The No. 17-ranked Trinity Valley College Cardinals accomplished two goals on homecoming day against the No. 3-ranked Tyler Junior College Apaches Saturday afternoon at Bruce Field.
Following an emotional 55-31 win over TJC, the Cardinals are now the outright No. 1-seed in the Southwest Junior College Football conference playoffs starting Nov. 2.
The Cardinals can also do no worse than a share of the conference title if Tyler defeats Kilgore this Saturday in the final conference game of the season.
For me, it is huge,” seven-year coach Brad Smiley said. “We know having the No. 1 seed overall will be big since teams will have to travel to us for at least two more weeks.”
TVCC (6-2, 5-1) will wrap up the regular season next Saturday at 3 p.m. against Southeast Prep at Bruce Field.
The biggest story line of the game happened in the second half as TVCC trailed 24-13 at half time.
The Cards outscored Tyler, 42-7 in the second half to seal the victory.
We gave them 21 points in offense and kicking game in the first half,” Smiley said. “The defense played great for us and we stuffed the No. 2 offense in the conference.”
After injuries to Tyler’s Leroy Dobbins and Randy Price forced them out of the game in the second half, TVCC scored the final 42 points.
“I don’t ever wish harm for anybody and one of our defensive goals is to eliminate the starting quarterback,” Smiley said. “Leroy got knocked out of the game early and I hope they get back soon.”
TVCC had touchdown passes from Ryan Polite to Trent Momon for 26 yards and Tata Green for 34 yards.
The Cards also had a 42 yard touchdown run from Jeff Harris, a one-yard run from Polite and a 24 yard run by Marquel McNac for 24-yards.
Josh Pickett rounded out the second half scoring with a 31-yard fumble return for a touchdown with 2:55 remaining.
TVCC finished the game with 600 yards of total offense compared to 242 yards for the Apaches.
Polite finished the game 29-of-54 for 393 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.
He threw a 49-yard interception for a touchdown to TJC Devante Davis in the first half of play.
Season Conf. PF PA
TVCC 6-2 5-1 325 134
Tyler 7-1 4-1 345 215
Navarro 6-2 3-2 342 118
Kilgore 4-4 3-2 226 199
Blinn 4-5 2-3 214 235
NEO 3-5 1-4 245 245
Cisco 1-6 0-5 138 253
This Week’s Games: SE Prep at TVCC, 3 p.m.; NE Oklahoma at Navarro, 1 p.m.; Blinn at Cisco, 3 p.m.; Kilgore at Tyler, 3 p.m.