KILGORE — TJC grabbed the momentum in the third quarter with a recovery of an outside kick and 10 quick points, but Kilgore College dashed the Apaches’ hopes of a comeback.
Rangers quarterback Jacob Frazier and wide receiver Omar Manning were unstoppable as KC defeated Tyler Junior College 35-10 in the football opener for both teams on a sometimes rainy night before a nice crowd of 5,000 at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium.
Both TJC coach Thomas Rocco, who was taking over for Danny Palmer, and KC coach Willie Gooden, who was taking over for J.J. Eckert, were making their debuts as coaches of the rivals.
Manning, a sophomore from Lancaster, grabbed six passes, three of which were acrobatic catches, for 182 yards and two touchdowns. The Apaches had good coverage, but Manning put on a show. Frazier, a sophomore QB from Magnolia who was coming off a broken leg last year, connected on 16 of 23 passing attempts for 239 yards and four touchdown passes.
After falling behind 14-0 at halftime, thanks in part to an interception by Kilgore defender Geovante Howard that set up a Ranger TD with 1:00 showing before intermission, the Apaches surprised KC with an onside kick to begin the second half. Kicker Yovannie Garcia bounced the ball high off the turf and Collin Loftis caught the ball in mid-air for TJC at the KC 39.
Eight plays later, backup QB Nate Overholt, who came into the game the previous play when starter David Johnson had a leg cramp, scrambled 12 yards through the middle of the KC defense on third down and scored from the 12. Garcia’s PAT pulled TJC within 14-7 with 10:35 showing.
The Apache defense then forced a Ranger punt, that traveled 36 yards. TJC moved to the KC 22 before facing a fourth-and-2. Garcia came on and booted a 39-yard field goal and the Apaches pulled within 14-10 with 4:40 on the clock in the third.
On the ensuing kickoff, Loftis came through again and recovered a fumble at the 22. But three plays saw the Apaches lose three yards and Garcia’s field goal attempt from 42 yards was short.
The Rangers then took the momentum back in two plays as Kevon Latulas jetted 44 yards on a reverse, followed by Frazier hitting Gabe Douglas with a 31-yard TD pass. Luis Reyes’ PAT put the Rangers in control 21-10.
The Apaches rushed for 208 yards, but could only muster 67 yards passing. Kilgore totaled 425 yards.
Kilgore has now beaten TJC four straight and six of seven. The Rangers have won nine consecutive games, dating back to last season.
This was the 123rd meeting between TJC and KC, dating back to 1947, with the Apaches now leading 65-57.
Tyler has the second of four straight road games to open the season when the Apaches travel to Brenham to meet Blinn Saturday, Aug. 31. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. The Rangers will be home that same night against Navarro College. Kickoff is 7 p.m. It is the Southwest Junior College Football Conference opener for both teams.
In other SWJCFC games, Blinn defeated Texas A&T, 62-7; Cisco won over Rezolution Prep, 55-7; and New Mexico Military downed Maricopa Mustangs, 47-3.
No. 6 Kilgore College 35, Tyler JC 10
Tyler 0 0 10 0—10
Kilgore 7 7 7 14—45
KC—Omar Manning 34 pass from Jacob Frazier (Luis Reyes kick), 3:23.
KC—Earnest Crownover 31 run (Reyes kick), 1:00.
TJC—Nate Overholt 12 run (Yovannie Garcia kick), 10:35.
TJC_FG Garcia 39, 4:40.
KC—Gabe Douglas 31 pass from Frazier (Reyes kick), 2:31.
KC—Manning 31 pass from Frazier (Reyes kick), 11:22.
KC—Cade Pearson 4 run (Reyes kick), 3:02.
First downs 14 14
Total Net Yards 275 425
Rushes-yards 37-208 29-149
Passing 67 276
Comp-Att-Int 11-30-1 17-24-0
Punts 7-42.4 5-35.0
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 1-1
Penalties-Yards 9-88 5-50
RUSHING—Tyler, Trenton Kennedy 11-49, Taquan Tyler 2-36, K’Vonte Jackson 9-35, David Johnson 4-29, Nate Overholt 3-22, Deon Collins 2-20, Kevon Thompson 6-17. Kilgore, Earnest Crownover 8-64, Kevon Latulas 2-42, Scooter Adams 6-20, Cade Pearson 2-10, Red Jones 1-6, Chauncey Martin 5-4, Jacob Frazier 3-4, Chris Shaw 1-4, Antonio Brooks 1-3,
PASSING—Tyler, David Johnson 7-21-1-34, Nate Overholt 4-9-0-33. Kilgore, Jacob Frazier 16-23-0-239, Cade Pearson 1-1-0-37.
RECEIVING—Tyler, K’Vonte Jackson 4-21, Deon Collins 2-22, Sam Hodges 2-7, Greg Howell 2-0, Drue Jackson 1-17. Kilgore, Omar Manning 6-182, Kevon Latulas 2-42, Gabe Douglas 2-38, Chris Shaw 2-6, Scooter Adams 2-(-2), Chauncey Martin 1-8, Da’Shawn Williams 1-4, Melek Hamilton 1-(-2).
MISSED FIELD GOALS—Tyler, Garcia 40, 42.