KILGORE - The Blinn Buccaneers proved why they are the top team in the nation on Saturday, battling their way back from a 21 point first quarter deficit to defeat the Kilgore College Rangers 52-45 in a hard fought SWJCFC shootout on the road.
With the win, the Buccaneers remain a perfect 8-0 on the season and 5-0 in SWJCFC play, and keep their hopes of a fifth national championship alive.
After a lackluster first quarter in which the Bucs trailed 21-0, the offense and special teams came to life, outscoring the Rangers 38-7 in the second quarter to take a 38-28 lead going into halftime. Sophomore Kyle Aubuchon (Hebron) led the Bucs’ comeback with a 65-yard punt return that was followed by a 15-yard touchdown pass from redshirt freshman quarterback Eric Matthews (Brookshire Royal) to sophomore wide receiver Jacob Bennett (Klein Collins). Aubuchon also returned a punt 53 yards for a touchdown.
Both offenses subsided in the third, with the Bucs scoring once on a Matthews touchdown to take a 45-31 lead heading into the final quarter.
In the fourth, Kilgore (3-5, 2-3 SWJCFC) would score a quick touchdown to cut the lead to 45-38, but the Bucs would answer right back to take a 52-38 lead. On the next possession, Tyler would score on a fourth down play to get within a touchdown with 6:05 left to play. Tyler’s defense would then force the Bucs to punt, setting up a potential game-winning drive. However, the Bucs defense would force a fumble with just under two minutes to play to secure the 52-45 win.
The Bucs finish up the regular season on the road Oct. 29 against Cisco Junior College.