On a night when the offense sputtered, TVCC’s defense rose to the occasion and led the Cardinals to an 18-14 win over Tyler Junior College at Bruce Field Saturday night.
The win puts the Cards at 2-0 in the conference while TJC falls to 1-2.
The Cardinal defense held the Apaches to just 59 yards and 4 first downs in the second half, stepping up in difficult situations over and over to shut down TJC. TVCC forced four turnovers in the second half and five for the game.
TVCC’s lone touchdown of the second half — the one that provided the winning margin — came on a two-play drive after the Cardinals recovered an Apache muffed punt deep in TJC territory.
That touchdown was a 26-yard pass from Jeremy Hunt to Keonta Fiakpui.
The Cardinals will remain home next week to take on NEO at Bruce Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
— The Cardinal front seven was absolutely dominate and held TJC to just 77 yards rushing on 29 carries, which is a 2.6 yards per carry average. Take out two sacks, which go against rushing yardage in college statistics, and the average is still just 3.6 yards per carry. That’s some impressive work against the run.
— OK, let’s talk turnovers. The Cardinals got interceptions from Ced Williams and Joren Dickey. They got fumble recoveries from Dickey and Kamauria Kenny. I couldn’t see who got the fifth fumble, the one on the muffed punt that set up the winning touchdown.
— Tyler gained 256 total yards for the game, but 100 of those came on just three plays.
— Keonta Fiakpui had a big game for the Cardinal offense, catching five balls for 68 yards and a touchdown.
— Did you hear the Cardinal fans making noise on the final two times TJC had the ball. They were loving their defense Saturday night.
— Coach Poteete has talked many times about how kicker Eddie Godina is a major weapon. Well, Saturday he proved it with a pair of field goals from 20 and 43 yards. He had two other kicks blocked, but the six points he provided were obviously significant in a 4-point win.
— The Cardinals other touchdown came on a 17-yard scramble by Jeremy Hunt on TVCC’s first drive of the game.
— TVCC finished with 90 yards rushing and 227 yards passing on the night.
— The Apache started two drives on the TVCC 29 yards line, one in each half. The scored zero points on those two drives.
— Those black unis looked kinda sharp, didn’t they?