Terrell returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown to thrill the home crowd and kept it close for a half before Kaufman pulled out a 31-7 win in the rivalry match Friday night.
It was Kaufman’s fourth straight victory in the series previously dominated by Terrell for decades.
Kaufman returns to Lions Stadium this week for the homecoming game with Royse City, hoping to stay in second place in district, just a game back of leader Corsicana.
Coach Jeramy Burleson said he expects a good ball game. Royse City is a run-heavy team, he said, with the coach’s son at tailback. Payton Petroff has size (210 lbs.) and speed (4.8 in the 40).
Burleson said Terrell came out playing hard, with the rivalry on the line.
But the Lions were able to figure out some things in the second half to move the ball.
The Lions tied it up with a 22-yard touchdown pass from Trey Collier to Cecil Gasper in the first quarter and took the lead for good, 9-7, with a safety in the second quarter on a fumble out of the end zone.
Kaufman added two third quarter touchdowns to take control 23-7, with Kevon Butler going 44 yards and the Collier-to-Gasper combination good for nine yards.
Butler added a 44-yarder in the fourth period for the final margin, with Ladamian Bailey throwing to Jalen Fields for the two-point conversion. Yael Sandoval kicked extra points on the first three touchdowns.
Butler carried the load with 31 rushes for 233 yards on a wet field, which has been the norm this season. Collier ran seven times for 46 yards and Gasper four for 23. He also caught two passes for 31 yards as Collier was 4-9 throwing for 41 yards.
It marked Butler’s second week to start at tailback, and he’s had over 200 yards each time.
With the wet fields, having a successful running game has helped the Lions, with passing the ball a big risk in the rain, Burleson said.
Only one of Kaufman’s six games this year has been on a dry field.
Burleson said Butler has been doing a great job and “we couldn’t do it without the guys up front” blocking.
Kaufman held Terrell to 106 yards passing and 105 running. Leading Lions tacklers were Montana Booker with 7.5, John Maldonado with 5.5, Chris Davidson with 4.5 plus a fumble recovery and fumble caused, Billy Pullen with 3.5 and a blocked punt to go with a fumble caused and fumble recovery, Darius McGee and Michael Glick 2.5 each and Angel Juarez, Colton Roeder, Raikyviun Shaw and Pedro Cortez two each.
In the meeting of the top two teams in the district Friday, Corsicana got a 42-28 win over Sulphur Springs and is 6-0 in 8-5A play. Sulphur Springs drops to 4-1, tied with Kaufman. The two meet at Sulphur Springs Nov. 2.
Ennis fell to Forney 44-29, giving both teams three district losses along with 2-3 Royse City.
Burleson said the Lions had hoped to get some help from Sulphur Springs and now will have to relay on Corsicana’s last two opponents to have a shot at the district’s top seed. The Lions will have to take care of their business as well, he said.
Kaufman ends the regular season Nov. 9 hosting Forney.