to midfield before Isaiah Smith dropped J’Lon Douglas for a loss of two, forcing a punt. The snap sailed over punter Kooper Abernathy’s head and Daniel Sifford tackled Abernathy at the LC-M 16 to set up the first score - a 16-yard TD jaunt by Mumphrey on the first play.
On the Bears’ next possession, Tyreik Mumphrey dropped Ethan McKay for a loss of four on third-and-9, and McCollum threw incomplete on fourth down to turn things back over to the Bulldogs.
Mumphrey again did all the damage, picking up 12 yards on first down, breaking free for a 52-yard bolt on the next play and then scoring on a leaping, 2-yard TD run for a 14-0 Kilgore lead.
LC-M mounted another long drive on the next possession, driving from their own 15 to the Kilgore 14 before McCollum fumbled and Damien Parker recovered for the Bulldogs.
This time, Jackson took over with runs of 11 and 24 yards and completions of 21 yards to Mumphrey and 10 yards to Jonathan Shepherd before hitting Deundre Blanton on a 3-yard TD pass for a 21-0 halftime cushion.
The TD catch was Blanton’s first reception of the season.
Kilgore took the opening possession of the second half and drove 68 yards in nine plays, with Ja’Vorie Hamilton scoring on a 1-yard run to boost the lead to 28-0.
The Bears drove 67 yards in 13 plays and ate up nearly six minutes of clock on their next possession, but McCollum fumbled into the end zone and Smith recovered to set up another Kilgore nine-play drive.
Jackson’s 50-yard run highlighted the march, which was capped by Hamilton’s 3-yard TD run up the middle for a 35-0 Bulldog cushion.
Sebastian Mumphrey got the Kilgore defense on the scoreboard on LC-M’s next possession, picking off McCollum and returning it 67 yards for a touchdown, and Nesba Brown later returned a punt to the 13-yard line to set up the final score.
Triston Shaffer carried seven straight times, capping the short drive with a 3-yard run to make the final 49-0.