By Jim Pitts
Corsicana Daily Sun
RICE — —
Jayd Kirby rushed for 152 yards and passed for another 135 yards as the Blooming Grove Lions beat the Rice Bulldogs, 41-21, at Bulldog Stadium Friday night.
The Lions upped their season mark to 4-1, while evening their District 6-2A Division II mark at 1-1. Rice fell to 1-4, 0-2.
Blooming Grove took advantage of the wind in the second quarter to break open a close game by scoring three times to take a 28-14 lead at halftime, after playing to a 7-7 tie in the first quarter. Kirby completed four of six passes for 123 yards in the quarter, including a big 60-yard strike to Brandon Hayes for a touchdown. The play came one play after Rice tied the game at 14-14 on a 75-yard run by Ragan Henderson, who broke the 1,000-yard barrier for the season on the play.
In the second half, going into the wind, Blooming Grove put the game away with a devastating ground attack that controlled the ball for over eight minutes and kept the Rice offense off the field. Kirby guided the Lions on a nine-play, 75-yard drive, capped by Kirby’s 1-yard plunge to push the Lion advantage to 35-14. Both Kirby and Travis Whiteside had four carries for 30 yards on the drive.
Rice, behind Henderson and Chris Atchley, tried to rally on the ensuing possession. Driving into Lions’ territory, the Bulldogs were stopped by the defensive play of Anthony Black and Kirby, who had a big tackle for loss on third down and added a fumble recovery at the Lions’ 30-yard line.
Blooming Grove took over and again, going into the wind, kept the ball on the ground for all 15 plays. Kirby again ended the 70-yard drive with a 1-yard plunge on fourth down early in the final quarter to take a 41-14 lead. Tyler Morris added four carries for 40 yards on the drive.
The Bulldogs had the final score of the night late in the fourth quarter. Dalton Pike found Henderson open on a swing pass, and the running back took it 28 yards for the score. Pike completed four out of five passes for 63 yards on the drive, including a big 16-yard pass to Atchley on fourth down to keep the drive alive.
Defensively, the Lions, who held Henderson to well below his season average, were led by Kirby with seven tackles, including the key tackle for a loss and a fumble recovery, and Black with six tackles. Dalton Wasinger added five stops for Blooming Grove.
Rice was led by Raven Huffman, playing in his first game since a Week 0 injury, with 10 tackles, and Atchley with nine.
Blooming Grove 41, Rice 21
Blooming Grove 7 21 7 6 —41
Rice 7 7 0 7 — 21
R — Ragan Henderson 17 run (Junior Pena kick), 8:50
B — Tyler Ellis 10 pass from Jayd Kirby (Ellis kick), 2:29
B — Kirby 1 run (Ellis kick), 10:56
R — Henderson 75 run (Pena kick), 9:59
B — Brandon Hayes 60 pass from Kirby (Ellis kick), 9:46
B — Kirby 5 run (Ellis kick), 2:44
B — Kirby 1 run (Ellis kick), 8:32
B — Kirby 1 run (pass failed), 11:30
R — Henderson 28 pass from Dalton Pike (Pena kick), 1:25
First downs 28 14
Rush-yards 56-332 33-213
Passing yards 135 63
C-A-I 6-9-0 4-12-0
Fumbles-lost 0-0 2-1
Punts-avg. 0-0.0 4-19.0
Penalties-yards 3-25 3-35
Rushing: B: Jayd Kirby 30-152, Tyler Morris 11-75, Travis Whiteside 10-61, Daniel Camarillo 2-30, Brandon Hays 2-15, Tyler Ellis 1-(-1). R: Ragan Henderson 21-150, Chris Atchley 10-68, Dalton Pike 1-(-5),.
Passing: B: Jayd Kirby 6-9-0-135. R: Dalton Pike 4-11-0-53, Ragan Henderson 0-1-0-0.
Receiving: B: Brandon Hayes 2-63, Tyler Ellis 2-54, Tyler Morris 1-16, Travis Whiteside 1-2. R: Eric Hughes 2-19, Ragan Henderson 1-28, Chris Atchley 1-16.