KILGORE -- The Apaches were hoping to stay unbeaten on the road and thus ensure a home playoff game.
Instead, Kilgore College celebrated homecoming with a convincing 50-29 victory over No. 8 Tyler Junior College before 5,000 fans on Saturday at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium.
What it means is the Apaches (5-3, 4-3 Southwest Junior College Football Conference) will have to make back-to-back trips to Kilgore. The Apaches and Rangers (5-3, 4-3) will meet in the SWJCFC semifinal next Saturday in Oil Capital of East Texas. The time of the game will be announced later, Dr. Tim Drain, TJC athletic director, said.
The other semifinal has No. 4 Trinity Valley (8-1, 6-1) hosting No. 4 Northeastern Oklahoma A&M (5-4, 4-3). That game is set for 3 p.m. kickoff next Saturday at Bruce Field in Athens.
The semifinal winners will meet in the conference championship game on Nov. 12 at the highest remaining seed.
After an impressive mistake-free win on the road last week in Roswell, New Mexico, coach Danny Palmer's squad was confident entering in the contest. A win would have meant a home playoff game and knocking rival Kilgore out of the postseason.
Too many mistakes and penalties were too much for the Apaches to overcome.
TJC had 12 penalties for 137 yards. KC also saw many flags, 14 for 133.
But the Apaches had three lost fumbles and an interception.
What really hurt was in the second quarter when TJC quarterback McLane Carter hit speedster Savon Rollison for what appeared to be a 75-yard TD pass. Rollison broke two tackles and somehow managed to stay on his feet en route to play dirt.
As he has done in the past he slowed up as he neared the goal line. This time it cost him as just before he found the end zone Kilgore's Will Smith stripped the ball and the football bounded out of the end zone. Instead of a TJC touchdown and momentum it was a touchback for the Rangers.
From there is was downhill for TJC.
Kilgore quarterback Chander Eiland, a former Canton star, sliced up the Apaches defense, running for 76 yards and two touchdowns and passing for 145 yards and two touchdowns.
TJC's Carter passed for 373 yards and rushed for 52. He had a TD pass to Joseph Ward.
Jordan Lawless, the former Lindale standout, had field goals of 34, 46 and 26.
At R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium
Kilgore 50, Tyler 29
Tyler Junior College 10 6 6 7 - 29
Kilgore College 0 14 22 14 - 50
TJC- Jordan Lawless 34 FG, 9:17.
TJC- Fua Sopoi 3 run (Lawless kick), 5:34.
KC- Jarod Wood 5 pass from Chandler Eiland (Alvin Kenworthy kick), 14:52.
TJC- Lawless 46 FG, !3:36.
KC- Byron Proctor 43 pass from Eiland (Kenworthy kick), 12:14.
TJC- Lawless 26 FG, 1:17.
KC- Eiland 9 run (Kenworthy kick), 12:28.
TJC- Kee Kee Johnson 2 run (pass failed), 8:30.
KC- Eiland 7 run (Kenworthy kick).
KC- Tyreik Gray 1 run (Eiland run).
TJC- Joseph Ward 25 pass from McLane Carter (Lawless kick), 14:14.
KC- Gray 19 run (Kenworthy kick), 8:37.
KC- Marquise Brousard 20 run (Kenworthy kick), 4:04
First Downs 20 32
Rushing Yards 29-156 62-337
Passing Yards 373 145
Passing Stats 23-45-1 14-24-0
Punting Stats 4-28.8 8-36.8
Fumbles-Lost 5-3 4-2
Penalties 14-133 12-137
Rushing- Tyler, Fua Sapoi 3-16, Aron Dobbins 5-32, Kee Kee Johnson 5-28, JT Smith 6-30, Savon Rollison 1-(-2), McLane Carter 9-52. Kilgore, Marquis Broussard 15-113, Chandler Eiland 18-76, Byron Proctor 8-35, Tyreik Gray 20-114, Team 1-(-1).
Passing- Tyler, Carter 23-45-1 373, Kilgore, Eiland 14-24-0 145. .
Receiving- Tyler, Joseph Ward 6-57, Savon Rollison 9-232, Alfred Scott 1-6, CJ Thomas 4-22, Justin Carr 1-27, Emmanuel Gordon 2-29. Kilgore, Gray 2-14, Zach Newbell 2-37, Cameron Fisher 3-25, Eiland 1-(-4), Anthony Thomas 1-5, Jarod Wood 1-5, Joe Lewis 1-(-5), Proctor 1-43, Kyle McBride 2-25.