Palestine pummels Jacksonville, spoils Tribe's home opener

Xavier Kendrick (13) of Jacksonville sets his sights on Palestine running back Kobe Taylor (5) during first half action between the Indians and the Wildcats on Friday night in Jacksonville. The Wildcats (1-1) handed the Indians (0-2) a 51-27 defeat.

Forget trick plays, or fancy razzle-dazzle action, Palestine came into the Historic Tomato Bowl on Friday evening determined to do what everyone knew they liked to do — run the football.

And run the rock they did, in beating the Indians 51-27 in what was Jacksonville's home opener.

The Wildcats (1-1) scored on their first play from scrimmage when Elijah Walker jetted to pay dirt from 60-yards out.

Walker was the game's leading ground gainer, carrying 14 times for 163 yards and two touchdowns.

By the time the first quarter had ended Palestine owned a 27-0 lead and the Wildcats carried a 34-7 advantage into the dressing room at the break.

To make matters worse, Jacksonville made three turnovers (an interception and two fumbles lost) and the Wildcats were able to score touchdowns on their ensuing possession following each of the Tribe miscues in the first half.

Palestine runners carried 47 times for 422 yards and averaged 8.98 yards per carry.

Shedrick Dudley carried 10 times for 95 yards for the Wildcats and Jermny Walker added 55 yards on five carries and scored a pair of touchdowns, which covered 16 and 12 yards, respectively.

The Indians (0-2) were able to get on track offensively in the second half, but there was too much distance between the home team and the Wildcats for Jacksonville to have a reasonable chance at rallying for a victory.

Indian quarterback Ryan McCown and wideout Devin McCuin were able to make a few things happen through the air for the Tribe in the final half.

McCuin had 14 grabs for 234 yards and a touchdown and was the game's leading receiver. His touchdown came at the 1:29 mark of the third quarter when McCuin had outrun the defender and McCown hit in stride in the end zone.

McCown wrapped up the night by going 23-35-1 for 297 yards and two touchdowns.

Isaiah Mallard put Jacksonville on the scoreboard when he powered in from 8-yards out with 58 ticks left in the first half. Mallard led the Indians in rushing (10 carries for 40 yards).

Following the point after touchdown by Aaron Bergara, the Wildcat lead had been trimmed to 34-7.

Ryan Walker cracked the scoring column for the Tribe by catching a 4-yard scoring strike from McCown at the 6:09 mark of the third period.

JT Johnson also scored his first touchdown of the season when he zipped into the end zone from 15 yards out with 6:14 left in the contest.

Dylen Roberts and Cash Bearden had interceptions for the Tribe.

Jacksonville will be in Henderson next week to face the 1-1 Lions at 7:30 p.m on Friday. Henderson was thumped by Gilmer, 43-14, on Friday.

The Wildcats will travel to take on Rusk (2-0) at the same time.








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