TYLER, TX -- It took two overtimes, but the No. 5 Kilgore College Rangers came out victorious Oct. 26 thanks to scoring 14 points unanswered late in the fourth quarter to force overtime -- eventually defeating Tyler Junior College, 34-28, in the final regular season game.
It wasn't easy, especially with so many self-inflicted wounds in the first half resulting in multiple penalties.
KC, down 21-7, heading into the fourth quarter, caught new life with a long drive and a four-yard score by QB Jacob Frazier with 5:45 left in the game.
On TJC's ensuing possession, the KC defense forced a three-and-out to give the Rangers a chance to score and tie the game up with 3:25 left on the clock.
KC marched down the field and benefitted from a pass interference call on a trick pass play that put KC on the Apache 29 yard line with 1:18 left in the game.
Kevon Latulas scored two plays later on a five-yard run to tie the game up at 21 points with 49 seconds left.
Deep in its own possession after a perfectly placed kickoff by Luis Reyes, TJC took a knee to head into overtime.
On KC's first possession in OT, it lost five yards on the first play, but Frazier connected with Latulas on a 29-yard pass that put KC on the one yard line.
Ernest Crownover scored two plays later on a five-yard run to put KC ahead, 28-21.
The Apaches scored in the next possession in three running plays to force the second overtime.
With TJC receiving the ball first in overtime number two, the KC defense held the Apaches to a fourth down and 18 yards to go. TJC faked a field goal, but the trickery didn't work as TJC was sacked by Jadrian Taylor for an 11-yard loss.
On KC’s possession, Frazier rushed up the middle for a 22-yard run, followed by a run by Melek Hamilton to the six yard line. Hamilton scored the game-winning touchdown on the next play from six yards out to defeat TJC, 34-28.
Frazier passed for 183 yards on 26 attempts and rushed for 59 yards on eight carries with one touchdown.
Latulas was the leading rusher for KC with 81 yards and one touchdown. Latulas was also the leading receiver with 92 yards on eight receptions.
Crownover had 79 yards rushing on 11 carries, Hamilton had 21 yards rushing on seven carries and Dorian Glinton had 25 yards rushing on two carries.
TJC had 141 yards passing with 14-of-23 receptions and had 107 yards rushing on 32 carries.
KC, as a team, rushed for 303 yards on 44 carries.
With the win, KC claims the regular season Southwest Junior College Football Conference Championship.
TJC's season is over with the loss, finishing with a 4-5 overall and a 3-4 conference record.
The Rangers (8-1, 6-1) will play the New Mexico Military Institute Broncos in the first round of the SWJCFC playoffs at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium.
SWJCFC playoff seeding:
- Kilgore College
- Trinity Valley Community College
- Navarro College
- New Mexico Military Institute
First round playoff games on Saturday, Nov. 2:
4) New Mexico Military Institute @ 1) Kilgore College, 3 p.m. at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium in Kilgore
3) Navarro College @ 2) Trinity Valley Community College, 3 p.m. at Bruce Field in Athens.
PHOTO ABOVE: Melek Hamilton runs the ball against TJC Oct. 26 in the final regular season game. Hamilton rushed the ball seven times for 21 yards and a touchdown, and caught five passes for 38 yards in the victory over TJC. Photo by Jamie Maldonado/KC