No. 8 TVCC to face No. 12 Garden City in C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl

Benny Rogers/TVCC Sports Information

The eighth-ranked Trinity Valley Community College Cardinals have accepted an invitation to play in the C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl in Copperas Cove on Saturday, Dec. 2.

In a rematch of the 1997 NJCAA championship game, the Southwest Junior College Football Conference regular-season champion Cardinals will face the No. 12-ranked Garden City Community College Broncbusters. Game time at Bulldawg Stadium is 11 a.m.

Continue reading “No. 8 TVCC to face No. 12 Garden City in C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl”

Malakoff sets record, beats Elkhart 75-0

By Michael V. Hannigan/HCN

That sound you heard in Malakoff Friday night was the Tiger offense exploding.

The Tigers finished the regular season at home with a 75-0 beatdown of visiting Elkhart to push their record to 9-1.

Malakoff football historian Benny Rogers said the Tigers set a school record for single-game scoring (previous high of 73) and have won 16 straight home games.

Continue reading “Malakoff sets record, beats Elkhart 75-0”

TVCC to take on NEO in regional championship game

The Southwest Junior College Football Conference regional championship game is scheduled Saturday at Bruce Field. The Cardinals (8-2) take on Northeastern Oklahoma (8-2) at 3 p.m.

The Cardinals, who entered the playoffs as the top seed for a fifth straight year, were a 47-34 winner against Navarro in semifinal action at Bruce Field. NEO took care of Blinn, 38-34.

The winner of Saturday’s game earns the host role in the C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl in Copperas Cove on Saturday, Dec. 2, though NEO is scheduled to host the inaugural Midwest Fall Classic Bowl on Sunday, Dec. 3.

During the regular season, the Cardinals were a 27-14 winner against NEO at Bruce Field.

In this week’s NJCAA rankings, the Cardinals are No. 6. It marks the 59th straight poll in which the Cardinals have appeared — 21 straight in the Top 10.

Handing out award from TVCC’s 47-34 win over Navarro

TVCC Cardinal QB Shelton Eppler pauses for a prayer next to the jerseys of Bryce Cook and Tyler Spillman before Saturday’s game. (Michael V. Hannigan photo)

By Michael V. Hannigan/HCN

The Cardinals are just one game away from adding yet more championship hardware to the field house.

Saturday, TVCC dispatched Navarro 47-34 in the SWJCFC semifinal game played at Bruce Field in Athens. NEO beat Blinn, 35-26, in the other semifinal to set up next Saturday’s NEO vs. TVCC Regional Championship game at Bruce Field.

But first, let’s hand out some awards from yesterday’s game.

The Fast Start Award – The Cardinals

TVCC started on fire Saturday in all phases of the game. Tony Mullins had a nice return on the opening kickoff (more about him later), the offense scored on the very first play from scrimmage, and the defense forced the Bulldogs into a 3-and-out on their first possession. You can’t do much better than that.

The Reading Is Fundamental Award – Shelton Eppler

Cardinal fans have gotten used to seeing the offense score often, but there’s still something special about breaking the 40-point barrier. QB Shelton Eppler accounted for five touchdowns (four passing, one rushing), turning the scoreboard into a pinball machine. Multiple times on Saturday the sophomore saw what the Navarro defense was doing and made great decisions. In the video below, watch as Eppler sees the Bulldog linebackers show the blitz and signal out to his left before throwing a TD to Kam Williams.

The Spin Cycle Award – Kam Williams

Speaking of Williams, he had three touchdown receptions and on two of them left the defender grasping air with a wicked spin move. If football doesn’t work out for him, Williams might have a career as a politician’s spokesman. … Oh, and happy birthday, Kam.

The Special Forces Award – Tony Mullins

Big returns by Tony Mullins gave the Cardinals great field position, including the punt return below that set up a field goal. Navarro became so concerned by what Mullins could do that they started kicking out of bounds, often very short. SPECIAL MENTION: J.R. Blades, who downed a Cardinal punt on the Navarro 1 yard line, setting up a safety.

Tony Mullins sets up @tvccfootball with a big punt return.

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The Manumana Sack Attack Award – Marvin Terry

When the fictional Fightin’ Armadillos needed a big defensive play from the defensive line, it was Manumana The Slender who came through. Coming off a six-sack performance last week, Marvin Terry added at least another four this week, including one that looked just like Manumana’s sack in “Necessary Roughness.” He also added a forced fumble and a safety.

And yes, you have to go all the way to Hollywood to find a way to describe just how good Terry has been the past two weeks.

Marvin Terry continues to be crazy hot for @tvccfootball picking up a safety to go with at least 4 more sacks today.

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The Gabe Kotter Award – Greg Eisworth II

The absence of safety Greg Eisworth II from the line up the past two weeks has been noticeable. His return Saturday was just as noticeable. His signature play was a tipped pass interception that he returned 21 yards for a touchdown and had his teammates singing, “Welcome Back.”

The Game via Twitter

8 awards from TVCC’s conference-clinching win over Cisco, 31-21

By Michael V. Hannigan/HCN

The Trinity Valley Community College Cardinals brought home another trophy, earning a regular season title and the first seed in the playoffs with a 31-21 win over Cisco Saturday afternoon. The Cardinals will host the Navarro Bulldogs at Bruce Field Saturday, Nov. 4, in a SWJCFC semifinal match-up.

But first, let’s hand out some awards from this Saturday’s win.


Hard to beat the tweet by @TVCCFOOTBALL Sunday afternoon of the regular season trophy strapped into the car seat for the ride home. That’s five straight conference titles for the Cardinals, something that had never been done before. #17DRIVEfor5

THE BOOKENDS AWARD — Prince Robinson

Cardinal CB Prince Robinson started the scoring on the afternoon, returning an interception 35 yards for a touchdown late in the first quarter. He also sealed the game for the Cards with an interception late in the fourth quarter. In between he made any receiver in his area wish they had stayed in Cisco. Maybe I should have called this the ROBINSON ISLAND AWARD.


Luke Termin hit Cisco’s Henry Allen so hard on a sack in the fourth quarter that the entire crowd groaned in pain for the Wrangler QB. It wasn’t long afterward that Robinson got his second interception.


Dhailon Philips had some very patriotic shoes for Saturday’s game. Probably not a coincidence that I noticed them during the National Anthem.

Great kicks on TVCC's Dhailon Phillips Saturday afternoon.

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On a day when the offense struggled to score in the red zone and turned the ball over four times (twice in the end zone), the Cardinals still put up three touchdowns and a field goal. Quarterback Shelton Eppler had two TD throws to Torin Justice (6 and 14 yards), Aphonso Thomas had a 27-yard touchdown run, and Angel Sevier had a 34-yard field goal.


The Cardinal defense came up huge Saturday. Two of Cisco’s three touchdowns came on a Pick 6 and after a blocked punt set the Wranglers up in a first-and-goal situation. The Cardinal defense also added a touchdown of its own. Kenneth George Jr. had an interception to go with Robinson’s pair, as well.


TVCC President Dr. Jerry King was on the field before the game Saturday for homecoming festivities and low-fived the players as they left the field after warming up. I couldn’t help but wonder how many college presidents were on the field with their team this weekend.

TVCC President Jerry King greets the Cardinals.

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THE AUTHENTIC REACTION AWARD — Defensive Coordinator Will Reed

There were 5-10 minutes between the end of the Cardinal game and word on the final of the NEO v. Blinn game. NEO had to win for the Cardinals to get the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. When the final score was announced (NEO 35 – Blinn 26), Coach Will Reed pumped his hand into the air in a moment of pure exuberance that let you know just how important winning is at TVCC.