After scoring a combined 124 points, it should not come as a shock that a player from Tyler Junior College or Northeastern Oklahoma A&M would earn top offensive honors.
Apache quarterback Tyrik Rollison passed for an incredible 503 yards and five touchdowns in leading his team to a 65-59 double overtime win over the Golden Norsemen on Thursday at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
Rollison, the sophomore from Sulphur Springs, was awarded the Southwest Junior College Football Conference Offensive Player of the Week.
The former Auburn Tiger completed 30 of 55 pass attempts, including a 52-yard Hail Mary TD pass to JaVante Mack to force overtime. Rollison also added 18 yards and a rushing TD.
The Apaches trailed 52-45 with just seven seconds remaining and 52 yards from the end zone.
"We went bombers — four (receivers) wide, spread out with max protection," TJC coach Danny Palmer said. "Tyrik did a good job of moving around the pocket; and threw it at the back of the end zone where they couldn't knock it down."
Rollison's pass went over the outstretched hands of the Golden Norsemen right into the hands of Mack as the scoreboard showed 00:00.
The TD forced the overtime. Both teams scored TDs the first go-round. Tyler's Jeremey Chappelle scored on a 25-yard TD reception. In the second overtime, the Apache defense stopped NEO and later TJC running back Ryan Young dashed into the end zone for the game-winner.
Hail Mary for a third time
Palmer said he had been involved twice before in Hail Marys.
"In Bonham, we beat Terrell on the last play of the game; and when I was at Waco Richfield we got beat by Galveston Ball, who was ranked No. 2 in the state at the time," Palmer said. "I've been on both sides — I like the winning side better."
The Apaches (3-2, 1-1) travel to Corsicana to meet Navarro College (4-1, 2-1) on Saturday. Kickoff is 3 p.m. at Tiger Stadium.
The Bulldogs are ranked No. 11, while the Apaches received votes in this week's NJCAA Poll.
The Apaches had a good showing at the ITA Regional Tennis Tournament in Laredo.
Adrien Berkowicz won the men's singles championship over Laredo's Caio Gomes 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.
Fausthy Pietersz beat fellow teammate Nelo Phiri in the women's final 6-1, 7-6 (6).
Phiri and Pietersz combined to beat Collin County's team of Clorinda Wessels and Amanda Gilson, 8-3, in the women's doubles championship.
The winners advance to the ITA Small College Championships Oct. 11-14 in Mobile, Ala.
Before the ITA tourney, the Apache Ladies tennis had an impressive start to the fall season at the Midwestern State Invitational in Wichita Falls.
Pietersz captured the Flight One singles by defeating Julia Puckhaber of Cameron University 6-1 7-5.
Pietersz later teamed up with Phiri to win flight one doubles by defeating Lauren Pineda and Madeline Schorlemmer of Midwestern State 8-2.