DeRidder defense made big plays down the stretch to secure the Dragon's first district win of the year.

DeRidder had two stops in the redzone in the final quarter to defeat Bolton 13-9 Thursday night on the road.

"I'm super proud of the kids for starting off the district season 1-0," DeRidder head coach Brad Parmley said. "It was kind of a weird night. Bolton did a good job of keeping the ball away from us by playing ground-and-pound and ball control. Our kids made plays when it mattered the most."

Midway through the fourth quarter, Bolton was unable to convert on a fourth-and-6 deep in DeRidder territory, but the Dragons lost a fumble soon after.

But, once again, the DeRidder defense answered the call with another turnover on downs to keep the Bears out of the endzone.

"The defense has been playing well for us, and those guys have bought into what we have been talking about," Parmley said. "They are playing for each other, and we have to continue that so we can have success in the future."

The Dragons (4-2, 1-0) put the nail in the coffin on the next drive with a 43-yard pass from quarterback KJ Gooden over the top to wide receiver Isaiah Roberson on a fake quick pass to the outside to pick up the first down and the clock moving.

"At some point you have to roll the dice," Parmley said. "We rolled them and came up with a big catch. KJ made a good throw."

DeRidder running back Jalyn Thurman got his team on the board first with a 10-yard touchdown run to go up 6-0, but Bolton running back Xxaveia Woods tied it up with a long 86-yard run late in the second quarter.

The Bears took the lead heading into the break after a 21-yard field goal.

With 33 seconds left to play in the third, Gooden ran it in from 13 yards out to give DeRidder the 13-9 lead.

"We were really resilient last night," Parmley said. "Things weren't going our way on offense, and I think we only ran nine or 10 plays in the second half last night on offense. They controlled the ball almost the entire second half. We didn't touch it very often. Defensively, we kept plugging and kept them out of the endzone, and we found a way to win."

Gooden racked up 42 yards on nine carries and was 6-for-15 for 140 yards in the win.

Thurman ran 13 times for 60 yards and a score.

DeRidder is back in action next week as it takes on Leesville at home.

"We just have to get better at what we do," Parmley said. "It's a big game and one of those that's fun to be a part of. The bottom line is that it's a football game. We have to block and execute."