In their first football encounter in at least 71 years, Tyler Junior College rushed 62 times for 361 yards and held Lon Morris to 107 total yards in a 45-7 win for the Apaches on Saturday afternoon at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
TJC (5-3) beat the Bearcats (3-5) at their own game, which is running the football. The ring leader was quarterback Randy Price, who had 140 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries.
“We put in a quarterback package to run the ball because we didn’t know who would be well at running back,” said TJC coach Danny Palmer. “(Fullback) Rodney Hall had an outstanding game blocking.”
Lon Morris, lining up in the traditional power I, got a 40-yard run from Terry Newsome to tie the game 7-all on the Bearcats’ second play from scrimmage. But it was all downhill from there for Lon Morris, which returned to the gridiron last season for the first time since 1940.
After Newsome gained 44 yards on his first two carries, the Bearcats’ rushing total regressed by nine yards as they finished with 35 on 32 carries. The Lon Morris starting QB was sacked twice, and the Bearcats lost three fumbles.
The Apaches did all their heavy lifting in the first quarter, outscoring Lon Morris 28-7 and scoring on their first four possessions.
TJC had 236 yards in the opening 15 minutes with Price running the show. A former Waco University star, Price kept for 21 and 25 yards on the opening series to set up O’Bryan Washington’s 2-yard touchdown.
After the Bearcats made it 7-7, Price and Jalen Claiborne connected for the biggest pass of the day -- 43 yards – leading to a Price 1-yard sneak to put the Apaches up 14-7.
After a Lon Morris three-and-out, Price completed an 18-yard pass to Tracy Smith to convert a third down and then Price split three defenders in the open field and scored on a 59-yard jaunt to make it 21-7.
The Bearcats ran Newsome three times for zero yards on the next series, and TJC drove 66 yards in 10 plays for a 28-7 lead with 1:30 left in the first quarter.
The key play was a fake punt on fourth-and-7 from the Lon Morris 43 when Bullard’s Marquez Franklin found Longview’s Dmarjai Devine for 21 yards, leading to Ridge Wilson’s 4-yard score.
The Apaches stalled at the Lon Morris 4 on their next possession and finished with only three points and 57 yards in the second quarter for a 31-7 halftime lead.
The Bearcats punted on the first series of the second half – their sixth three-and-out – and TJC got back in gear after the second-quarter slump with a 10-play scoring drive all on the ground. Washington, a freshman from Carthage, scored from the 1 and added his third rushing touchdown (21 yards) of the game in the fourth quarter.
The Apaches attempted only one pass in the second half, and Lon Morris ran only 21 plays in the final two quarters.
SMOKE SIGNALS: TJC plays its regular-season finale next Saturday (3 p.m.) against Kilgore for homecoming. The winner will finish fourth and make the playoffs in the Southwest Junior College Football Conference. Both TJC and Kilgore are 2-3 in league play. … Top-ranked Blinn defeated Kilgore, 52-45, in Kilgore. Blinn scored 38 points in the second quarter for a 38-28 lead at the half. It was 45-31 after three periods. … No. 7 Navarro beat Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, 47-14; and No. 11 Trinity Valley topped Cisco 38-14.
Tyler 45, Lon Morris 7
At TMF Rose Stadium
LMC 7 0 0 0 -- 7
TJC 28 3 7 7 -- 45
TJC—O’Bryan Washington 2 run (Isaac Arellano kick), 12:48.
LMC—Terry Newsome 40 run (Kason Peterson kick), 12:01.
TJC—Randy Price 1 run (Arellano kick), 11:04.
TJC—Price 59 run (Arellano kick), 7:56.
TJC—Ridge Wilson 4 run (Arellano kick), 1:30.
TJC—FG Arellano 31, 6:49.
TJC—Washington 1 run (Arellano kick), 9:46.
TJC—Washington 21 run (Arellano kick), 10:25.
EST. ATT – 2,000.
First Downs 8 20
Rushes-Yards 32-35 62-361
Passing Yards 72 111
Comp.-Att.-Int. 7-17-0 8-14-0
Punts-Avg. 7-32.9 3-29
Fumbles-Lost 4-3 2-0
Penalties-Yards 6-22 9-94
RUSHING—Lon Morris, Terry Newsome 11-43, Deshawn Johnson 3-8, Austin Vorish 1-4, James Wurster 2-3, Shaquille Murry-Lawrence 6-2, Cody Cummings 4-1, Levon Castillo 1-(minus 1), Josh Curry 1-(minus 1), Vernell Caldwell 3-(minus 24). Tyler, Randy Price 13-140, Ridge Wilson 14-68, Brian Eurysthee 9-43, O’Bryan Washington 10-40, Chason White 6-28, JaVante Mack 2-15, Ryan Young 3-13, Tyrik Rollison 2-7, Rodney Hall 1-6, Ryan Black 1-3, Team 1-(minus 2).
PASSING—Lon Morris, Caldwell 5-11-0—59, Wurster 2-6-0—13. Tyler, Price 4-8-0—68, Rollison 3-5-0—22, Marquez Franklin 1-1-0—21.
RECEIVING—Lon Morris, Quinton Ross 4-28, Robert Wright 1-27, Cummings 1-13, Jonathan Keener 1-4. Tyler, Tracy Smith 2-16, Mack 2-14, Jalen Claiborne 1-43, Dmarjai Devine 1-21, Hall 1-11, Maxwell Brown 1-6.