Phil Hicks, firstname.lastname@example.org
KILGORE -- Kilgore College rallied from a 23-0 first quarter deficit to score a 58-51 win over Tyler Junior College in a SWJCFC semifinal game on Saturday at R. E. St. John Memorial Stadium.
The Rangers (6-3) advance to the league championship against Trinity Valley (9-1) next Saturday in Athens. Kickoff will be announced later.
TVCC defeated Northeastern Oklahoma 48-40 on Saturday in the other semifinal.
TJC ends its season at 5-4.
KC quarterback Chandler Eiland, a sophomore from Canton, carved and sliced up the TJC defense for the second straight week. He ran for five touchdowns and threw for two others. He passed for 344 yards and rushed for 121 yards.
TJC quarterback McLane Carter threw for 306 yards and rushed for 49. He also had a TD reception.
Carter threw for five TD touchdown passes.
Tyler had a chance to get the ball one more time, but the Apaches had another personal foul which gave the Rangers a first down and the ballgame with about 50 seconds remaining.
TJC bolted out to a 23-0 first quarter lead, but most of the advantage had evaporated by halftime as the Rangers scored the next 16 points.
The Apaches took a 2-0 lead when the snap sailed over Eiland's head and out of the end zone for a safety.
Tyler then was set up when Seth Glenn picked off Eiland. Along the way punter Jordan Lawless gave his team a spark by rambling 40 yards on a fake to the KC 3. After a chop block wiped out a TD, Carter hit John Murray with an 18-yard TD pass. Lawless' PAT put TJC up 9-0 with 5:17 to go in the first half.
After the kickoff, Eiland fumbled and Logo Kaleopa recovered the ball, the first of his two, at the KC 15.
Two plays later, TJC drawed up some trickery as Carter pitched the ball to Alfred Scott who then threw back to the QB for an 11-yard TD pass. Lawless' PAT made it 16-0 with 4:24 on the clock.
After another Kaleopa fumble recovery and a 26-yard jaunt by Carter, the Gilmer QB hit tight end Emmanuel Gordon for a 5-yard TD pass. Lawless' extra point put Tyler up 23-0 with 3:!6 showing.
Kilgore then showed they were not going down without a fight as the Apaches lost three fumbles and threw an interception.
Eiland threw TD passes of 36 to Kyle McBride and 43 to Tyreik Gray, sandwiched around a 31-yard field goal by Alvin Kentworthy.
Lawless almost connected on a 44-yarder but the football hit the upright.
Rollison had seven catches for 148 yards, including an 84-yard reception.
In the second half, Carter also tossed TD passes of 6 to Cobe Carraway and 10 to CJ Thomas.
Athens freshman Logan Fuller also added a 1-yard TD run.
Lawless booted seven PATs.
Eiland scored on runs of 7, 7, 1, 1 and 5.
TJC had seven turnovers, four lost fumbles and three interceptions.
Tyler picked off two passes -- one each by Seth Glenn an Michael Epley.
Pickoffs for KC were by Hasan Defense (2) and Kerenzo Credit.
Kee Johnson led the Apaches in rushing with 85 yards on 12 carries, while Fuller added 60 yard on 10 totes.
The winner of the TVCC vs. KC game advances to the C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl on Dec. 3 in Copperas Cove.