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September 28, 2012

JUNIOR COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Crunch time (w/SWJCFC standings)

TVCC needs win in worst way against rival Navarro College

ATHENS — It might be an understatement to say that the last three weeks have been disappointing for the Trinity Valley Community College Cardinals.

They’ve gone from Southwest Junior College Conference darling and one of the highest-ranked teams in the nation to fighting for their lives after three straight losses — including two to open conference play.

That makes Saturday’s game against the Navarro College Bulldogs (3-1, 1-1 in SWJCFC) huge. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Bruce Field.

A win would halt the Cardinals’ three-game losing streak, give them a confidence boost heading into the final three weeks of the season and put them right back in the middle of the SWJCFC playoff race.

A loss? Well, it wouldn’t eliminate the Cards (2-3, 0-2) from postseason contention, but it would put the team in a series of high-pressure, must-win situations heading into the final stretch.

“It’s all there right in front of us,” TVCC head coach Brad Smiley said. “We’re still in a dogfight, and I don’t see anybody going undefeated (in the conference).

“It all starts this week. We’ve got to put a good game together. All three phases have got to be together.”

Navarro will bring to town the top rushing offense in the conference (1,303 yards). Former Cayuga standout Traylon Shead, who transferred from The University of Texas, leads the team with 404 yards rushing and nine touchdowns. Tyler Middleton is second with 336 yards rushing and five scores. The Bulldog offense averages 500.5 yards per game.

That should present an interesting matchup against a TVCC defense that ranks No. 1 in the conference, allowing 254.2 yards per game.

DeVonte McMillian leads TVCC with 36 tackles, while Quincy Russell has four of TVCC’s 19 sacks.

SWJCFC standings

    Season    Conf.    PF    PA

Kilgore    4-0    2-0    143    96

NEO    4-0    1-0    164    71

Navarro    3-1    1-1    185    93

Blinn    2-2    1-1    138    118

Cisco    1-3    1-1    59    131

TVCC    2-3    0-2    160    114

Tyler    2-2    0-1    160    87

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