The Athens Review
When it comes to beating the No. 1 team in the country and your most heated rival in the same game, the Trinity Valley Community College Cardinals are ready for this week’s contest.
The Cardinals will head 45-minutes down Highway 31 to take on the No. 1-ranked Navarro College Bulldogs Saturday night in Southwest Junior College Football conference play.
“I am excited for the opportunity,” TVCC head coach Brad Smiley said. “I am excited for the kids and for the opportunity to play a team where they are ranked. I think we all have confidence that if we play well we will certainly have an opportunity to win the ball game.”
Kickoff in Corsicana is set for 7 p.m. at Tigers Stadium.
“I worry about every game,” Navarro coach Brian Mayper said. “I don’t take anybody lightly. I think that is what all of the coaches in the conference think about and we worry about it until the last second ticks off the clock.”
Both teams come into Saturday’s game as the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams in total offense.
The Bulldogs have 2,037 total yards in four games, while the Cardinals have 2,113 yards in four games.
The two teams also have the No. 1 and No. 3 ranked defenses among conference teams.
Navarro has given up 923 total yards, while TVCC has given up 1,178 yards this season.
Mayper said he is ready to see what Trinity Valley comes up with during the game.
“They (TVCC) have a good quarterback that is throwing the ball really well. The run game is pretty impressive and I think they have added things that will put pressure on our defense,” Mayper said. “Defensively, they are playing a lot of the same schemes that they always play but with some new players.
Smiley said they have been working on ways to contain Navarro running backs Tim Wright (69-462-9 TD) and Cameron Washington(54-423-5 TD) — the No. 1 and No. 3 ranked rushers in the conference.
“They have a great running game and right now they are running it well,” Smiley said. “They are big up front and the two running backs have been outstanding this year.”
Mayper said after an injury to starting quarterback Josh Greer — who injured his throwing shoulder on Navarro’s next-to-last series against Kilgore last week — is expected to play this weekend.
Greer is currently the No. 2 ranked passer in the conference in completion percentage at 64.2-percent behind TVCC’s Ryan Polite at 70.3-percent.
“I think which quarterbacks make the best decisions will be the factor in the game,” Smiley said. “It is an even ball game and it will come down to fundamentals and who makes the least mental errors.”
Season Conf. PF PA
Navarro 4-0 2-0 210 73
Tyler 4-0 1-0 185 78
Blinn 2-3 1-1 146 142
Kilgore 1-3 1-1 85 137
TVCC 2-2 1-1 157 76
NEO 2-2 0-1 131 89
Cisco 0-3 0-2 52 142