Small College Review: The Kardiac Kats are back, Trinity dominates Berry, another wild weekend in SWJCFC

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I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted!

So many emotions were experienced by teams across the state of Texas last week from elation to pure heartbreak with everything in between. It was an incredible Week 5 in small college football, so let’s get to some of the headlines.

The Kardiac Kats are Back

Where do I begin with this game?

The bad news began early for No. 1 Sam Houston before this game. The defending national champions were without their All-American kicker due to CoVID protocols and their. Their two targeting penalties and two other late hits in his last three games.

Then the game began, and things did not get much better for SHSU. Stephen F. Austin did not care about who was injured or out due to protocols. The Lumberjacks were ready to end their nine-game losing streak to their bitter rival.

For the better part of three quarters, the ‘Jacks were obviously the better team. SFA was in control of the game and led the Kats 20-6 with just over nine minutes remaining in the game.

What followed had SFA fans reliving a nightmare of a comeback loss in 2019. Well, it happened again.

SHSU scored the final 15 points to defeat the ‘Jacks 21-20 and earn the Kats 10th consecutive win in the Battle of the Piney Woods.

This game confirmed what we already knew about both teams - SHSU is one of the most mentally tough teams in the country, and SFA is on the verge of being a national threat.

I learned one thing about this series. The 95th meeting in the BOPW was epic, and the next few years will provide more classics thanks to the programs SHSU coach K.C. Keeler and SFA coach Colby Carthel have built.

SAA Title in Focus for Trinity

The Trinity Tigers knew their road to the Southern Athletic Association title, and an automatic berth in the NCAA Division III playoffs went through Mount Berry, Ga.

After the Tigers dominating 27-6 win over Berry College on Saturday, the road to the SAA title now goes through San Antonio.

Trinity coach Jerheme Urban has built this program into a defensive powerhouse, and that method worked to perfection against the Vikings.

The Tigers held Berry to 181 total yards of offense, with only 31 yards allowed on the ground.

Trinity does not have any time to rest on its laurels with another perennial contender, Centre, due to visit the Tigers next week.

The Tigers’ remaining schedule will not be easy, but Trinity will host most of the remaining conference title contenders in San Antonio. The only challenging road game on the schedule is against Birmingham Southern on Nov. 6. 

The Wild and Wacky SWJCFC

For those who are not familiar with junior college football, please allow me to help.

The Southwestern Junior College Football Conference is one of the best conferences, top to bottom, at any level of college football. And it’s not close.

There are no easy wins in the SWJCFC, and that point was on display Saturday afternoon.

No. 4 Trinity Valley was in a dog fight against an opportunistic Cisco squad. The Wranglers took advantage of four interceptions and blocked two punts, directly leading to 17 points.

The Cardinals’ are known for their dominant defense, and that unit produced again on Saturday. The Cisco offense had 15 plays that resulted in zero or negative yards.

TVCC still needed a 54-yard field goal as time expired to pull out a 34-31 win and keep their hopes of a national title alive.

Meanwhile, Navarro rebounded from a tough road loss a week ago to hand No. 10 Kilgore its second consecutive defeat.

The Bulldogs scored 34 unanswered points in the second half for a 47-43 victory.

Keep an eye on this conference moving forward, and always expect the unexpected.

Helmet Stickers

Jahari Kay, Sam Houston

This man received a ton of tv time in the Battle of the Piney Woods and deservedly so. The WAC preseason Defensive Player of the Year was in the Lumberjacks backfield all game registering eight tackles, with 2.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, two quarterback hurries, one forced fumble, and one pass breakup.

Khalil Harris, West Texas A&M

The sophomore running back from Frisco Heritage High School had a breakout performance for the Buffs in a heart-wrenching 41-38 road loss to Western Oregon. Harris gained 193 yards rushing on 21 carries and a touchdown in the contest.

Landon McKinney, Howard Payne

One of the best quarterbacks in the state of Texas regardless of classification, McKinney had a great game leading HPU to a 73-30 win over Sul Ross State. The sophomore from Sabine High School completed 17-of-30 passes for 335 yards with six touchdowns. The signal-caller added a rushing touchdown for good measure.

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 five plays from Week 5:


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