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.

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.

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.”

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