HALLSVILLE — Jacksonville's offense put on a show that was capped off with a 59-44 victory over Hallsville in the District 9-5A-II opener for both teams on Friday evening at Bobcat Stadium.
Tribe quarterback Patrick Clater torched the Hallsville defense for four touchdown passes, while running for another, as Jacksonville (1-3, 1-0) picked up its first win of the year.
The loss came on homecoming for Hallsville, and dropped the Bobcats to 0-3, 0-1.
Clater had his most productive night of the year in going 18-30-0 for 269 yards. He also rushed for 57 yards on seven carries.
Jacksonville head football coach Wayne Coleman promised some personnel changes, and at least one of those changes paid immediate rewards.
Devin McCuin had seven catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns and carried four times for 16 yards.
His scoring receptions covered 31 and 3 yards, respectively.
Dominik Hinojosa gained 60 yards on 13 carries, and was on the receiving end of two touchdown strikes from Clater in the second half.
Isaiah Mallard returned the opening kick off 35 yards giving the Tribe excellent starting field position at their own 45-yard line.
Fourteen plays later Clater powered into the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown that put the indians on the scoreboard first in a game that they led from start to finish.
With 3:02 to play in the first half Mallard again worked his magic on a kick off by returning the ball 96 yards down the Hallsville sideline for a touchdown that made the score 34-14 in favor of Jacksonville, after Jose Solano's point after touchdown.
The first half ended with the Bobcats trailing 34-21 after Tim Wynn hauled in a 48-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Lee with 1:29 left in the opening half.
After receiving the ball first to open the final half, the Bobcats pulled to within six points, 34-28, following a 27-yard touchdown scamper by Elijah Henderson that came with 10:40 left in the third period.
On its ensuring possession, the Indians came back to score on a 3-yard touchdown pass to McCuin from Clater.
Jacksonville extended its lead to 44-28 after a 28-yard field goal from Solano that came with 2:16 left in the third.
With the Indians comfortably leading by 24 points, 52-28, with 1:36 to go in the third quarter, Hallsville continued to dig and scrape and was able to score touchdowns and two-point conversions on back-to-back possessions to cut the Indian lead to 52-44 with 8:39 left in the game.
Jacksonville then marched 53 yards in eight plays, which ended with Hinojosa reeling in a 6-yard touchdown pass from Clater, giving Jacksonville a two touchdown advantage, 59-44 with 4:52 left in the affair.
Kalaeb Clayton then picked off a Hallsville pass on the fifth play of the Bobcats' subsequent march, which turned out to be the icing on the cake for the Tribe.
Jacksonville racked up 269 yards passing and 146 yards on the ground to end the evening with 415 total yards.
The 59 points for the Indians was more that the team had scored in its first three games combined.
Jacksonville will return home to face Marshall next Friday. The Mavericks lost their district opener, 24-7, to Pine Tree on Friday.
Hallsville is scheduled to travel to Texarkana to face Texas High at the same time.