Turnovers contribute to defeat

Sports Writer

KC failed to bounce back from its opening loss and was defeated by archrival Tyler Junior College Apaches, 56-24, in its first home game last Saturday night.

Special team errors and penalties plagued KC all game long. KC recorded three special teams turnovers and five turnovers in all. They also left plenty of dirty laundry across the field, with 10 penalties for 77 yards.

KC started off behind and never recovered. TJC returned the opening kickoff for 39 yards, putting the offensive unit in good scoring position. The Apaches didn’t waste any time putting points on the board as quarterback Randy Price rushed for a 6-yard touchdown on the quarterback keeper with 12:57 left in the opening quarter.

KC fumbled on the punt return, TJC took advantage of the great field position and scored another touchdown with 4:09 left in the first quarter. After a KC three-and-out, Price hooked up with receiver Lamar Carraway for a 40-yard touchdown pass with 1:27 left in the first quarter. TJC led KC 21-0 after one quarter.

Running back Ladaedrix Payton scored KC’s first touchdown as he trucked in for a 13-yard run with 12:29 left in the first half, capping an 11-play, 83-yard drive. KC’s defense fed off the momentum from Payton’s touchdown and made some highlight plays.

Defensive captain Michael Mathis intercepted Price’s pass attempt downfield.

KC’s offense couldn’t capitalize on the turnover as they went three and out. On the next possession, freshman defensive end De’Andre Glover recovered a TJC fumble that three members from the KC defensive line forced on TJC’s 33-yard line. Kicker Luis Sanchez boomed a 30-yard field goal straight through the middle of the uprights, trimming the lead to 21-10 at the end of the half.

KC came out of the locker room re-energized and ready to make a comeback. However, they would have to play the second half without the majority of the crowd present. After halftime performances, KC fans were exiting the stands and heading to their vehicles.

This didn’t seem to bother KC’s running back Payton as he broke off three straight long runs of 11, 11 and 15-yards to start the second half.

Following those three runs, running back Eddie Smith added a 12-yard run that put KC on the 23-yard line and in scoring position. It looked like KC was going to score and trim the lead even more.

KC got penalized for a personal foul and backtracked 15-yards. Then the offensive line got happy feet and was penalized for a false start. KC was moved out of scoring position and field goal range. The Rangers were forced to punt.

TJC scored on its next drive with a 14-yard rushing touchdown by running back Terrance Taylor, pushing the lead to 28-10.

On the kickoff, KC punt returner Morris Williams fumbled the catch and TJC’s Treavor Pugh recovered on KC’s 14-yard line. TJC scored three plays later as Price threw a little 2-yard pass to a tight end Cole Staudt, who was wide open in the back of the end zone, pushing the score to 35-10.

On KC’s next offensive possession Tausch tried to hook up with receiver Derrick Ledet, but TJC’s Caleb Williams intercepted on the 25-yard line. The KC defense forced TJC to punt, bringing Tausch and the KC offense back on the field. After a couple of 12-yard runs from running backs Payton and Jeremiah Baines, Tausch electrified the crowd as he threw a 53-yard bomb to tight end Chris Chumley for the touchdown. With 8:17 left in the third quarter KC trimmed the lead to 35-17.

This touchdown gave KC new hope as they looked to make a second-half comeback.

TJC wasn’t going to let that happen. Randy Price kept the ball on a QB keeper and ran it all the way to pay dirt for a 30-yard touchdown with 4:52 left in the third. TJC increased the lead to 42-17. TJC scored on its next two possessions, with its last touchdown coming on a 12-yard run by running back Taylor.

KC scored its last touchdown of the game on a 41-yard breakaway run by Smith with 5:49 left in the fourth quarter, capping a 83-yard scoring drive.

KC quarterback Tausch went 10-21 for 141 yards, with one interception, one lost fumble and one touchdown pass. Running backs Payton and Smith combined for over 200 yards rushing with one touchdown each.

KC’s defense forced two turnovers, an interception and a fumble.

TJC quarterback Price had 250 yards of total offense with three passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns.

The Rangers look to rebound and get their first win of the season when they host Trinity Valley Community College at 7 p.m. next Saturday at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium.

Kristopher Dobbins / THE FLARE
Kristopher Dobbins / THE FLARE
Tailback Eddie Smith looks for daylight in the first half against TJC.