KILGORE — Regular season conference championship? Check
Homefield advantage in the upcoming playoffs? Check.
Season sweep of your biggest rival? Check.
The Kilgore College Rangers checked off all of the boxes, cruising to a 49-17 win over Tyler and celebrating homecoming by capturing the Southwest Junior College Football Conference’s regular-season championship on Saturday at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium.
Kilgore (7-2, 5-2) will host Navarro (6-3, 4-3) at 3 p.m. Saturday to open the SWJCFC playoffs. Tyler ends its season with a 4-5, 3-4 record.
Much like the first meeting between the two teams earlier this season — a 42-10 Kilgore victory to open the season back on Aug. 25 in Lindale in a non-conference battle — this one was never in doubt.
After a three-and-out on its first possession, Kilgore scored on its next two drives and continued to pile on the points en route to a 35-17 halftime lead.
Kilgore finished the day with 347 rushing yards on 55 attempts, adding 83 yards through the air for 430 total yards. Quarterback Quez Allen carried 15 times for 74 yards and scored four times. Carlos Frank added 93 yards on 15 carries, De’Montre Tuggle 80 yards on eight attempts and Scooter Adams 78 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries.
The KC defense, which scored for the second week in a row, held Tyler to 214 total yards and came away with four turnovers — a fumble recovery and three interceptions.
Tyler got on the board first with a 1-yard touchdown run by Kevon Thompson, but KC answered with a 77-yard drive that took five plays and was capped with a 20-yard TD run by Allen.
Two minutes later, Allen’s 1-yard run gave KC the lead for good. That touchdown was set up by the Ranger defense when Adrion Robertson came off the edge for a strip sack and Devin Mitchell recovered and returned the ball to the TJC 4-yard line.
After TJC used a 36-yard field goal by Blake Patterson early in the second quarter to keep things close at 14-10, the Rangers put an end to the competitive part of the game by scoring three times in the span of 3:13 to build a commanding 35-10 cushion.
The Rangers drove 80 yards in 15 plays and ate up 8:21 off the game clock to start the beatdown, with Adams scoring on a 4-yard run to end the march. A minute later, Kyshawn Smith picked off an Apache pass and returned it 58 yards for a touchdown.
Raudel Alvarez then intercepted another TJC pass two minutes later, setting up a quick scoring drive and another Allen TD run.
Tyler moved 69 yards in 11 plays and scored just before the half to maintain some hope, but the Rangers took the opening possession of the second half and drove 83 yards in 12 plays, using 6:29 of game clock and capping things with a 1-yard TD run by Allen to turn things into a rout.
Adams later dashed 58 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to make the final 49-17.