NACOGDOCHES — Jake Smith tossed three touchdown passes, and the Nacogdoches Dragons kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a 43-6 victory over the Hallsville Bobcats in District 9-5A Division II action at Dragon Stadium.
Nacogdoches improves to 2-7 overall and 2-4 in the district with the win heading into a regular-season finale next week at Mount Pleasant.
Hallsville drops to 2-7 and 0-6 with the loss and will close out the season at home next Friday against Whitehouse.
The Dragons opened the scoring late in the first quarter (3:420 when Camorian Thacker raced 20 yards for a touchdown off the right side.
That capped an 11-play, 69-yard drive for the Dragons.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Bobcats fielded the ball on the 2-yard line, but stepped back into the end zone and took a knee as the Dragons were awarded a safety to give the home team a 9-0 lead.
Late in the second quarter, Smith tossed his first touchdown pass — a 40-yard strike to Zay Floyd at the 2:09 mark to end an eight-play, 84-yard drive and give the home team a 16-0 halftime lead.
The Dragons extended the lead with 9:02 to play in the third on a 2-yard pass from Smith to Jatavious Deckard at the end of a 3-play, 50-yard drive that was highlighted by a 41-yard run from Thacker.
Hallsville’s lone score came at the 3:46 mark of the third on a 1-yard touchdown run up the middle by Buck Buchanan.
Carter Rojas had a 30-yard run on the drive to move the ball to the Dragon five, and Buchanan did the scoring honors to end a six-play, 63-yard drive.
The rest of the game belonged to the Dragons, who got a 30-yard TD run by Floyd late in the third and then used a 2-yard TD pass from Smith to Drayton Brown and a 43-yard run by Thacker to end the scoring.