Tyler Junior College’s TE Jacob Kainer runs toward a first down during Saturday’s game against Texas A&T. (Michel Alfaro/Freelance)

Tyler Junior College vs. New Mexico Military Institute

Time: 8 p.m. Saturday.

Stadium: Wool Bowl, 1800 N. Grand Ave., Roswell, New Mexico 88201 (Capacity: 6,000; Year Opened: 1968)

Records: Tyler Junior College Apaches 2-3 (1-2), New Mexico Military Institute Broncos 2-2 (0-2)

Last Game: Tyler 45, Texas A&T 7 on Sept. 21; New Mexico Military 31, Air Force Prep 17 on Sept. 13

Last Time: TJC 38, New Mexico Military 14 on Sept. 29, 2018 in Tyler


Tyler JC: Thomas Rocco (1st season).

New Mexico Military: Joe Forchtner (7th season).

Last year:

Players to watch

Tyler Apaches: QB David Johnson (6-1, 210, Soph. Dallas) ... RB Trenton Kennedy (6-1, 225, Soph., Cypress) ... RB Taequan Tyler (5-10, 200, Fr., Waco) ... WR Drue Jackson (6-2, 190, Fr., Sachse) ... TE Jacob Kainer (6-2, 240, Soph., Cypress) ... LB Chris Sanders (6-2, 240, Soph., Austin) ... LB Derrick McClendon (6-0, 225, Soph., Houston) ... OL Andrew Cannon (6-4, 310, Soph., Orlando, Fla.) ... OL Demetri Jordan (6-5, 315, Soph., Lubbock) ... OL Xavier Guy (6-4, 305, Soph., Monroe, Louisiana) ... DB Tyus Walker-Grayson (6-0, 190, Fr., Tyler) ... DB Collin Loftis (5-11, 185, Soph., Mansfield) ...

New Mexico Military Broncos: QB Braylon Grice (Fr., St. Fairmont, North Carolina) ... QB Ephriam Tuliiloa (Fr., St. Laie, Hawaii) ... RB Fred Jackson (5-9, 185, Soph., Mineola, Florida) ... WR Reynald Fleurival (Fr., Margate, Florida) ... DL Junior Aho (Fr., Nice, France) ... LB Jaren Banks (5-11, 215, Soph., Junction City, Oregon) ...

About NMMI: The Broncos are averaging 281.5 yards per game (146.5 rushing, 135 passing) and 28.5 points. They are allowing 232.3 (75.5 rushing, 156.8 passing) and 22.8 points. NMMI has beaten two non-conference foes — Maricopa Mustangs (47-3 in Glendale, Arizona) and Air Force Prep (31-17 in Colorado Springs, Colorado). The Broncos have lost their two Southwest Junior College Football Conference games — 36-10 to Trinity Valley in Athens and 35-26 to Kilgore in Roswell. ... NMMI is playing at the Wool Bowl this season instead of its on-campus facility, which does not have lights. Thus, starting times are later this season. The Mountain Time start for the game is 7 p.m. (8 p.m. in Central Time Zone). ... Fred Jackson is the leading rusher with 302 yards three touchdowns on 75 attempts. ... The Broncos have played two signal callers — Braylon Grice (19-32-1, 253 yards, 3 TDs) and Ephriam Tuliiloa (17-40-0, 287 yards, 2 TDs). ... The Broncos have five sacks in four games and have picked off seven passes — two each by Dalton Bowles and Isaiah Norris. ...

About TJC: Apaches coach Thomas Rocco is returning to his home state to coach a football game for the first time since 2009. ... TJC is averaging 449.6 yards per game (184.4 rushing, 265.2 passing) and 26.6 points. Defensively, the Apaches are giving up 339.8 yards per game (115.0 rushing, 224.8 passing) and 25.2 points. ... TJC opened the season with a 35-10 non-conference loss at Kilgore, followed by a 27-24 conference win over Blinn in Brenham. The Apaches dropped consecutive road league games to Trinity Valley (18-14) and Navarro (42-37) before rebounding against non-conference foe, Texas A&T (45-7) last week. ... Three quarterbacks played last week for TJC. David Johnson (79-134-2, 1,158 yards, 6 TDs) is the starter with Nate Overholt (10-18-0, 91 yards) and Colby Kizzee (6-9-0, 77 yards) also seeing action. ... Trenton Kennedy leads the rushing attack with 381 yards and four TDs on 44 attempts. Taequan Tyler is next with 222 yards and three touchdowns on 36 totes. Former Brownsboro star Kevon Thompson has rushed for 148 yards and a TD on 31 carries. ... Drue Jackson leads the receiving corps with 17 catches for 307 yards with Jacob Kainer next at 15 snags for 239 yards and a TD. Former John Tyler star Damion Miller has caught four balls for 68 yards and a TD. ... Linebacker Chris Sanders continues to shine on defense with a team-leading 45 tackles, including 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble. The Apaches have three interceptions — one each by two former JT players (Javontavius Mosley and Tyus Walker-Grayson) and Clayton Rutz.

Did you know: The Apaches are have an open date next week before playing Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in Tyler on Oct 12. TJC leads the series with NMMI 2-1 (winning 64-42 at Roswell in 2016 and 38-14 in 2018 in Tyler). The Broncos won 17-14 in 2017 in Tyler. TJC has lost two conference games this season by a total of nine points and the league game the Apaches won was by three points.

Conference Call: Last week — Tyler 45, Texas A&T 7; Kilgore 28, NE Oklahoma 21; Blinn 10, Trinity Valley 6; Navarro 51, Cisco 37. This week — Saturday, Texas A&T (0-4) at Kilgore (4-1), 5 p.m.; NE Oklahoma (1-3, 0-2) at Navarro (2-3, 2-2), 6 p.m.; Cisco (3-1, 1-1) at Trinity Valley (3-1, 3-1), 7 p.m.; and Tyler (2-3, 1-2) at New Mexico Military (2-2, 0-2), 8 p.m.

Twitter-sized preview: TJC got the victory at home and now must travel out west for a key conference game. The Apaches and Broncos can ill afford to lose another league matchup and still hold out hopes for a playoff berth.

Up next: NMMI at Cisco, 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5 at Chesley Stadium in Cisco; Northeastern Oklahoma A&M vs. Tyler, 5 p.m. Oct. 12 on Earl Campbell Field at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.

— Phil Hicks


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 35 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.

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