Quarterback McLane Carter at the helm of high-powered Tyler Junior College offense

Tyler Junior College's McLane Carter carries the ball in the first half of their game against Northeastern Oklahoma during their homecoming football game at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium Saturday Sept. 17, 2016. (Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

At 6-3 and weighing in at 215 pounds, McLane Carter could hardly be considered a jockey.

After all, a jockey averages about 5 feet tall and 110 pounds.

But Carter, Tyler Junior College's standout freshman quarterback, is just that - the jockey who is in charge of the Apaches high-scoring, lightning quick "Racehorse Offense."

Instead of wearing silks, Carter wears a jersey with the No. 8 in either gold, white or black.

Carter, the former Gilmer High School standout, leads a TJC offense that tops the nation in average scoring at 70.3 points per game, some 13 points more than runner-up New Mexico Military Institute.

With Carter at the reins, the TJC unit has been a crisp unit marching up and down in the field in victories over Texas A&T (63-0), Northeastern Oklahoma A&M (65-14) and Cisco (83-65).

"We're an up-tempo offense," Carter said. "We like to get on the ball and get people gassed on the defensive side. We like to get down the field and put up as many points as possible.

"When the ref places the ball and when he gets out of the way, we like to snap it."

That attack is working. The fans and sports writers and broadcasters have to pay attention or you just might miss when one of Carter's laser passes to speedy Savon Rollison and or another of the stable of fast wide receivers and tight ends.

Carter is ninth in the nation with a passing average of 214.7 yards per game and is second at average yards per attempt at 14.2. He has thrown eight TD passes with two interceptions.

All of that is in just about six quarters of work.

Carter, a transfer from Incarnate Word, and backup Elijah Staley, a freshman transfer from Mississippi State, have the Apaches leading the nation in a number of categories - total offense (626.7 average), passing (325.0), rushing (274.7), first downs (28.3) and third-down conversions (57 percent).

It helps that Carter is quite familiar with the Apaches offense, which is directed by offensive coordinator Ryan Taylor, a former Apache and UCLA Bruin offensive lineman.

"This is a similar offense that we ran in Gilmer," said Carter, who led the Buckeyes to the 2014 Class 4A Division II state title by throwing for 3,969 yards and 47 touchdowns with two interceptions. "We learned this offense in the seventh and eighth grades at Gilmer. Coach (Jeff) Traylor (former Gilmer coach and current Texas assistant) and coach (Matt) Turner (current Gilmer coach) have been teaching this for years. There are kids over in Gilmer learning this now in the seventh grade."

Carter gives the credit to his offensive line for making things go.

"They are doing a great job; the pass protection is awesome and they made the running game go," Carter said. "They are going a big-time job."

But the team is not even thinking about letting up rounding the turn.

Carter knows there is a gauntlet of standout teams down the stretch, starting with Saturday night's clash with Blinn at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Carter said he feels this team has a chance to have a special season.

"We are joining together to play the game we love," Carter said. "We have great coaches leading our team. Guys have each other's backs out here. We want to be great. We want to win."

Along with Traylor and Turner, Carter has been influenced heavily by his older brother G.J. Kinne, the former Canton, Gilmer and University of Tulsa quarterback who is currently playing for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League.

"G.J. has taught me how to live, play the game the right way and enjoy it," Carter said. "It is a (blessing) to have someone like G.J. to lead me and have him to look up to."

Carter originally signed with the University of Incarnate Word out of high school, but he said "it didn't feel like home and I wanted to make a change."

He plans to graduate in December and pick out a new school.

But first he would like to win the triple crown - conference regular season championship, conference postseason title and a national crown.

TWITTER:@PhilHicksETFS

 

The No. 3 Tyler Junior College Apaches (3-0, 2-0 Southwest Junior College Football Conference) meet the Blinn College Buccaneers (3-2, 2-2) on Saturday at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium. Kickoff on Earl Campbell Field is scheduled for 7 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 34 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.

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