KILGORE — One of the oldest continuing football series in the Lone Star State will be renewed Saturday night.
While the Baylor-Texas series is perhaps the longest among colleges, Tyler Junior College and Kilgore College rank near the top as many of Texas’ collegiate teams have halted matchups.
The two rivals, separated by just a few miles, hit the gridiron at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The two clubs began playing in 1946 and have met every season since 1958. Tyler holds a 63-48-2 advantage, but the Rangers have won the past two encounters.
Despite players shuffling in and out every two years, the intensity of the rivalry is maintained.
“It is always a good game; and it will probably come down to the last play like it always has,” TJC coach Danny Palmer said.
“It is a great rivalry, partly because the schools are separated by 25 miles. Then you have our great band and Apache Belles and they have their Rangerettes.”
And this season, both teams are ranked in the top 25 — the 1-0 Apaches are No. 17 and the 0-1 Rangers are No. 18.
Although this is not a conference game, the winner will have momentum heading into the conference encounters in two weeks.
TJC quarterback Randy Price was sharp in his return last week in a 49-26 win over Fort Scott (Kan.). Price threw for 262 yards and four touchdowns. Leroy Dobbins paced the rushing attack with 170 yards and a TD.
Defensively, Palmer noted the play of linebacker Caleb Tuiasosopo, who returned from injury. The sophomore from Copperas Cove had four tackles against the Greyhounds.
Leading the Apaches were defensive back Kenny Iloka (11 tackles), linebacker Jaylin Minor (10), defensive back Tre Rosser (7) and linebacker Michael Taylor (7).
Colton Moorehead, Will Coleman and Rosser each had tackles for losses, while Turner Glasgow had a sack. Also, Avery Saenz recovered a fumble.
Kilgore was upset on the road at Dodge City, Kan. The Rangers fell 27-16.
The Rangers defense allowed only 243 yards against the Conquistadors. Joe Lynch led the team with 14 tackles.
Offensively, Eddie Smith led KC in rushing with 97 yards.
Returning QB Tanner Tausch hit on 23 of 33 attempts for 225 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.
The two clubs will meet in Tyler, the regular-season finale, on Oct. 26.
SMOKE SIGNALS: Due to technical problems at KTBB, Saturday’s football game featuring the Apaches at Kilgore College will not be broadcast on the KTBB networks, Chuck Smith, TJC assistant athletic director, announced. However, the Kilgore College Sports Network will offer the game live through a video broadcast at www.njcaatv.com/kilgorecollege. The broadcast is scheduled to begin at 6:45 p.m. The webcast will be a simulcast with the KDOK Radio broadcast. … TJC returns home on Saturday, Sept. 14 for a game with Southeast Prep. Kickoff is 7 p.m. … KC plays host to Trinity Valley next week in the Southwest Junior College Football Conference opener. Kickoff is 7 p.m.
Tyler at Kilgore, 7 p.m.
Northeastern Oklahoma A&M at Coffeyville (Kan.), 7 p.m.
Southeast Prep at Blinn, 7 p.m.