FORNEY, Texas – Frisco's resurgent season came as a result of a simple formula for success -- run the ball and win the battles in the trenches.
Against Kilgore on Friday, Frisco ran into team that employed the same philosophy.
But with a noticeable size advantage on both sides of the ball, Kilgore ended up imposing its will on Frisco en route to a 24-10 win at Forney's City Bank Stadium.
Kilgore (9-4) advances to play Corsicana in the 4A Division II Region II finals at 7:30 Friday in Forney.
"They're a team that can run the ball and controls the clock," said Frisco head coach Vance Gibson. "They're strong up front and we're not real big up front on either side of the ball. It was a matchup we knew would be tough for us."
From the opening kickoff, Kilgore had its way with Frisco (9-4) upfront. The Bulldogs opened huge holes for running backs LD Anthony (122 yards and a touchdown) and Dondra Halton (174 yards).
"They just do a good job of executing," Gibson said. "They have big strong guys that try to wear you down."
On the other side of the ball, Frisco had trouble opening holes for its own workhorse running back, Carlos Harris. Harris didn't muster a rush for more than 10 yards in the game and finished with just 46 on the ground.
Frisco rushed for just 151 yards total, and its struggles on third down (3-for-13) proved problematic throughout the game.
Kilgore took a 7-3 lead into halftime despite three first-half turnovers, and quarterback Riley Toler extended it in the third with a 1-yard touchdown run.
Following a Frisco three-and-out, Halton led Kilgore on another long drive that ended with a field goal that gave the Bulldogs a 17-3 lead with 4:55 left in the game.
Frisco moved Harris over to receiver on its next drive and it paid off. Harris was on the receiving end of all six of Frisco's pass completions on the day, good for 59 yards.
"We just wanted to get an athlete out in space and see if he could make some plays," Gibson said of the move.
The pass plays to Harris led to a 1-yard touchdown run by Derek Deiter to cut Kilgore's lead to 17-10 with 3:05 left in the game.
Frisco attempted an onsides kick following the touchdown. The kick landed in a good spot for Frisco, but Kilgore recovered and Halton scored on a 15-yard run four plays later.
The loss ends a resurgent season for Frisco, which has struggled in recent years because of expansion in Frisco ISD. The Raccoons went a combined 1-19 from 2008 to 2009.
Two years later, Frisco has rebuilt itself into a more than competitive 4A program.