Danny Palmer may not be like the Disney character Tigger, bouncing around, but the Apaches head football coach certainly had a bounce in his step on Saturday.
Not only did he get the stitches removed from his injury, but his Tyler Junior College squad was playing well against Navarro College.
He said it was fun watching his young football team get better each week and the latest was a 59-41 victory over No. 14 Navarro College at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
That's two weeks in a row the Tribe has upset a nationally ranked team. On Sept. 8 it was a 37-24 win over No. 12 Trinity Valley in Athens.
"Our offensive and defensive lines continue to get better," said Palmer, whose club is 2-2 overall and 2-1 in Southwest Junior College Football Conference play. "Our defense may not be big, but they are fast and get to the ball. They played outstanding in stopping Navarro drives, especially in the second and fourth quarters."
Palmer also credited his special teams for blocking an extra point attempt by the Bulldogs.
Navarro had just gone ahead 41-35 in the third quarter on a fumble return.
"That extra-point block was crucial; it was a big momentum changer," Palmer said.
Then at the beginning of the fourth quarter, TJC's Davion Curtis (sophomore, Temple) scored on a 9-yard TD pass from QB Jeremiah Crawford (sophomore, Mineola).
Blake Patterson, the transfer from North Texas, booted the PAT and TJC took the lead 42-41 as the Apaches were on their way to scoring 24-straight points.
Plus, the Apaches returned two interceptions for touchdowns — 17 yards by defensive end Chris Sanders (sophomore, Austin LBJ High School) and 28 yards by linebacker Chanler Ferguson (sophomore, Delray Beach, Florida).
Diarva Brown (sophomore, Paris) had his fourth pick of the season. For the Apaches, that is nine interceptions in three games.
Also, the Apaches recovered two fumbles — one each by Daniel Duggan (sophomore, Denton) and Jermaine Brealy (freshman, Mansfield Legacy HS).
The Apaches have a non-conference game on Saturday at CTMF Rose Stadium against Texas A&T. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Homecoming is then scheduled for Sept. 29 against New Mexico Military Institute. Kickoff is 7 p.m.
The Apaches, ranked No. 1 in the nation, defeated Northeast Texas (3-2, OT) and Paris (7-1).
The wins moved Steve Clements' crew to 7-1 on the season and 7-0 in Region XIV.
TJC led NE Texas 2-0 before two late goals tied the game and forced OT.
Rashawn Mackison, a freshman from Kingston, Jamaica, got the golden goal two minutes into overtime. Leon Karman, a sophomore from Emmendingen, Germany, had the assist.
TJC took a 2-0 lead on goals by Habib Berry (sophomore, Seattle) and Daisuke Otsuka (sophomore, Matsudo, Japan). Assists were from Omer Priyov (sophomore, Ramat Gan, Israel) and Karman.
The Eagles pulled within 2-1 with 10 minutes left in the game on Ronaldo Brown's goal. He is a freshman from Kingston, Jamaica. Duhaney Williams, a sophomore from Clarendon, Jamaica, had the assist.
Brown then tied the game as regulation time expired. Juan Arias, a sophomore from Cali, Colombia, had the assist.
Carl Koester (sophomore, Skye, Germany) was in goal for the Apaches.
In the win over Paris, Barry scored two goals with Mackison, Cheick Fofana (freshman, Tucker, Georgia) and Dylan Bufton (freshman, Johannesburg, South Africa) adding one each.
Gregory Sutton (freshman, Maui, Hawaii) and Thomas Windle (freshman, Skipton, England) had two assists apiece. Bufton had the other.
Koester was in goal for the clean sheet.
The Apaches hit the road this week with conference games — Friday in Lufkin against Angelina and Saturday in Brenham against Blinn. Both matches have 7 p.m. starts.
TJC returns home on Tuesday, Sept. 25 against old rival Richland at 7 p.m.
APACHE LADIES SOCCER
The Apache Ladies, ranked No. 2 in the nation, knocked off Northeast Texas (8-0) and Paris (10-1).
The victories moved Corey Rose's squad to 7-0-1 overall and 4-0 in conference.
In the game with NE Texas, Anakaren Gonzalez, a freshman from Birmingham, Alabama, scored a hat trick. Hitomi Kono, a sophomore from Kanagawa, Japan, and Shaylee Anaya, a sophomore from Katy, each netted two goals. Patricia Estupinan (freshman, Canarias, Spain) added a goal.
Selma DeLuna (sophomore, Longview) had two assists with Cherish Clemmons (sophomore, Mesquite), Alyssa Wind (freshman, Long Beach, California), Luana Munoz (sophomore, Buenos Aires, Argentina), Maria De La Fuente (freshman, Spain) and Priscilla Rincon (sophomore, Tyler) adding one each.
All eight goals were in the first half.
Whitehouse freshman Sydney Malmstrom was in goal for the clean sheet. She had five saves.
NE Texas bounced back to beat Jacksonville 5-0 on Saturday in Jacksonville. The Lady Eagles (6-3, 3-3) meet LSU-Eunice at 2 p.m. Tuesday in Mount Pleasant.
In the win over Paris, TJC scored seven goals in the first half en route to the win.
Anaya had a hat trick with Estupinan adding two goals. Scoring one goal each were Kono, Akane Takada (sophomore, Narashino Chiba, Japan), Clemmons, Anakaren Gonzalez and Rincon.
Assists were from Anakaren Gonzalez, Munoz, Chrysanthi Voli (freshman, Martino, Greece), Kono, Takada, Clemmons, De La Fuente, Estupinan, Anaya and Nikol Gonzalez (sophomore, Valencia, Venezuela).
Malmstrom was in goal in the first half and did not allow a goal. Andrea Neves, a sophomore from Hamburg, Germany, played the final 45 minutes and gave up a goal.
The Apache Ladies travel to Lufkin to meet Angelina on Thursday. The match has a 5 p.m. start. They return home on Saturday to meet No. 12 Jones College (Mississippi) at Pat Hartley Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
The Apache Ladies volleyball team, ranked No. 5 in the nation, plays host to No. 7 Trinity Valley in a key Region XIV match on Wednesday at Wagstaff Gymnasium.
The match is set to begin at 7 p.m.
TJC is 8-2 on the season, but 0-2 in conference play.
The Apache Ladies won Monday in Gainesville, knocking off North Central Texas 3-2 (18-25, 25-11, 22-25, 25-11, 15-11). The Lady Lions are 7-10.
TVCC is 14-1 overall and 1-1 in league play.
For those wanting to see a little fall ball, the Apaches will meet Wiley College in a baseball game on Wednesday at Mike Carter Field.
The game is scheduled to start at 2 p.m.