KILGORE, TX -- The Kilgore College Rangers kept their playoff hopes alive Oct. 21 with a stunning upset of the No. 3 Trinity Valley Community Cardinals, 37-31, in front of a large homecoming crowd.
KC improves to 4-4 overall and 3-3 in Southwest Junior College Conference play and will travel Saturday, Oct. 28, to play Tyler Junior College at 3 p.m. KC must defeat TJC with help from a Navarro loss to New Mexico Military Institute Oct. 28.
KC's offensive attack was led by freshman quarterback Jacob Frazier who threw for a season-high 359 yards and tossed three touchdown passes. Frazier's first touchdown pass was for 63 yards to Lucky Daniels to put KC up 7-0 five minutes into the game.
TVCC answered two minutes later with a 65-yard touchdown pass from Shelton Eppler to Tristen Wallace to even up the score at 7 points.
The Cardinals scored next after forcing a Ranger punt with a 34-yard field goal by Angel Sevier to make the score 10-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Frazier threw another touchdown pass 45 seconds into the second quarter to McCuller for a 17-yard strike to put the Rangers ahead, 14-10.
The Cardinals got the ball back and drove into field goal range. Sevier attempted a 48-yard field goal with 9:42 left in the second quarter, but the field goal was was blocked by KC's Matthew McClellan who recovered the ball and ran it back to the Cardinal 36 yard line.
KC turned the blocked field goal into three points with a 24-yard field goal by Jose Goite to put KC on top of the Cardinals, 17-10, with 6:18 left in the first half.
The Rangers forced a TVCC punt then stalled on a drive, forcing a punt of their own. After a bad snap, the Rangers attempted a punt that ended up giving TVCC the ball at the KC 7 yard line.
The Cardinals scored on the next play with a seven-yard run to tie the score up at 17 with 3:12 left in the first half.
KC was forced to punt once again but another bad snap gave the ball to the Cardinals on the KC 11 yard line.
On the next drive, KC's Renault Griffin picked off a long TVCC pass to end the first half with the score tied at 17.
KC started off the second half on the opening Cardinal drive with an interception by KC's Darius Doakes, his first of two INTs in the game, at the Ranger 20 yard line.
The Rangers' were forced to punt once again on the next drive. TVCC scored on a trick play 24-yard pass from wide receiver Tony Mullins to Joseph Blankenship to put the Cardinals ahead 24-17 with 5:15 left in the third quarter.
After another Ranger punt, TVCC drove down once again into field goal range but had a 37-yard field goal blocked with 48 seconds left in the third quarter. KC took over at its own 27 yard line and picked up a large chunk of yardage with a 40-yard pass from Frazier to Zach Newbell.
On the second play of the drive Frazier tossed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Daniels to even up the score at 24 with 14:15 left in the game.
After forcing a TVCC punt, a Ranger drive ended with a handoff to McCuller that he took around the edge for a 30-yard touchdown to give the Rangers the lead, 31-24.
On the next TVCC possession, Darius Doakes picked off his second pass of the game to give KC the ball at the Cardinal 43 yard-line with 6:50 left in the game.
After picking up long yardage to the three yard line on a pass from Frazier to Newbell, KC scored on a five-yard run by De'Montre Tuggle to put KC up 37-24 with 2:51 left in the game.
But TVCC wasn't finished scoring. The Cardinals scored once more with 54 seconds left on a 30-yard pass.
With three timeouts left, the Cardinals forced KC to punt once more and had one last chance to drive the field and score with 27 seconds left.
After gaining some yardage, TVCC had a bad snap that dribbled past the quarterback to run the clock out.
Frazier finished the game 23-of-36 for 359 yards and three touchdowns.
KC wide receiver Daniels caught six passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns. Newbell caught four passes for 93 yards.
KC outgained TVCC offensively 533-457.
TVCC quarterback Eppler finished the contest 27-of-48 for 369 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. Cardinal wide receiver Wallace caught four passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns.
With the loss, TVCC drops to 6-2 overall and 4-2 in conference play.
PHOTO ABOVE: Kilgore College quarterback Jacob Frazier rushes the ball against Trinity Valley Oct. 21 in Kilgore. Photo by Tiffany Johnson/The Flare