EDITOR’S NOTE: This article reviews last Saturday’s Kilgore College-Navarro game, played in Corsicana. For a preview of the Rangers’ game this Saturday night against New Mexico Military Institute, check out Game Time Weekly, a special section inside the print edition, and accessible online at the bottom of the home page at kilgorenewsherald.com.
A 23-point lead isn’t safe, apparently, in the whirlwind that is the Southwest Junior College Football Conference.
Kilgore College did exactly that last Saturday in Corsicana, taking a 23-point advantage, only to see homestanding Navarro bolt back and get in front, ultimately defeating KC, 37-32, in the SWJCFC opener for both programs.
KC (1-1 overall) hosts New Mexico Military Institute (1-1) at 7 p.m. this Saturday in another conference battle; Navarro (2-0) visits Blinn (2-0).
The Rangers went into battle without starting quarterback Jacob Frazier, injured against Tyler last week. Aaron “Poppy” Brown and Dakota Michaels again did a nice job in relief: Brown, from Gilmer, rushed for three touchdowns, and Michaels threw another, a 7-yarder, to former West Rusk standout Kevin Jones. Jones had a career day, a 10-catch, 134-yard performance.
KC scored three first-quarter touchdowns – both runs by Brown of 11 and 9 yards, respectively, the catch by Jones, and then a safety on Navarro quarterback Parker McNeil. But Navarro, not to be outdone, came back as usual. Jace Ingram booted a 42-yad field goal and McNeil threw three touchdown passes.
The Rangers scored again in the fourth quarter, a 25-yard field goal by Kilgore’s own Benji Peralez, but McNeil found receiver Jared Wright on two fourth-quarter touchdown passes, and KC was unable to get back in front, even with Brown getting one more rushing score, a 2-yarder with 2:46 left in the game.
Brown finished with 203 yards passing on a 12-of-21 day, and Michaels went 3-of-7 for 14 yards, including the score to Jones. The Rangers just couldn’t find their running game in the contest, and Navarro sure did: Travell Lumpkin didn’t score, but he ran for 142 yards on 23 carries for the Bulldogs.
Peralez hit all of his extra points and one of two field goal attempts. Fernando Serrano averaged 34 yards a punt for KC. Da’Shaun Williams averaged 18 yards on seven kick returns.
Defensively for KC, Adrion Robertson had 15 total tackles and a sack. Kaleb Ford-Dement had an interception. The Rangers as a team had four sacks, and five tackles for loss.