By MIKE MONTFORT —
Khalil Banks scored the game-winning touchdown on a three-yard run with 1:54 to play, lifting fourth-ranked Trinity Valley to a 25-19 win Saturday over the seventh-ranked Navarro Bulldogs at Tiger Stadium.
Banks’ touchdown and quarterback Jaylon Henderson’s two-point conversion run was the payoff for the Cardinals and defensive lineman O’Shea Jackson, who had stripped the football from Navarro running back Mori Evans on a first-down running play from the Bulldog 20-yard-line with 3:07 to go.
Moments earlier, it appeared the Cardinals had been denied a last-chance rally when NC cornerback Benjie Franklin’s third interception of the season ended a nine-play, 33-yard drive of almost four minutes to the Bulldogs’ 33. Franklin’s interception in the Navarro end zone gave the Bulldogs possession at their 20-yard line.
On the first play, however, Evans took a Harry Woodberry handoff up the middle, but Jackson wrestled the football away and rumbled to the Bulldog 14 with 3:02 left. Rushing gains of 4 by Henderson and 3 by Banks left TVCC in a 3rd-and-3 situation. Officials ruled NC’s defense offside on a third-down play, and the crucial penalty first-down call set up Banks’ TD run.
TVCC seized a 17-0 first-quarter lead, thanks to a blocked punt and two kickoff-return decisions four yards deep in the end zone that only were brought out to the Navarro 14. Navarro, however, overcame the rough start and field-position woes to storm back with 19 unanswered points and took the lead by halftime.
Sophomore placekicker Benigno Heredia booted field goals of 19 and 26 yards by the 8:25 mark of the second period to start NC’s comeback. Navarro capitalized on TVCC’s 18-yard punt to the Cardinal 30 and used six plays to score its first touchdown as sophomore Deandre Cook bolted in from two yards out.
NC later assumed a 19-17 lead with :06 left before half, using 3:02 to drive 71 yards in 12 plays. The Bulldogs got the go-ahead points as Woodberry struggled to score on a one-yard sneak.
The teams combined for 16 punts in the contest, and 11 three-and-out possessions in a defense-dominated game, punctuated by a scoreless third period.
The 97th meeting between the rival neighboring-county junior colleges marked the sixth consecutive TVCC win in the series — the longest that the Cardinals have strung together since the teams first met in 1947. Saturday’s outcome was the 30th game in the series decided by seven points or less. Navarro leads the all-time series, 54-41-2.
Navarro next plays at 7 pm Saturday at Brenham’s Cub Stadium against the Blinn Buccaneers, which won their opener at Cisco, 42-30. Meanwhile, TVCC returns to Bruce Field in Athens where it will host the Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Golden Norsemen, which opened Saturday with a 40-7 win over NMMI at Miami, Ok.
Trinity Valley 25, Navarro 19
SCORE BY QUARTERS:
Trinity Valley 17 0 0 8 — 25
Navarro 3 16 0 0 — 19
TVC€ — Angel Sevier 30 FG, 13:07
TVCC — Kam Williams 7 pass from Jaylon Henderson (Sevier kick), 10:58
TVCC — Tristen Wallace 25 pass from Henderson (Sevier kick), 8:33
NC — Benigno Heredia 19 FG, 3:47
NC — Heredia 26 FG, 8:25
NC — DeAndre Cook 2 run (Heredia kick), 4:26
NC — Harry Woodberry 1 run (kick blocked), :06
TVCC — Khalil Banks 3 run (Henderson run), 1:54
YARDSTICK TVCC NC
First Downs 17 19
Rushes-Yards 41-155 38-98
Passing Yards 165 251
Passing 17-37-1 28-47-2
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 4-1
Punting 9-38 7-34
Penalties 9-63 5-34
Rushing — N: DeAndre Cook 12-35, Mori Evans 12-65, Earnest Davis 2-4, Kyle Fuller 1-4, Harry Woodberry 11-(-10); T: Jaylon Henderson 17-81, Khalil Banks 17-80, Peytton Pickett 5-(-2), Tony Mullins 2-(-4).
Passing — N: Fuller 14-23-2-150, Woodberry 14-23-0-101, Antwon Cole 0-1-0-0. T: Henderson 17-36-1-165, Joseph Blankenship 0-1-0-0.
Receiving — N: Warren Flye 4-73, Devonte Mims 5-43, Matt Reyna 6-27, Cook 7-46, Kyle Townsend 2-31, Kaylon Krieger 1-7, Brian Williams 2-27, Evans 1-1; T: Mullins 4-38, Kam Williams 4-24, Tristen Wallace 5-78, Dhailon Phillips 1-10, Banks 2-17, Pickett 1-(-2).
SWJCFC SCORES: Week 2
TVCC 25, Navarro 19
Northeastern Oklahoma A&M 40, NMMI 7
Blinn 42, Cisco 30
Tyler 56, Texas A&T 0
More game photos: Keith Speer’s Photos: