If ESPN Game Day visited junior college football games, Tyler would be the place to be on Saturday.

The Rose City is hosting the 83rd Texas Rose Festival and also a huge football game.

The No. 7 Tyler Junior College Apaches take on the No. 5 Trinity Valley Community College Cardinals at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Earl Campbell Field.

The contest will be broadcast on KTBB 97.5-FM, 600-AM.

TJC is 4-1 on the season and 3-1 in Southwest Junior College Football Conference play, while TVCC is 5-1 and 3-1. The winner has the inside track to a playoff berth. The top four squads earn spots in the postseason.

Both offenses are off the charts with Tyler leading the nation in yards per game (642), points (60.8) and passing (408.6).

Quarterback McLane Carter, a former Gilmer High School standout and younger brother of CFL quarterback G.J. Kinne, is third in the nation in passing yards - 334.4 per game. Savon Rollison, a sophomore wide receiver from Dallas, is tops in receiving per game (147.8) and receiving TDs (11).

Defensively, Tyler Hayes, a sophomore defensive back from Euless, leads the Apaches in tackles at 10.6 per game. That ranks No. 13 in the nation. Michael Epley, a sophomore defensive end from Leander, tops the Apaches in sacks at 6.5, while Anthony Fa'amu, a sophomore from Euless, is next at 6.0.

Turnover-wise, TJC's Seth Glenn (freshman, DB, Klein Oak) has five interceptions (tied for third in nation) while Nate Jones (sophomore, DB, Mansfield) has four fumble recoveries (tied for third) and two pickoffs.

The Apaches rank No. 55 defensively by allowing 412.6 yards per game.

As for Trinity Valley, the Cardinals are seventh in the country offensively, gaining at a clip of 521.8 yards per game and averaging 45.0 points.

Top individuals for the Cards include Richardson freshman quarterback Michael Curtis (23, 181.3), Allen freshman wide receiver Jalen Guyton (33, 64.0) and Wichita Falls sophomore kick returner Cedric Battle (6, 31.6).

Defensively, TVCC is allowing 469.2 yards per game, which ranks No. 63.

Patrick Peek (freshman, DB, Aledo) ranks No. 1 in the country with five fumble recoveries. Also, Copperas Cove sophomore defensive lineman Tyrell Thompson has five sacks.

Other SWJCFC teams in the Top 20 include No. 11 Kilgore College (4-1) and No. 15 Blinn College (5-2). Northwest Mississippi (6-0) tops the poll, followed by Garden City (Kansas) (6-0), Arizona Western (6-0) and East Mississippi (5-1).

It is also Parents Weekend at TJC while it will be the Apaches' final regular-season home game.

Tyler's final two regular season games are on the road - Oct. 22 vs. New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico, and Oct. 29 in Kilgore.

TJC, TVCC and KC are all tied for the lead in the league with 3-1 marks. Blinn is 3-2, followed by NMMI at 2-2. Northeastern Oklahoma A&M is 3-3 and Navarro is 1-3 while Cisco is 0-5.

Other games on Saturday include: Cisco at Arkansas Baptist, 1 p.m.; New Mexico Military at Blinn, 5 p.m.; Navarro at Kilgore, 5 p.m.; and Coffeyville (Kansas) at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, 6 p.m.


Sports Editor

I am a native Tylerite and I grew up reading the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Tyler Courier-Times. My parents took both the morning and afternoon papers. I came to work here 35 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.

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