ROAD WARRIORS | KC's Rangers visit Navarro today

Mitch Lucas, Kilgore News Herald, Texas
·5 min read

Apr. 17—Kilgore College football has a target on its back anyway, but especially now, as the Rangers are the second-ranked team in the nation and aiming for a third-straight regular season conference championship.

The Rangers are on the road today to face Navarro, a 3 p.m. kickoff in Corsicana against what has traditionally been a tough opponent. KC is 3-0, and as mentioned is ranked second in the country behind only Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College.

See the game streamed live on Facebook, with Will Massey and his team calling the game on the Kilgore College Sports Network page.

All of the Rangers' wins — Blinn, at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, and home last week against New Mexico Military — have been in the Southwest Junior College Football Conference, as they're playing an eight-game conference-only slate.

Navarro is 2-1 — the Bulldogs beat Tyler, 53-50, in Corscicana; lost 56-38 to NMMI at neutral-site Seminole, Texas; and then edged NEO, 23-20, a week ago. Counting this Saturday's game against KC, the Bulldogs have been home for three of their four home games.

Navarro is allowing tons of yards and points a game: 499 yards and 42 points a game, including 278 rushing yards a game. The Bulldogs are averaging 38 points and 427 total yards a game.

Contrast that with KC's defense. Coach Willie Gooden's team is allowing just 181 yards and 16 points a game — and only 77 rushing yards a game. The Rangers are scoring 35 points per game and their offense is rolling up 459 yards a game.

Last week against NEO, Navarro got two touchdowns from Isaiah Robinson: a 19-yard run in the third quarter and an 8-yard run in the fourth. C.J. Bosket scored on an 84-yard return of a blocked field goal, and kicker Alexis Lopez had a 38-yard field goal.

Navarro College quarterbacks Dodge Delozier and Qua Gray combined to go 16-of-33 for 113 yards, and an interception. Robinson finished with 160 yards rushing and the two scores.

While Navarro was struggling with NEO, the Rangers were hosting NMMI, the team that beat Navarro — and having very little difficulty, at least in the first half: KC had a 34-7 lead at halftime.

The Rangers took the air out of the ball in the second half, electing to pretty much keep it on the ground. They didn't score again, but didn't have to: they won, 34-23.

KC running back Kennieth Lacy, from Kilgore, finished with 160 yards, including an 83-yard touchdown to open the scoring. KC's running game finished with 302 yards, and Chance Amie finished 7-of-15 for 144 yards and three touchdown passes, and also ran for a score.

The three receivers for Amie's touchdowns were Willie McCoy, Marquese Pearson and Garrison Johnson.

Defensively, the Rangers had five sacks (Maurice Westmoreland had two), 22 quarterback hurries, three interceptions (by Tiji Paul-Gorman, Damien Crawford and Chase Crumpton), and a fumble recovery by John Joseph.

KC's offense had 613 total yards. Kicker Kenny Pham hit 4-of-5 extra points, and punted four times for a 32-yard-per-punt average.

On the season, KC has played three players at QB: Amie, Malcolm Mays and L'Ravien Elia. KC has not passed the ball just a lot in three games. Amie has been the starter for all three. He's 9-of-23 for 193 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions (KC has thrown no picks so far this year).

Mays is 9-of-17 for 94 yards and Elia is 3-of-4 for 4 yards.

Pearson has caught six passes for 75 yards and a touchdown; McCoy has five catches for 87 yards and a score; Bailee Davenport has three catches, including a touchdown; and Garrison Johnson has two catches for 40 yards and a score.

The Rangers have already ran for 1,087 yards and 10 touchdowns this year. Amie is the leader — he has 284 yards and three touchdowns on 39 carries this season, averaging 7.3 yards per carry. Lacy has 240 yards and the touchdown last week on 24 carries, averaging 10 yards a carry. Johnson has 171 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries, and Davenport has 147 yards on 16 carries.

Pham has hit 12 of his 13 extra points attempted this season, and is 2-of-2 in field goals, the long of 27 yards. He's punted 14 times for 501 yards, a 35.8-yards-per-punt average, and has had none blocked.

McCoy has the Rangers' lone special teams touchdown, on a kick return. He's averaging 40 yards a return.

The Rangers' defense has had six interceptions and five fumble recoveries this season; they've had 16 pass break-ups, eight sacks, and eight tackles for loss.

Sophomore linebacker Keith Harris is leading the team with 30 tackles, averaging 10 tackels a game. Quinton Sharkey, also a linebacker for KC, is second on the defense with 27 tackles. Safety Jacob Washington has 20, and freshman DB Tristan Driggers has 17, and three tackles for loss.

Navarro's offense has been on; the defense has not. Delozier has gotten most of the snaps at quarterback, and is 80-of-128 for 843 yards, nine touchdowns and two interceptions.

Robinson leads the Bulldogs in rushing (160 yards and two scores, against NMMI), and receivers Tru Edwards and Quintin Lee have been the primary receiving targets: Edwards has 23 catches for 275 yards and three touchdown catches; Lee has 17 for 168, and a touchdown. Also, Jeremiah Aaron has nine catches for 133 yards and three scores.