Texas A&T must have known things might be tough-going Saturday night when the Drillers’ bus tried to make a right turn into the home parking lot of Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
The bus got stuck. Horns were blowing as traffic backed up both north and south on Lyons Avenue as the football fans and fair-goers were trying to get to their venues. With the East Texas State Fair going on, it was quite a traffic jam. Finally tow trucks arrived and the bus was free.
However, that was not the last of the Drillers’ worries as the Houston-based prep team fell to Tyler Junior College 45-7 on Earl Campbell Field.
It was the home opener for the Apaches after four straight road contests to start the season.
It was quite a festival for TJC with tailgating along with performances by the band and Apache Belles and a nice outing for the football team.
The Apaches, behind quarterback David Johnson and running back Trenton Kennedy, broke out to a 28-0 first-quarter lead.
Kennedy scored on runs of 15 and 55 yards that bookended TD passes from Johnson to former John Tyler star Damion Miller, who was playing at CTMF Rose Stadium for the first time in three years, for 15 yards and Deon Collins for 27 yards. Yovannie Garcia nailed all four PATs.
In the second quarter, Johnson tossed a 24-yard TD pass to Jamir Whitelow and Taequan Tyler bolted into the end zone from 38 yards.
Quarterbacks Johnson (9 of 12 for 154 yards, 3 TDs), Colby Kizzee (4 of 5, 45 yards) and Nate Overholt (4 of 5, 19 yards) threw to 12 different receivers.
The Apaches recovered two fumbles — one each by Van’s Justin Bledsoe and Marquise Conchola. TJC also had two interceptions — one apiece by former John Tyler player Tyus Walker-Grayson and Clayton Rutz.
Walker-Grayson grabbed the pickoff when the football bounced off teammate Bledsoe’s hands. The TJC defensive back then tight-roped it to stay inbounds.
Drillers quarterback Cedrick Montgomery was running all over the field to escape the Apaches’ rush. He completed 10 of 20 for 170 yards, a touchdown (76 yards to Rowry Bailey) and the two interceptions. Bailey had two snags for 120 yards.
TJC held Texas A&T to 16 yards rushing on 25 attempts. The Apaches’ Devere Levelston and Elgin McCloud had sacks.
TJC returns to play next Saturday, traveling to Roswell, New Mexico to meet New Mexico Military in a Southwest Junior College Football Conference game. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. at the Wool Bowl. The Drillers travel to meet Kilgore College on Sept. 28 at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 3 p.m.
In other SWJCFC games: Navarro 51, Cisco 37; Kilgore 28, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M 21; and Blinn 10, Trinity Valley 6.
Tyler JC 45, Texas A&T 7
Texas A&T 0 0 0 7 — 7
Tyler JC 28 14 0 3 — 45
TJC—Trenton Kennedy 15 run (Yovannie Garcia kick), 11:33
TJC—Damion Miller 15 pass from David Johnson (Garcia kick), 9:43
TJC—Deon Collins 27 pass from Johnson (Garcia kick), 7:30
TJC—Kennedy 55 run (Garcia kick), :59
TJC—Jamir Whitelow 24 pass from Johnson (Garcia kick), 10:30
TJC—Taequan Tyler 38 run (Garcia kick), 7:10
A&T—Rowry Bailey 76 pass from Cedrick Montgomery (Deonza McCardell kick), 14:25
TJC—FG Garcia 27, 6:03
Est. Att.: 3,000
First Downs 9 18
Rushes-Yards 25-16 24-197
Passing Yards 170 218
Total Yards 186 415
C-A-I 10-20-2 17-22-0
Punts-Ave. 4-29.8 1-32.0
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 0-0
Penalties 7-55 10-105
Rushing — Texas A&T, Deroddrick Hadnot 7-17, Perry Preston 5-12, Gabriel Luna 1-1, Semaj Trahan 1-4, Jared Love 1-(-5), Cedrick Montgomery 10-(-13). Tyler, Trenton Kennedy 4-84, Taequan Tyler 6-84, Kevon Thompson 5-30, K’Vonte Jackson 3-10, Jamir Whitelow 1-0, Nate Overholt 1-(-1), Colby Kizzee 4-(-10).
Passing — Texas A&T, Cedrick Montgomery 10-20-2-170. Tyler, David Johnson 9-12-0-154, Colby Kizzee 4-5-0-45, Nate Overholt 4-5-0-19.
Receiving — Texas A&T, Jaxon Borowsky 4-32, Rowry Bailey 2-120, Semaj Trahan 2-9, Brenden Teague 2-9. Tyler, Jacob Kainer 2-28, Trenton Kennedy 2-24, K’Vonte Jackson 2-22, Kevon Thompson 2-14, Cartraven Walker 2-7, Drue Jackson 1-31, Deon Collins 1-27, Jamir Whitelow 1-24, Damion Miller 1-15, Sam Hodges 1-12, Trevon Carter 1-10, Greg Howell 1-4.