DCTF Small College Review: UIW is a contender, Angelo State clips UTPB, Goodbye to NJCAA title hopes

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Week 7 in Texas answered some questions and left us seeking answers to new questions. Incarnate Word and Prairie View A&M asserted themselves as genuine conference title contenders. 

Losses by UTPB and No. 4 Trinity Valley leave us wondering how the Lone Star Conference and Southwest Junior College Football Conference will play out over the next few weeks.

UIW Is A Contender

The best test was Saturday for Incarnate Word. A win at home over Nicholls was vital to the Cardinals’ chances of remaining in the Southland Conference title race.

UIW passed with flying colors.

The record-setting day for Taylor Grimes will be discussed in the helmet stickers section, but this space belongs to the UIW defense.

Nicholls was moving the ball with ease and scored on its first three possessions of the game. The Colonels were about to add to their lead before Akil Jones intercepted a pass in the end zone as time expired in the first half.

UIW allowed 289 yards and 21 points in the first half. However, the Cardinals took advantage of halftime, and the defensive adjustments worked, holding Nicholls to 169 total yards in the final half while the offense got rolling.

The result is a big win for UIW while keeping alive its hopes for a conference title or at-large FCS playoff bid.

Rams Clip Falcons

UTPB came into LeGrand Stadium in Angelo, Texas, Saturday flying high. That is until they met the Angelo State Rams.

ASU made a massive statement with a dominating 34-14 win over the Falcons. The Rams defense was in control all night, allowing a measly 233 total yards and 27 rushing yards to a UTPB offense that entered the game averaging 171.8 rushing yards per game.

The Rams kept their NCAA Division II playoff hopes alive while the Falcons were left searching for answers.

The loss ended UTPB’s nine-game D-II winning streak and created more drama in the LSC.

Midwestern State remains the favorite to win the LSC title with wins over Texas A&M-Commerce and Angelo State. However, the Mustangs have a road trip to West Texas A&M and a home game with UTPB to finish the season.

The rest of the LSC is muddled with the Buffs, Falcons, and Lions with one conference loss, while the Rams and Texas A&M-Kingsville have two conference losses. 

It’s possible to have four or five teams sharing the LSC title this year. Maybe not likely, but it’s possible.

Buccaneers Steal Title Dreams

The hopes of a team from Texas earning a spot in the NJCAA national title game took a fatal blow last Saturday when Blinn pulled off the 21-14 upset over No. 4 Trinity Valley.

The SWJCFC could still have a representative in the title game, with No. 6 New Mexico Military Institute being the biggest beneficiary of the Buccaneers victory.

However, TVCC hosts NMMI in the final regular season game, with a rematch possible in the SWJCFC title game. That is if NMMI survives a test against an improving Cisco squad this week.

The SWJCFC playoff race is fun to watch again this year, with six teams (NMMI, TVCC, Blinn, Tyler, Kilgore, and Cisco) battling for one of four spots in the playoffs, with three weeks remaining in the regular season.

Helmet Stickers

Taylor Grimes, UIW 

Grimes had a breakout performance for UIW last Saturday recording nine receptions for 182 yards and four touchdowns. The junior from Godly, Texas, set the program record for most touchdowns in a game.

Winston Hutchison, Trinity

The freshman from McNeil High School in Round Rock, Texas, had his own breakout performance in Trinity’s 46-0 victory last Saturday. Hutchison gained 142 yards rushing and a touchdown on ten carries while adding four receptions for 60 yards and a touchdown.

Tobias Harris, West Texas A&M

The 2019 AFCA First-Team All-American and Dave Campbell’s Small College All-Texas team member shined in the Buffs 44-24 win over rival Eastern New Mexico. The junior from Pflugerville, Texas help WT retain the Wagon Wheel by intercepting three passes and returning two interceptions for a touchdown.

Plays of the Week

Each week, we scour social media to find the top plays. However, we are sure to miss some incredible plays from the 35 small college teams in Texas, so we are seeking your assistance. 

If you find a great play worthy of a nomination, use hashtag #dctftopplays to make sure we notice.

Here are the top plays from Week 7:

 

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