Rangers slip against TJC, 22-8

Ranger quarterback Roger McCuller hands off the ball to tailback Demarcus Smith against the Tyler Junior College Apaches on Aug. 26 at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium in Kilgore. The Rangers dropped their rain-soaked season opener against TJC, 22-8. They return to action Sept. 29 in a home contest against Arkansas Baptist College. Photo by Jamie Maldonado / Special to The Flare
Ranger quarterback Roger McCuller hands off the ball to tailback Demarcus Smith against the Tyler Junior College Apaches on Aug. 26 at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium in Kilgore. The Rangers dropped their rain-soaked season opener against TJC, 22-8. They return to action Sept. 29 in a home contest against Arkansa Baptist College. Photo by Jamie Maldonado / Special to The Flare
Ranger quarterback Roger McCuller hands off the ball to tailback Demarcus Smith against the Tyler Junior College Apaches on Aug. 26 at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium in Kilgore. The Rangers dropped their rain-soaked season opener against TJC, 22-8. They return to action Sept. 29 in a home contest against Arkansas Baptist College. Photo by Jamie Maldonado / Special to The Flare

The outskirts of Hurricane Harvey kept a steady drizzle falling all game as No. 22 Tyler Junior College washed away all hopes of a season-opening victory for Kilgore College Aug. 26.

TJC held the Rangers scoreless in the first three quarters, defeating the Rangers 22-8.

The Apaches got on the board first with 6:30 left in the first quarter thanks to a mishandled snap by KC’s punter that sailed into the end zone for a safety.

After trading possessions, TJC’s Tyler Dunlop had a 34-yard field goal blocked that was run back to the 47 yard line by KC’s Morgan Vest.

On the next drive, KC quarterback Jalil Kilpatrick connected for 60 yards to Jonathan Mackey to get the Rangers in the red zone, but KC fumbled on the next play.

The fumble gave TJC the ball on the KC 14 yard line with one minute remaining in the first quarter.

The fumble was one of five fumbles for KC, four of which were lost.

On the next possession, KC held the Apaches but fumbled on its next offensive possession with 9:35 in the second quarter to give TJC the ball at the 29 yard line.

TJC quarterback Brennen Wooten then threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Joseph Ward to put the Apaches up, 8-0.

With 7:57 left in the third quarter Wooten connected for a touchdown pass again, this time for 9 yards to Trent Williams to increase TJC’s lead to 15-0.

KC’s lone touchdown came from a 7-yard run by De’Montre Tuggle with 13:52 left in the fourth quarter.

Roger McCuller connected with Mackey for a successful two-point conversion to put the Rangers within one score at 15-8.

But TJC wasn’t finished scoring.  With 8:38 left in the contest TJC’s Jeremy Wilson scored on a 20-yard touchdown run after a long drive to put the Apaches up 22-8.

On KC’s next possession, they almost converted a fourth and 10 at the TJC 15 yard line to keep hopes alive, but the receiver caught the ball just out of bounds.

The Rangers turned the ball over on downs and TJC ran the remaining five minutes of the clock to preserve the 22-8 victory.

KC has a bye week next week, but will be back in action 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, at home versus Arkansas Baptist College.

Rangers triumphant in Homecoming contest

The Rangers take the field in their Homecoming victory. Photograph by Sara Holmes / THE FLARE
The Rangers take the field in their Homecoming contest against the Oklahoma A&M Golden Norsemen. The Rangers won 43-14. Photograph by Sara Holmes / THE FLARE

The Rangers mauled the Northeast Oklahoma A&M Golden Norsemen 43-13 in their Homecoming contest to move into a tie with Tyler Junior College for second place overall in the conference.

Defense was the best policy early in the game for both teams; neither of the offenses was able to score for more than half of the first quarter. The first score of the game was courtesy of defensive end Ricci Simmons. Simmons intercepted NEO’s quarterback Dezmond Stegall and ran it back 85 yards for the touchdown. Simmons almost lost his footing midfield, but his teammates were there to keep him balanced and he made his way into the end zone. This gave KC a 7-0 lead with 5:22 left in the opening quarter.

Later in the second quarter KC’s offense got on the board when quarterback Javelle Allen found receiver Dequann Ruffin for a 12-yard touchdown pass. KC’s lead increased to 14-0 with 7:45 left in the first half. Just before the half ended Gladewater sophomore Corey Davis punched in a two yard run following a two-point conversion play trick play that had quarterback Averion Hurts pass to kicker Luis Sanchez for the score. That gave KC a 22-0 lead going into the half. KC scored three more times in the second half including two touchdown passes from Hurts to receivers Garrett Barton and Joe Lewis, plus a three-yard touchdown run by Davis. NEO got on the board once in the third quarter and once in the fourth with two touchdown passes from backup quarterback Devin White.

Allen went 8-16 with 110 yards and one touchdown while Hurts went 11-19 with 113 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Davis had 15 carries for 74 yards and to touchdowns while Eddie Smith had six rushes for 56 yards. Barton had 2 catches for 39 yards and one touchdown. KC’s defensive unit gave the entire team a spark just when they needed it. They held one of the conferences’ top rushers, Cameron Booty, to 59 yards on the ground on 18 carries. Booty is. Cornerback J’Marcus Rhodes had one pick while safety Jordan Burton had one fumble recovery after a big hit by the KC defensive line. Cliff Butler, Sherodric Russell, Demontrai Lewis, and Simmons all recorded one sack.

 

Redemption awaits Rangers

Quarterback Javelle Allen, of Prosper takes the ball past a Cardinals defender for a fourth quarter touchdown. PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHAEL BROWN / THE FLARE
Quarterback Javelle Allen, of Prosper takes the ball past a Cardinals defender for a fourth quarter touchdown. PHOTOGRAPH BY MICHAEL BROWN / THE FLARE

The KC Rangers look to redeem themselves from last Saturdays 52-35 loss to Trinity Valley Community College. The Ranger will be hosting Navarro Community College at home this Saturday.
Both of these teams have an overall record of 3-1 and are looking to add a win to their conference record. Navarro is coming off a 62-14 win against Southeastern Prep, who Kilgore recently beat 52-14.
Through its first four games the Navarro offense averaged 47.5 points and 588 yards per game. Most of the offense for the Bulldogs was covered on the ground.
The majority of the yardage gained came from running back Keaun Kinner, who is averaging around 160 yards a game this season. Other notable names for Navarro are Bivins Caraway, sophomore quarterback, and Austin Collins, sophomore wide receiver, who has snagged six touchdowns for the Bulldogs.
The Navarro defense this year has surrendered an average of 24 points a game. Key names for the Bulldog defense are: Jayd Kirby, sophomore linebacker; Ben Jones, sophomore linebacker; Quincy Vasser, sophomore defensive tackle, Kendrick Johnson, sophomore defensive end.
The Rangers, on the other hand ,are still having a great offensive and defensive season despite their recent loss. Through their first four games the Ranger offense is averaging 40 points per game while averaging nearly 300 yards per game.
The Rangers look really strong on the ground and in the air this season. They have a pretty well balanced run game and passing game and are ranked 14th in the NCCJA poll.
Key players for the Ranger offense this season include the QB duo of Averion Hurts and Javelle Allen. So far both Allen and Hurts have thrown five touchdowns a piece.
The running game features a trio of backs including Keevon Aldridge, Corey Davis and Eddie Smith, who lead the way with 213 total yards on the ground.
The Ranger defense is looking to bounce back from last week’s breakdown versus the No.3 ranked Cardinals. The defense is led by Jordan Burton, sophomore safety; Joe Lynch, sophomore linebacker; and DQ Osborne, freshman defensive lineman.
Come out and watch the two teams go head-to-head at 7 p.m Saturday in R.E St. John Memorial Stadium in Kilgore.

Road trip awaits Rangers

Head Coach teaching wide receivers. FLARE PHOTO by MICHAEL BROWN
Head Coach teaching wide receivers. FLARE PHOTO by MICHAEL BROWN

The Kilgore College Rangers will begin the 2014 football season unranked in the national polls but are expected to battle for one of the Southwest Junior College Football Conference’s four playoff spots.

The Rangers, coming off a 4-5 season a year ago (3-3 in the SWJCFC), open the season with back-to-back road games outside the state – visiting Arkansas Baptist College on Aug. 30 and then trekking to Milledgeville, Ga. to take on No. 5 ranked Georgia Military.

Kilgore’s first home game is set for 7 p.m. on Sept. 13 against Southeast Prep at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium.

The Rangers opened the 2013 season with back-to-back losses before defeating eventual SWJCFC champion Trinity Valley on the road (24-19). KC then went 1-2 over the next three games before closing out the season by winning two of its final three contests – defeating Northeastern Oklahoma on the road (35-21) and Southeast Prep at home (58-13).

Kilgore ended the season with a 42-12 loss to arch-rival Tyler.

Coaches at SWJCFC Media Day back in July picked Trinity Valley as the preseason favorite. The Cardinals finished the 2013 season with a 10-2 record, defeating Blinn and Navarro in the SWJCFC playoffs before earning a 72-23 win over Mesa in the Heart of Texas Bowl.

Navarro was picked second by the coaches, followed by Tyler, Kilgore, Blinn, Northeastern Oklahoma and Cisco.

Trinity Valley (No. 4), Navarro (No. 8) and Tyler (No. 13) are all ranked in the preseason NJCAA poll.

Kilgore head coach J.J. Eckert will be starting his eighth season as head coach of the Rangers. He has compiled a 37-34 record, leading the team to a pair of eight-win seasons during his tenure. KC finished 8-3 under Eckert in 2012, earning a berth in the first Brazos Valley Bowl played at Kyle Field in College Station.

As a program, Kilgore has a 471-276-14 record, winning national championships in 1966 and 1978. KC has played in 19 bowl games, carving out an 11-8 record.

All-Conference squad includes 6 Rangers

FROM STAFF REPORTS

Three KC standouts were named to the All-Conference first team of the Southwestern Junior College Football Conference for the 2013 season.
SWJCFCF
first
team
Gerron Anthony, sophomore offensive lineman; Cliff Butler, freshman defensive lineman; and Joe Lynch, freshman linebacker.
All-Conference
second
team
Eddie Smith, freshman offensive back; Damond King, sophomore defensive lineman; Daniel Lopez, sophomore defensive back; and Luis Sanchez, kicker.
Honorable
mention
Colin Jeter, freshman tight end; Lawrence Willis, sophomore offensive lineman; Wesley Williams, sophomore center; Tanner Tausch sophomore quarterback; Paul Hall, Xavier Davis and Micheal Igwe, sophomore defense linemen; Michael Mathis and Sam Williams, sophomore defensive backs; Roy Patti, freshman punter; and Jessie Harris, freshman deep snapper.

J.J. Eckert looks back on disappointing season; works on placing sophomores at 4-year schools

MILES MARABLE III
Staff Writer 

KC’s season came to an end sooner than expected after the Rangers’ 30-point loss to Tyler Junior College.

KC finished 4-5 for the season and 3-3 in conference.

Head Coach J.J. Eckert believed this season was a disappointment and said the expectations his team had just did not materialize this year.

“I think we fought back to get ourselves in a situation to where we had a chance to make the playoffs,” Eckert said. “With us not finishing the job Saturday, it’s really heartbreaking for the football team.”

The Rangers finished fifth in the Southwest Junior College Conference behind Blinn for the last playoff spot, who beat KC in week six, 22-17.

KC had to finish its match-up with Cisco College on a Monday due to weather delay. That gave KC just four days to prepare for Blinn.

“I’d like to think if we had got a full week of practice before Blinn, I think it would have been a different game,” Eckert said. “But that whole ‘could of, should of, would of,’ doesn’t get it done on Saturdays.”

Eckert is now focused on getting his sophomores prepared to move on to four-year schools.

“As of now we have got to get these sophomores the opportunity to be able to continue their education and have a chance to continue to play football at a four-year school,” Eckert said. “That’s priority number one and we have to make sure that happens.”

While the 2013 season is over, Eckert knows what his team needs to improve on.

“I think the message to me, that I see coming out of 2013 is that we have got to do a better job of dealing with adversity,” Eckert said. “A huge focal point for us is not so much looking at the score at halftime and saying, ‘Oh well, we’re beat,’ but more importantly how are we going to find a way to win it. I think that is something that we were not good at this past season.”

KC fails to score a touchdown in their blowout loss to TJC

DEVIN BROOKS
Sports Writer

The second matchup between the KC Rangers and the Tyler Junior College Apaches ended on a sour note for KC, which fell to TJC, 42-12, in the regular season finale.

KC needed to beat TJC, or they needed Blinn Community College to lose, to make the playoffs. Neither scenario worked out for KC, and their season is over.

TJC scored first with a 69-yard touchdown pass early in the first quarter. Quarterback Tanner Tausch was active for this game, but his shoulder injury hindered him. After a KC three-and-out, TJC running back Terrence Taylor ran in an eight-yard touchdown putting TJC up 14-0.

In the second quarter, KC failed to convert on third down and settled for three points. Kicker Luis Sanchez made the 31-yard field goal to make the score 14-3.

On the second play of KC’s next drive, Tausch ran a QB keeper and got hit on his injured shoulder and fumbled. The officials confirmed that Tausch was down by contact and it was no fumble, but Tausch was taken out of the game due to his injury.

Averion Hurts replaced Tausch. Hurts broke off three long runs to put KC in scoring position. Tausch came back into the game for one play and threw an incomplete pass on a third down. Sanchez missed a 29-yard field goal to keep the score at 14-3.

TJC scored again when quarterback Lamar Carraway rushed for a 9-yard touchdown to make the score 21-3. Tausch would lead his team down the field to setup a 34-yard field goal for Sanchez. He made the field goal with just eight seconds left in the first half. TJC led KC 21-9 at halftime.

KC struck first in the third quarter when Sanchez connected on a 38-yard field goal to make the score 21-12.

After defensive end Damon King intercepted a pass on the 47-yard line, Tausch led his offense down the field to set up a 49-yard field goal attempt for Sanchez. Sanchez missed, leaving the score at 21-12.

On the second play of TJC’s drive, Carraway hooked up with Reynolds for a 67- yard touchdown, making the score 28-12 with 2:08 left in the third quarter. TJC would score two more times in the fourth quarter.

Tausch was 11-19 for 157 yards, with one interception, and was sacked five times. Lynch had two fumble recoveries and an interception. Sanchez was responsible for all of KC points. He went 4-6 for field goals making then from 36, 31, 34 and 38 yards out, and missing from 49 and 29 yards out.

KC was eliminated from playoff contention and their season is over.

Ranger cornerback Mathis commits to the University of Kentucky

MILES MARABLE III
Staff Writer 

The Southeastern Conference is considered the most dominant in Division I NCAA football. Teams from the SEC have won the last seven national championships. They produced 63 picks in the 2013 NFL draft.

Now a KC football player is headed to the SEC.

Sophomore cornerback Michael Mathis, 6-foot-2 inches, 210 pounds, has verbally committed to the University of Kentucky out of the SEC.

“Their coaching staff showed me love, and they believe in me, in what I have accomplished and what more I can accomplish up there than anywhere else,” Mathis said. “They have produced DBs that have gone to the NFL, so why not go to a school that I know can make my dream happen?”

The game against Northeastern Oklahoma A&M this season stuck out the most to him, because it was his best game statistically.  Mathis forced three turnovers: a forced fumble and two interceptions — running one back for a touchdown.

“The coaches on defense were telling us we needed to make some plays to win the game for the offense,” Mathis said. “So I just kept in my mind that somebody has to make a play, and it ended up being me.”

Mathis graduated from Crosby High School in 2010 and signed with KC.

Head football coach J.J. Eckert saw the potential in Mathis and knew the sky was the limit.

“He was a guy that if you looked at him you knew he had an unbelievable upside,” Eckert said. “I remember when he first got here he was playing linebacker, and then you look at him today he’s committed to an SEC school to go play corner.”

Mathis did not play organized football until his senior year at Crosby. He was playing varsity basketball when the head football coach asked him to play football. After playing wide receiver for two games, Mathis switched to cornerback for the remainder of his senior year. At the end of the season Mathis was voted Second Team All-District.

Mathis will officially sign with UK Feb 5., and hopes to have even greater success at UK then he had at KC.

“I hope to do better than I did my two years here at Kilgore, and make sure my expectations are higher,” Mathis said.

Eckert has high expectations for Mathis as he enters Division I football.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for him, and I’m really excited to see him have the chance to do what he can to do,” Eckert said. “He’s grown up a bunch since he has gotten here. He’s got to really focus on getting an education, working hard on his academics, which I know he will do.

KC crushes Southeast Prep, 58-13

DEVIN BROOKS
Sports Writer

FootballPrep2ByKristopherDobbins
Kristopher Dobbins / THE FLARE
Wide receiver Derrick Ledet heads down field in the first half against Southeast Prep on Saturday.

The Rangers broke the scoreboard wide open by easily defeating the Southeast Prep Spartans 58-13 in the Hall of Fame game last Saturday. It was their highest scoring output of the season.

SEP received the ball first on their 30-yard line, went three plays and punted the ball off to KC. Two possessions later running back Eddie Smith capped off a five-play, 54-yard drive as he rushed for a 4-yard touchdown with 7:31 remaining in the first quarter. KC failed to convert on the two-point play, leaving the score at 6-0.

After a very short possession from SEP, KC found the end zone again. Quarterback Averion Hurts connected with receiver Morris Williams on a short dump-off pass. Williams attacked the wide hole and dodged defenders for a 69-yard touchdown.  The point-after attempt made the score 13-0 with 6:19 left in the first quarter.

KC scored again to begin the second quarter, courtesy of kicker Luis Sanchez, who connected with a 30-yard field goal to bump KC’s lead to 16-0.

Halfway through the second quarter KC received the ball after SEP punter Abram Garcia punted the ball out of bounds on the 39 yard line.

Two plays later, Hurts found Williams again on a short pass and Williams ran away from the SEP defense to score the 62-yard touchdown. The extra point was good and KC lead SEP, 23-0. KC would add three more points to their lead as Sanchez made a 34-yard field goal with 1:06 left in the first half.

KC led SEP 26-0 at halftime.

Smith started the second half by scoring two touchdowns in the third quarter. He rushed for a 7-yard touchdown run. On the next KC possession Williams ran 55 yards for a TD to make the score 41-0.

SEP finally got on the board when quarterback Ben Holmes connected with receiver Alex Pina-Rhoden for a 54-yard touchdown with 5:44 left in the third quarter.

KC scored on the next possession as Hurts found tight end Chris Chumley for a 17-yard touchdown, making the score 48-7.

SEP scored on its next possession as Holmes found Rhoden again for a 33-yard touchdown.  KC led SEP 48-13 with 2:52 left in the third quarter.

Sanchez connected on a 34-yard field goal and receiver Jeremiah Baines broke off a 58- yard touchdown run to make the final score 58-13.

KC faces off with longtime rival Tyler Junior College at 3 p.m. Saturday in Tyler in its regular-season finale.

Long-time rivals meet on gridiron for 115th match

MILES MARABLE III
Staff Position

In collegiate and professional sports there are famous rivalries.

In Major League Baseball, there exists the storied rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees; in the NBA the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers battle for supremacy; and in the NFL the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears are longtime enemies.

In Texas, fans flock to the Red River Shootout between the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners.

Closer to home, in the National Junior College Athletic Association, the grudge match is between the KC Rangers and the Tyler Junior College Apaches.

Saturday’s season finale between KC and TJC marks the 115th time these archrivals have met.

The overall record between the two schools stands at 62-50 with TJC on top, and a pair of ties.

The rivals’ first game was played in 1947 and won by TJC, 7-6. The two teams have played every year since, except for the 1957 season, when TJC withdrew from what was then the Longhorn Conference.

The most points TJC has scored on KC was 63 points, in 1996. The most points ever put up by KC is 49 — just three seasons ago.

The largest margin of victory between the schools was a 62-point shutout by TJC in 1969.

For KC the largest margin of victory was a 31-point shutout in 2008.

Head Coach J.J. Eckert will be coaching in his 27th KC vs. TJC game as both an assistant and a head coach on Saturday. He says that he remembers those games more than any others.

“I think it’s probably the biggest rivalry in junior college football,” he said. “I might not remember a lot of the scores of other opponents that we play, but I remember the Tyler vs. Kilgore scores. I remember the plays that made the difference whether we won or we lost.”

Charles Woods , All-American linebacker and 2012 National Defensive player of the year for KC, described the rivalry game as the most intense atmosphere in which he has ever played.

One KC vs. TJC game that stuck out the most to Eckert was their first playoff match-up in the Red River Bowl, which KC won 14-7, capturing its 22nd conference championship in 2001 and completing a perfect season at 12-0.

“I remember that one probably the most,” Eckert said. “Just because when you beat someone two times in a season that’s hard. When you beat someone three times in a season that’s even harder.”

KC and TJC have met twice in the SWJCF conference championship game. Both times KC came out on top.

The first-ever overtime game between the two schools occurred in 2000, and it took three overtime periods to decide a winner.  KC won, 34-28.

The two schools have tied twice — once in 1970, 27-27, and in KC’s undefeated 1978 national championship season, 28-28.

“It’s such a unique game because there are not many other places in America that get 45-to-50 minute halftimes like this game gets,” Eckert said. “You don’t ever argue; it’s just how it’s been for as long as the two teams have played. From the bands to the Rangerettes to the Apache Belles to the football game itself. It’s just got such a unique circumstances to it that I think it makes it such a great game to actually be a part of.”

KC faces Southeast Prep in final home match

MILES MARABLE III
Staff Writer 

The Rangers look to win back-to-back games for the first time this season, as they take on Southeast Prep out of Houston in the Hall of Fame game 3 p.m. Saturday at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium.

While Head Coach J.J. Eckert said it was a great win he still believes his team needs to be a lot more disciplined if they hope to keep winning.

“I think there was a lot of positives that came out of the game,” Eckert said. “But one thing that I thought was a glaring problem we’ve got to get fixed were the penalties”

KC and NEO combined for 27 penalties including 10 unsportsmanlike conduct penalties between the two teams.

While this week’s game against the Spartans does not count toward their conference record or playoff hopes, Eckert has his team treating it like it is.

“We have not had back-to-back wins in the 2013 season yet,” Eckert said. “ That’s the focal point. Let’s do whatever we have to do to get back-to-back wins so we have something to continue to build upon.”

The Rangers are 3-4 with a 3-2 conference record and are in third place in the Southwest Junior College Conference standings. The Spartans come into this game with a 0-7 record and are coming off an 80-0 loss to No. 14 Navarro College.

KC will play Tyler Junior College in the last game of the season at 3 p.m. Oct. 26 at Tyler Rose Stadium.

Playoff hopes still alive with win over Northeast Oklahoma

DEVIN BROOKS
Sports Writer

KC prevailed over the Northeastern Oklahoma Golden Norsemen, 35-21, Saturday in a must-win match-up.

The game, originally scheduled for 3 p.m. was delayed more than an hour due to thunderstorms.

NEO received the ball first to start the game. On third down, cornerback Michael Mathis intercepted NEO quarterback Anthony Kiefer’s pass and returned it for 22 yards, giving KC some early momentum.

After a KC three-and-out, Kiefer found receiver Austin White for a 22-yard touchdown pass with 8:40 left in the first quarter, putting NEO up 7-0.

KC’s offense would respond as running back Eddie Smith rushed for a 12-yard touchdown as time expired for the first quarter. The score was deadlocked at 7-7.

On the ensuing kickoff, Mathis forced a fumble with a hit on NEO’s running back Kendall Holmes. The Rangers recovered the ball on the 34-yard line.

Two possessions later, Mathis intercepted Kiefer’s pass, and he ran it 60 yards in for the touchdown.

KC would take the lead 14-7 with 9:27 left in the first half.

KC’s offense stayed hot as running back Keevon Aldridge punched in a 1-yard touchdown with 5:19 left in the second quarter. KC increased its lead 21-7.

KC’s offense hoped to increase the lead going into halftime, until cornerback Devron Moore intercepted quarterback Averion Hurts’ pass and ran 74 yards for an NEO touchdown with 38 seconds left, trimming the lead to 21-14 going into halftime.

Deep into the third quarter, KC’s offense was on the move. After a couple of smooth runs by Smith, Hurts handed the ball off the receiver Morris Williams on a motion play, who ran 51 yards for a touchdown. KC led NEO 28-14 with 1:19 left in the third quarter.

At the beginning of the final quarter, KC’s offense practically walked down the field as NEO gave up 37 yards worth of penalties on a single play.

Multiple unsportsmanlike conduct penalties resulted in a NEO player getting ejected.

KC would take this advantage as Aldridge rushed for another 1-yard touchdown with 13:21 left in the game, bumping the lead to 35-14.

NEO would score on its next possession as running back Sheldon Wilson rushed for a touchdown, closing the score to 35-21. KC then would run the clock out to end the game.

Hurts went 13-18 for 127 yards. Mathis led the KC defense with two interceptions, one touchdown, and one forced fumble.

The KC defense forced four turnovers on the game; Mathis was responsible for three of them.

KC next will host its Hall of Fame Game as the Rangers battle the Southeast Prep Spartans in a non-conference match. The game starts at 3 p.m. Saturday at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium.

Powder Puff football ends, flag football begins

MILES MARABLE III
Staff Writer 

The Red Divas won last Tuesday‘s Powder Puff football tournament.  Five teams participated and many fans came out to support.

Ross Costanzo, assistant director of student life said he was pleased with the participation.

“It turned out great; all the girls had fun,” Costanzo said. “It got pretty rowdy at times but it was nice to see them mingle with one another and hopefully they made some new friends.”

The men’s flag football tournament continues at 6 p.m. Tuesday at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium.

The Juggernauts will face The Police Academy in the last first-round game.

The winner will face Squad in the second round of the winners bracket and the losing team will face Beast Mode in the semi-finals of the losers bracket.

The Loony Tunes will play We Are White Oak in the semi-finals of the losers bracket, and the following Tuesday The Ruff Riders will play The Back Ups in the second round of the winners bracket.

Rangers 1-0 in conference after 24-19 victory

Devin Brooks
Sports Writer

The Rangers escaped with a 24-19 victory over conference foe Trinity Valley Community College for its first win of the season.

KC took control of the game late in the first quarter.  Running back Eddie Smith scored a 7-yard touchdown, capping a 15-play, 46-yard drive with 3:36 left in the opening quarter.

TVCC attempted a field goal, but a host of Rangers stormed over the defensive line and blocked the kick.

Linebacker Derek David recovered the blocked kick. KC forced TVCC to fumble on the kickoff, and David recovered the fumble.

On the next offensive possession, KC running back Ladaedrix Payton rushed for a 6-yard touchdown with 11:14 left in the first half to put KC up, 14-0.

TVCC quarterback Ryan Polite scored on a 6-yard quarterback sneak with 4:06 left in the quarter. KC led at halftime, 14-7.

TVCC scored first in the second half, as quarterback Polite connected with receiver Jarvis Baxter for a 14-yard touchdown. TVCC missed the extra point, putting the score at 14-13.

KC scored on their next possession as quarterback Tanner Tausch drove his offense 72 yards down the field. He threw a 19-yard pass to wide-open tight end Colin Jeter for the touchdown. The point-after made it 21-13.

KC’s defense came into effect late in the third quarter. David forced a fumble as he wrapped up TVCC’s running back Tavorreon Dickerson.

Safety Sam Williams recovered the fumble on KC’s 48 yard line.

KC linebacker Devin Williams intercepted a tipped pass on the 45-yard line, which would have put TVCC in scoring position.

After the KC offense drove 73 yards down the field, kicker Luis Sanchez aced a 32-yard field goal to bump the KC lead up to 24-13.

TVCC scored again with 2:12 left in the game, putting the score at 24-19. They failed to convert the 2-point conversion.

Tausch was 18-24 with one touchdown pass and no interceptions.

Running backs Smith and Payton rushed 137 yards combined on 35 carries with one touchdown each.

The Rangers will travel to Corsicana this weekend to take on Navarro College in their second conference game.

The game begins at 7 p.m.

ColinJeeterbyKristopherDobbins

Errors doom Rangers vs. TJC, 56-24.

DEVIN BROOKS
Staff Writer

KC failed to bounce back from its opening loss and was defeated by their archrival Tyler Junior College Apaches in its opening home game, 56-24 last Saturday night. Special team errors and penalties plagued KC all game long. KC had three special teams turnovers and five turnovers in all. They also had a lot of dirty laundry all over the field as they were penalized 10 times for 77 yards.

KC started off behind and couldn’t recover. TJC returned the opening kickoff for 39 yards, putting the offensive unit in good scoring position. They didn’t waste any time putting points on the board as quarterback Randy Price rushed for a six yard touchdown on the quarterback keeper with 12:57 left in the opening quarter.

After 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 was responsible for 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.  Unfortunately, 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 with 5:42 left in the first half.  Kicker Luis Sanchez boomed a 30-yard field goal straight through the middle of the uprights with 1:53 left in the first half, 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 there. After the halftime performances, KC fans were exiting the stands and heading to their cars.

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 monster runs, 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.

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

TJC scored on its next drive with a 14-yard rushing touchdown by running back Terrance Taylor with 10:30 left in the third quarter, 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 two-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 with 9:50 left in the third quarter.

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 on its offensive drive, bringing Tausch and the KC offense back on the field. After a couple of 12-yard runs from running backs Payton and Jeremiah Baines, Tanner 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 3rd quarter KC trimmed the lead to 35-17. This touchdown gave KC new hope as they looked to make a second-half comeback.

Unfortunately, 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 3rd. TJC increased the lead to 42-17. KC’s next offensive possession didn’t go well. Tausch fumbled the ball while trying to attempt a short pass to one of his receivers. TJC recovered the fumble. TJC went to score on their next two possessions, with their last touchdown coming on a 12 yard run by running back Taylor with 9:37 left in the game.

KC scored their last touchdown of the game coming on a 41-yard breakaway run by running back Eddie Smith with 5:49 left in the fourth quarter, on an 83-yard scoring drive.  TJC quarterback Price had 250 yards of total offense with three passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns.

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 150 yards rushing with one touchdown each. KC’s defense forced two turnovers, an interception and a fumble.

The Rangers will look to rebound and get their first win of the season, as they host Trinity Valley Community College at 7 p.m. next Saturday.

Scoring Summary

1st quarter-      12:57     6 plays 39 yards     7-0

1st quarter-      4:09        3 plays 23 yards     14-0

1st quarter-      1:27        5 plays 62 yards     21-0

2nd quarter-     12: 29     11 plays 83 yards   21-7

2nd quarter-     1:53        10 plays 36 yards   21-10

3rd quarter-     10:30      5 plays 91 yards     28-10

3rd quarter-     9:50        4 plays 14 yards     35-10

3rd quarter-     8:17        4 plays 81 yards     35-17

3rd quarter-     4:52        3 plays 34 yards     42-17

4th quarter-     14:54      6 plays 29 yards     49-17

4th quarter-     9:37        7 plays 51 yards     56-17

4th quarter-     5:49        6 plays 83 yards     56-24