EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a recap of Kilgore College’s win over Navarro last Saturday. For a preview of KC-New Mexico Military Institute this weekend, see Game Time Weekly inside.
Kilgore College’s opponents must be feeling a little déjà vu, because it seems the Rangers picked up in the 2019 season right where they left off last December.
KC got a bit of revenge here at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium on Saturday night. Navarro was one of just two losses last year for the eventual Southwest Junior College Football Conference champion Rangers, but that wouldn’t be the case this season.
The Bulldogs were bitten, as the Rangers got six total touchdowns – four touchdown passes and two on the ground – from quarterback Jacob Frazier, and played well enough defensively for a 43-33 win.
That was the conference opener for both teams. KC is 2-0, now, ranked second in the nation in the latest NJCAA poll that came out Tuesday, and heads to Roswell, N.M., this Saturday for an 8 p.m. kickoff.
It’s the first of two long road trips for coach Willie Gooden and the Rangers, who have a home game Sept. 14 against Cisco, but then go to Miami, Okla., on Sept. 21 to face Northeastern Oklahoma A&M.
Navarro (0-2) has played two of the country’s best teams now, in Georgia Military and Kilgore College, but with similar results. The schedule is a bit unkind to Navarro, who now hosts Blinn this weekend.
The Bulldogs brought a good effort with them from Corsicana. They trailed by only two, 28-26, with just over 10 minutes left in the game, only to see KC score the final 15 points. Navarro also lost NJCAA All-American quarterback Parker McNeil to injury late in the game.
KC put the game away in the fourth quarter with a 1-yard scoring run by Frazier and then a 21-yard scoring pass from Frazier to running back Scooter Adams. Both were set up by interceptions: one by Geovonte Howard (his second in as many games) and another by Jonathan Riley, the third of the game for KC’s defense.
But the Rangers served notice early that it could be a long night for Navarro. Frazier connected with receiver Gabriel Douglas for a 40-yard play on the Rangers’ first drive, and then Frazier took it in from a yard out to put KC in front, 7-0, in the first quarter.
An interception by Quinton Sharkey of McNeil led to a second KC touchdown, this one a 35-yard connection between Frazier and Adams.
Navarro cut the lead in half, 14-6, on a 1-yard scoring run by Brandon Theus, then tied the game up on a 6-yard run by Keaton Dudik and two-point conversion by McNeil.
It didn’t stay tied long. Frazier found all-everything wide receiver Omar Manning on a 41-yard pass play – the Rangers’ third of over 40 yards in the contest – and then connected with Kevon Latulas for the go-ahead score, 21-14.
Navarro’s Will McDaniel hit a 35-yard field goal to get the Bulldogs within four (21-17), and after a blocked punt by the Bulldogs, KC’s defense held, forcing McDaniel in for another kick, this one from 21 yards, that brought Navarro within one (21-20).
KC would get one more score, though, before halftime: a 26-yard strike from Frazier to Manning that put KC in front, 28-20, at the break.
McDaniel’s two second-half field goals got the Bulldogs within two, as mentioned above, before the two fourth-quarter scores by KC.
Frazier finished 19-of-26 for 368 yards and four touchdowns. He has thrown seven touchdown passes so far this season, and no interceptions.
Manning had six catches for 153 yards and a touchdown, another big day. Douglas finished with seven catches for 103 yards. Adams had three catches for 63 yards and the two touchdown catches, and also ran for 36 yards on six carries. Latulas had three catches for 33 yards and the score. Jackson Pace had a pair of catches for 31 yards, and Chris Shaw had two for 18 yards.
Dillon Williams went 5-of-5 on extra points. Frazier punted twice, an average of 41 yards, and both were downed inside Navarro’s 20-yard-line.
Antonio Brooks and Sharkey each had 10 tackles in the game. Jayce Bludau and Sedrick Williams each had nine. The Rangers had four sacks in the contest, with D.J. Harris and Kelton Moss each getting a sack and a half, and Williams getting the other.
McNeil was 20-of-31 for 264 yards and an interception before getting injured.