ATHENS — Special teams proved to be just that for No. 6 ranked Kilgore College here Saturday at Bruce Field.
Luis Reyes booted a 28-yard field goal with under three minutes remaining to give Kilgore a one-point lead, and the Rangers blocked a 33-yard field goal attempt by Trinity Valley’s Eddie Godina as time expired as the Rangers held on for a 24-23 Southwest Junior College Football Conference win.
The victory moves the Rangers to 6-1 overall and into sole possession of the top spot in the SWJCFC with a 4-1 record. Trinity Valley, ranked No. 10, drops to 4-2 in the conference and overall.
Kilgore took a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter on a 5-yard run by Gabe Douglas, but the Cardinals answered two minutes later with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Jeremy Hunt to Kenota Fiakpui to tie things at 7-7.
Kevon Latulas scored from 11 yards out with 2:57 left in the second quarter to move Kilgore in front 14-7, but Godina’s 18-yard field goal as time expired in the half made it a 14-10 contest at intermission.
The Cardinals used a pair of Hunt touchdown passes in the third quarter to build a 23-14 lead. Hunt hit Hayward Clay from 22 yards out with 9:14 remaining to put the Cardinals in front 16-14, and with 1:22 remainiwng connected on an 8-yard strike to Willie Cherry to make it a 9-point Cardinal lead.
KC blocked a punt early in the fourth to set up a short scoring drive, with Jacob Frazier doing the honors on a 3-yard run at the 10:02 mark to pull KC to within two points at 23-21.
With TVCC driving late in the game, Antonio Brooks intercepted Hunt at the Ranger 20-yard line, and KC drove down the field to get into position for Reyes to knock a go-ahead 28-yard field goal through for a 24-23 lead.
TVCC took over at its own 25 and drove to the Ranger 16 before setting up for a potential game-winner, but the Rangers swatted it away to head home with the win.
Frazier p assed for 222 yards.Hunt passed for 264 yards in the loss.
Kilgore is idle on Saturday, and will return home to host Blinn College in a 3 p.m. contest on Oct. 19 at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium.