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Oklahoma Panhandle State's Melek Hamilton (23), who played at both Kilgore High School and Kilgore College, gained 19 yards on five carries and caught two passes for 15 yards during Saturday's game with Texas College at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium. The Aggies won 68-0. 

GLADEWATER – Ever seen damage to the area around a train-track when the train breaks from the tracks, and plows over everything?

That’s pretty much the scene that played out here at Jack V. Murphy Stadium on Friday night, with the Kilgore High School Bulldogs playing the role of the engine – and KHS coach Clint Fuller the conductor.

Two games, both on the road, both Kilgore College wins – and now, finally today, the home opener for the Rangers in this 2021 season.

Coach Willie Gooden and his KC Rangers (2-0 overall, 1-0 in the Southwest Junior College Football Conference) will host Northeastern Oklahoma A&M (NEO, if you will; 0-1) in sort of a matinee game, a 1 p.m. start here at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Even if he hadn’t left Maple Grove Raceway with the point lead following last week’s Countdown opener, Kilgore’s Steve Torrence and his Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster still would have been heavily favored to win the 13th DeWalt NHRA Carolina Nationals this weekend at ZMax Dragway.

COLLEGE STATION (AP) — Coach Jimbo Fisher insists that things won't be much different for No. 7 Texas A&M today with quarterback Zach Calzada making his first career start in place of Longview’s own Haynes King.

"We'll feature things he does, but we won't change a lot," Fisher said.

Kilgore College takes the field at Tyler’s Rose Stadium in the season opener two weeks ago. The Rangers are now ranked third in the nation, and will host Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Saturday at 1 p.m. here at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium.

It’s said that you can only control what YOU can control.

On Saturday, Kilgore College’s Rangers controlled Blinn. And quarterback Malcolm Mays had an unreal outing, throwing for 425 yards and five touchdowns in a 49-17 win.

West Rusk senior quarterback Andon Mata is the Chick-Fil-A / Kilgore News Herald player of the week for his performance in the Raiders’ 24-17 win over Mineola last Friday night.

READING, Pa. – Kilgore’s Billy Torrence took out track record holder Brittany Force in a semifinal match with championship implications Sunday before dispatching second year pro Justin Ashley in the final round to win the 36th Mopar Express Lane Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.

DAINGERFIELD – A pair of back-to-back high-scoring road games has left Sabine High School’s Cardinals off to a 1-2 start after an impressive win over Spring Hill in the season opener three weeks ago.

Things change.

At one point – not so long ago – Blinn had none other than Cam Newton quarterbacking their Buccaneers, when it seemed one transfer after another moved to Brenham to help the Bucs, as they swam (somewhat) carelessly through the Southwest Junior College Football Conference like a hot knife through butter. National and conference titles were won. It was a great time to be a Blinn fan.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — One of college football’s most storied rivalries ended 30 years ago when Arkansas left the Southwest Conference for the greener pastures of the Southeastern Conference.

READING, Pa. – Two weeks ago, Steve Torrence was so far ahead of his closest pursuers in the race for the Camping World Top Fuel championship that one would have needed binoculars to find second place Brittany Force and maybe the Hubble Space Telescope to locate everyone else.

A physical battle with Pine Tree might not be what Kilgore fans expected Friday night, but it’s what played out, a third straight game for the Bulldogs against a 5A opponent.

This time, though, it didn’t work out in Kilgore’s favor, as Pine Tree dealt the Bulldogs a 42-27 homecoming loss, the first of the season.

With an eye not on the past few years, but on the now, Kilgore College looks to be ruling Texas junior college football, and is getting respect on the national level, as well.

The more things change, the more they stay the same, and coach Willie Gooden’s Rangers are ranked fifth in the NJCAA’s top 15 poll following the first slate of games of the season last weekend. That's up one spot from the sixth-place ranking a week ago.

It’s hard to imagine that things could have gone better for Kilgore High School football coach Clint Fuller, in his first head coaching job and headed into the third week of the season.

Knock on wood somewhere.

Four teams besides Kilgore in the Kilgore News Herald’s coverage area, and all four are coming at week three of the high school football season from a different perspective, as Friday night approaches.

Kilgore High School cross country has had what you might call “big” success in the last few years: the boys made the state meet a year ago, as a team; various KHS individual runners have made that meet, and the girls team has competed there, as well.

INDIANAPOLIS  – Steve Torrence added his name to the list of drivers with multiple victories in the world’s oldest, largest and most prestigious drag race Sunday, beating No. 1 qualifier Brittany Force in the final round to win the Top Fuel title at the 67th annual Dodge SRT U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway.

Kilgore remained seventh in the bigger #bEASTTexas Fabulous 15 poll of the Class 6A / 5A / 4A schools, and another Kilgore News Herald-area school, West Rusk, moved up to fourth in the smaller-school poll.

There are no numbers to review, no “last week” with which to compare, no real expectations – other than tonight’s 2021 Kilgore College football season opener at Tyler Junior College will be intense, and could set the tone for the season.

NEW LONDON – It was a warm and humid Friday night in New London, where the Sabine Cardinals took on the West Rusk Raiders, with both teams coming off wins last week into this non-district game.

AUSTIN (AP) — Steve Sarkisian's biggest decision of training camp was picking a quarterback. The new Texas coach's biggest priority for the season is likely making sure his best running back is getting the ball as much as possible.

COLLEGE STATION (AP) — Coach Jimbo Fisher admitted that he is a bit nervous as quarterback Haynes King prepares for his first collegiate start when sixth-ranked Texas A&M hosts Kent State today, a 7 p.m. kickoff on ESPN2.

HOUSTON — As Texas Tech coach Matt Wells enters his third season with the Red Raiders, his team is coming off what he believes is its best preseason camp since he arrived.

What do Billy Torrence, the part-time Top Fuel racer and CEO of Texas-based Capco Contractors, Ron Capps, the former Funny Car world champion, and Justin Ashley, the NHRA’s most recent Rookie of the Year, have in common?

The NJCAA shook things up a few weeks ago with the announcement that, like major college football, the four junior college programs ranked at the top of the poll at the end of the regular season will play a mini-tournament to determine the national champion.

Good news for Kilgore College fans: your Rangers are only two spots out right now, as the season begins.

AUSTIN (AP) — New Texas coach Steve Sarkisian said Monday that his starting quarterback for this weekend's season opener against No. 23 Louisiana-Lafayette will be Hudson Card, who has one career pass completion, though fourth-year player Casey Thompson will also play.