It's official now: the Southwest Junior College Football Conference has its four-team football playoff field.
As was known already, Kilgore College is the top seed, and the regular season champion. Trinity Valley is seeded second.
Those two teams will host the two games this Saturday. KC (8-1) will host fourth-seeded New Mexico Military (5-4) at 3 p.m. Saturday here at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium.
Trinity Valley (7-2) will host Navarro (4-5) at 3 p.m. in Athens at Bruce Field.
The winners of the two games will play in the SWJCFC championship game on Saturday, Nov. 9. If KC wins its game with New Mexico Military, the championship game will be here for the second straight year.
The Rangers, ranked fifth in the nation prior to the release of a new NJCAA top-20 poll on Monday, plan to repeat as champions. KC beat Tyler Junior College at Rose Stadium in Tyler yesterday, 34-28, in double overtime. The Rangers have won 18 games since last August, and lost only once this year (to Cisco, who just missed out on the playoffs).
KC did play New Mexico Military this season, and beat the Broncos, 35-26. KC also beat the other two teams in the playoff field, dealing Navarro a 43-33 loss and defeated Trinity Valley by just one point, 24-23, in Athens.
In its first shot against KC, NMMI never led the game. KC took an early lead on a first-quarter touchdown, went up 13-6 after a touchdown pass by Jacob Frazier, and stayed in front the entire way. The Rangers finished with 426 yards of total offense.
Frazier completed 15-of-27 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns (to Gabe Douglas and to Earnest Crownover). Frazier also ran for 69 yards and a score.
NMMI did have a few bright spots, including going 5-for-5 in fourth-down conversions.
KC is 4-0 all-time against New Mexico Military, all since 2016. The Broncos joined the conference that season. It's been well-documented, but NMMI was once the football home of a young Roger Staubach.
As for the other matchup, Trinity Valley and Navarro will be playing each other for a second straight weekend. The Cardinals beat Navarro, 45-44, yesterday in Corsicana. The rematch, of course, is in Athens.
Trinity Valley is averaging 450 yards and 34 points a game. Navarro has had a year of the near-miss: the Bulldogs have five losses, and four of them are by a combined 19 points. Their only ugly loss was a 35-3 stinker at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M back in September.