The Athens Review
Missed opportunities proved costly for the Trinity Valley Community College Cardinals during a 24-19 loss to open the SWJCFC schedule Saturday evening.
With the loss, the Cardinals are now 1-2 on the season and 0-1 in Southwest Junior College Football Conference play.
Kilgore picked up it’s first win of the season after an 0-2 start.
The big story line of Saturday’s loss for the Cardinals came in the kicking game, according to seven-year head football coach Brad Smiley.
Smiley was disappointed that the Cardinals had a 32-yard field goal by Dylan McLain blocked, a blocked extra point and a missed field goal.
“The blocked field goal was huge,” Smiley said. “We have not had a blocked kick around here in years and it cost us three points. On the extra point, that was on the hold and it got away from him.”
The Cardinals also had a miscue in the punt return game with a fumbled punt deep in Cardinals territory.
Kilgore capitalized on the miscue with a five-play, 19-yard drive. They capped it off with a six-yard run by Ladaedrix Payton for a 14-0 lead.
Even with the miscues in the kicking game, the Cardinals had a chance to pull out the win late in the game as quarterback Ryan Polite threw an interception to Kilgore’s Joe Lynch with less than two minutes remaining.
Smiley said he was impressed with the way the defense played in the conference opener.
“The guys did well and they had 110 yards rushing. They had some explosive runs and our defense held point pretty good,” Smiley said. “We held them to a field goal on fourth-and-one, which was big for us.”
The Cardinals trailed 14-7 heading the intermission as Polite scored on a six-yard run in the second quarter.
In the third quarter, TVCC put together a nice drive to open the quarter and got the score to 14-13 on a 14-yard touchdown strike from Polite to Christian Taylor. The PAT was blocked with 12:33 remaining in the quarter.
Three minutes later, Kilgore was able to extend the lead to 21-13 as Tanner Tausch found Colin Jeter for the 14-yard touchdown. Luis Sanchez booted his third PAT good.
In the fourth quarter, Kilgore drove down the field and added it’s final points of the game on a 33-yard field goal by Sanchez with 5:10 remaining.
TVCC scored the final points of the game as Tavarreon Dickerson barreled his way in from a yard out for the 24-13 finale.
Polite had a solid game for the Cardinals as he went 35-of-50 for 394 yards and one touchdown.
K — Eddie Smith 2 run (Luis Sanchez kick), 3:36
K — Ladaedrix Payton 6 run (Sanchez kick), 11:14
T — Ryan Polite 6 run (Dylan McLain kick), 4:06
T — Christian Taylor 14 from Ryan Polite (kick blocked), 12:33
K — Colin Jeter 14 from Tanner Tausch (Sanchez kick), 8:32
K — Sanchez 33 FG, 5:10
T — Tavarreon Dickerson 1 run (pass failed) 2:12