BRENHAM, Texas – Blinn College football didn't get the type of start that it wanted but the finish was nearly perfect as the Buccaneers stormed back to upset No. 16 Kilgore College 52-41 Saturday night at Cub Stadium in Brenham after trailing 27-0 in the first half.
The come-from-behind victory improves the Blinn overall record to 3-2 and 2-2 in the Southwest Junior College Football Conference standings.
"We knew that we made errors and we came out and corrected those errors in the second half," said Ryan Mahon, Blinn interim head coach. "We really shot ourselves in the foot early on."
D'Anthony Hopkins pounded out the majority of the yards on the ground for Blinn with 182 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries. Earnest Patterson Jr. had another big game for the Buccaneers with 17 receptions and 233 yards and a touchdown.
"This was an intense game and we needed this game as a team," Patterson said.
Caleb Hill really came on in the second half for Blinn and finished with 320 yards passing and two touchdowns on 21-of-30 passing to guide the Buccaneers to a much-needed victory. Hill even added a rushing touchdown for three total touchdowns.
"I have to give a lot of credit to my offensive line because I had a lot of time to through and some of those running holes you could have run a truck through," Hill said.
Spotting a team 27 points is not ideal for any team but Blinn found itself trailing Kilgore 27-0 early in the second quarter. The lone bright spot for the Buccaneers in the first half was a 49-yard touchdown run by Hopkins to get within 27-7 at the half.
Blinn came out more determined in the second half as Kentory Matthews capped a 70-yard drive with an eight-yard touchdown run to get Blinn within 27-14 of Kilgore with 10:56 left in the third. The Buccaneers crept even closer when Hill found Dandre Reed for a 17-yard touchdown pass to get within 27-21 with 8:09 left in the third.
Kilgore countered with a touchdown to take a 35-21 lead and Blinn came right back with a 27-yard field goal from Ryan Buckley to get within 35-24. A big momentum shift came when Kilgore fumbled near its goal line and Norman Reeves came up with the fumble at the Kilgore 1-yard line. Hill scored on the next play on a quarterback sneak to get within 35-31 with 4:47 left in the third.
Kilgore fought back with a touchdown to go up 10 but Hopkins answered back by breaking off a 66-yard touchdown rush on fourth-and-2 to get within 41-38 with 41.3 second left in the third. Blinn was able to outscore Kilgore 31-14 in the third quarter.
The fourth quarter was even more impressive as the Buccaneers shut out Kilgore and went after their first lead of the game early in the fourth. Hopkins capped an 11-play drive that stretch 65 yards as Hopkins ran in a touchdown from a yard out for the first Blinn lead of the game at 45-41.
Hill found Patterson again to put some distance between Blinn and Kilgore as Patterson managed to stay in bounds and scamper 77 yards for a touchdown reception to give Blinn a 52-41 lead that would hold up until the final horn.
Blinn will next travel to face Tyler Junior College on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m.
This football game against Kilgore was Blinn's Adam's Angels fundraiser game, with proceeds benefitting Adam's Angels Ministry, a nonprofit organization founded by Donna and Tim Culliver of Brenham as a way to reach out to families that have been affected by childhood cancer. All monetary donations and fundraising proceeds raised from this game will allow Adam's Angels to assist families with living expenses, fuel costs, medical parking and meal vouchers. For more information, visit www.adamsangelsministry.org.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 34 NJCAA national championships since 1987. For more information, visit www.buccaneersports.com.
About Blinn College
With an enrollment of 19,422 students, Blinn ranks among the nation's leaders in transferring students to leading four-year universities and has received national recognition for affordable educational excellence. For more information, visit www.blinn.edu.