TYLER, TX -- The Kilgore College Rangers ended up with a winning season after defeating the Tyler Junior Apaches Oct. 28 but that's where their season will end because of a Navarro defeat of New Mexico Military Institute. With the Navarro College win, the Bulldogs earn the fourth and final spot in the Southwest Junior College Football Conference playoffs and curtail the Rangers' season with a 5-4 overall record and 4-3 conference record.
Trinity Valley Community College earns the top seed in the playoffs followed by (2) Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, (3) Blinn College and (4) Navarro. KC finished the regular season in fifth place.
The KC defense started off strong against the Apaches with an interception by by Korenzo Credit two minutes into the game to give the Rangers the ball at their own 42 yard line.
Kilgore was forced to punt, but TJC muffed the catch off the KC punt with the ball being recovered by DJ Hicks at the TJC 16 yard line with 11:09 left in the first quarter.
KC capitalized on the TJC error with Jose Goite nailing a 36 yard field goal to put the Rangers on the scoreboard first with three points.
TJC answered on the next drive with a field goal of its own, a 26-yarder with 5:55 left in the first quarter, to tie the score at three.
After a quick three-and-out and a punt, KC's Edward Hayes picked off a TJC pass to give the Rangers field possession at their own 22 yard line with 4:15 left in the first quarter.
KC was forced to punt again and the Apaches scored the first touchdown of the game on a five-yard run to put TJC ahead, 10-3, with 14:34 left in the second quarter.
After forcing another three-and-out, TJC scored on a 29-yard field goal by Tyler Dunlop to put the Apaches up 13-3 with 4:20 left in the first half.
Kilgore answered with strong offensive drive led by quarterback Jalil Kilpatrick who connected with Hicks for a 30 yard pass, Darius Doakes for a 10-yard reception and a two-yard touchdown pass to Zach Newbell with 11 seconds left in the first half.
Entering the second half of play with the Apaches ahead 13-10, KC got the ball first but was forced to punt.
On the punt, TJC appeared to be letting the ball die, but a TJC player picked the ball up and ran it back 50 yards for a touchdown to quickly put the Apaches up by 10 points, 20-10, with 13:08 left in the third quarter.
KC responded with an eight-yard touchdown pass from Kilpatrick to Lucky Daniels to get the Rangers within three points, 20-17, with 7:04 left in the third quarter.
TJC muffed yet another catch off a punt with the ball being recovered by KC's Renault Griffin to place the ball at the TJC 11 yard line with 2:50 left in the third quarter.
On the next play, KC's Carlos Frank scored 11 yards out to put KC ahead of the Apaches, 24-20.
After a TJC punt, KC regained possession and Kilpatrick scored on a 21-yard run with 11:54 left in the game to put KC ahead, 31-20.
TJC got into scoring positon on its next drive, but the drive ended with a fumble and a recovery by KC's Darius Anderson with just over three minutes left in the game.
KC regained possession and was able to run the clock out to preserve the 31-20 victory.
Kilpatrick finished the game 15-of-23 for 141 yards passing and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 59 yards on 10 carries and one rushing touchdown.
Zecharius Nash-Kelly was KC's leading receiver with 43 yards on four receptions. Hicks caught three passes for 35 yards, Newbell caught two passes for 38 yards and a touchdown,
Jonathan Mackey caught five passes for 30 yards and Daniels caught two passes for 10 yards, one of which was for a touchdown.
Frank carried the ball six times for 20 yards and a touchdown and De'Montre Tuggle ran the ball six times for 21 yards. Quarterback Jacob Frazier was 3-of-12 passing for seven yards and rushed for 28 yards on five carries.
KC led the Apaches in offensive yardage 357-to-191.
Thanks to Mark Fried of the KC Sports Network for providing unofficial statistics.