KILGORE, TX -- It took two overtimes, but Kilgore College's defense played one heck of a game in a rain-soaked contest to hand Tyler Junior College its second loss of the season, 23-17 on Saturday, Oct. 24.
Coming into the contest with KC, TJC was averaging more than 60 points per game. The KC defense lowered that average Saturday and qualified for the four-team playoff with the win over the Apaches because Navarro defeated Blinn College Oct. 25..
KC will be the No. 4 seed in the playoffs and will travel to Athens 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, to face Trinity Valley Community College in the first round of the playoffs.
KC fumbled on the opening drive of the game versus TJC Oct. 24, giving TJC the ball at its own 37 yard line.
TJC and KC traded punts. TJC got the ball back and drove down the field, but missed a 40-yard field goal wide right with just over 5 minutes left in the first quarter.
With just over a minute left in the first quarter, TJC faked a punt but KC sniffed it out. KC got the ball on the turnover at its own 30 yard line.
On the next possession, KC fumbled the ball and TJC ran it back 40 yards for a touchdown to end the first quarter to make the score 7-0.
With four minutes left in the second quarter, Troy Duran nailed a 26-yard field goal to make the score 7-3.
On the next possession, TJC fumbled and KC recovered at the TJC 47 with 2:20 left in the first half.
On that possession, KC marched down the field and Jaylen Fails scored on an 8-yard QB keeper. The point after was good but a holding penalty on Kilgore negated the extra point. The point after on the retry was no good to make the score KC 9, TJC 7, going into halftime.
Early in the third quarter Fails scored on a one-yard TD run, but there was a botched snap on the extra point. Garrett Barton picked up the bad snap and threw a two-point conversion pass to TE Jarod Wood to make the score KC 17, Tyler 14 going into the fourth quarter.
With 8:07 left in the game, Jerrell Sykes intercepted his seventh pass of the season to get the ball at KC’s own 32 yard line with 8:07 left in the game. KC’s ensuing drive failed, giving the ball back to TJC.
With 4:13 left in the game, TJC nailed a 27-yard field goal to tie the game 17-17.
The ensuing KC drive failed, giving the ball back to TJC, but on the TJC drive, Dequinton Osborne picked off a TJC pass and ran it back to the TJC 12 yard line with 54 seconds left in the game. Tied 17-17.
At that point, it was almost certain that KC would either run the ball in for a touchdown or kick a close-range game-winning field goal.
KC tried a reverse handoff pass from the four yard line that TJC intercepted in the end zone for touchback with 30 seconds left. That sent the game to overtime.
The Rangers got the ball first, but fumbled the ball, giving the ball to the Apaches.
The KC defense held TJC to fourth down, forcing a 21-yard field goal. The TJC kicker shanked the close-range field goal, sending the game to double overtime.
KC went on defense first in 2OT and held the TJC offense.
The KC offense got the ball after holding TJC and Syria had two nice runs to get the ball to the 10 yard line. On the next play, QB Fails kept the ball for a 10-yard scamper for a touchdown to win the game, 23-17.
With the win, KC improves to 5-4 overall and 3-3 in conference play.
TJC drops to 7-2 overall and 4-2 in Region XIV play.
PHOTO ABOVE: Kilgore QB Jaylen Fails outruns TJC defendants in the KC victory over the Apaches Oct. 24 in Kilgore. Photo by Jon Vashey/KC