The No. 4-ranked Trinity Valley Community College Cardinals opened up the season with a big win over the Pima Community College Aztecs.
In the sixth annual Battle In the Valley, the Cardinals won, 57-3, at the newly renovated Bruce Field on Saturday.
"I thought we dominated all three phases," TVCC coach Brad Smiley said. "I was really pleased with our first group on the offensive side of the ball moving it really well. We executed extremely well. Defensively, all three units that played did well. They were accountable and created a lot of takeaways. Special teams, we dominated everywhere but the specialist positions."
With the victory, the Cardinals evened the Battle In the Valley series at 3-3. They are winner's of the last two contests.
In the first half, Trinity Valley jumped out to a 33-3 lead with 15 seconds remaining following an eight-yard touchdown pass from Shelton Eppler to Torin Justice.
The first touchdown came with 11:11 in the opening quarter as Eppler found Tristan Wallace on an eight yard reception. Angel Sevier booted the PAT good.
The second TD reception of the game went to Wallace on a seven-yard pass for the 14-0 lead. Sevier booted the PAT good with 4:50 remaining in the opening quarter.
The Aztecs got on the board with 12:03 remaining in the opening half as Coby Oswalt nailed a 40-yard field goal for the 14-3 deficit.
Trinity Valley added two more touchdowns in the second quarter with a two-yard run by Eppler. The touchdown came with 4:51 remaining for the 20-3 lead.
Eppler added another rushing TD from eight-yards out. Sevier booted the PAT good with 3:18 remaining for the 27-3.
In the third quarter, Khalil Banks opened the half with an 86-yard kickoff return with 14:49 remaining. Sevier booted the PAT good.
Sevier then added a 21-yard field goal with 9:31 remaining. Lik Estillen caught a one-yard touchdown pass from Eppler to wrap up the third quarter scoring with 6:40 remaining.
The Cardinals continued the scoring in the fourth quarter with a 56-yard run by Jaylon Henderson with 10:10 remaining. Sevier booted the PAT good for a 57-3 lead.
Smiley complimented the play of the quarterbacks against Pima Community College.
"Shelton ran the show when he was in there, and Jaylon did pretty well when he was in there," the coach said. "I thought when we got down to some of our depth on the offensive line, the first group played really well."
TVCC opens Southwest Junior College Football Conference play Saturday at Corsicana against the Navarro Bulldogs. Kickoff for the game is at 7 p.m.
"The drive for five starts next week," Smiley said. "Our guys will be ready, and I expect them to have a great week of preparation. They will be ready to play."
TVCC TD: Tristan Wallace 8 from Shelton Eppler (Angel Sevier kick) 11:11, 1Q 7-0
TVCC TD: Wallace 7 from Eppler (Sevier kick) 4:50, 1Q 14-0
Pima FG: Coby Oswalt 40 FG 12:03 2Q, 14-3.
TVCC TD: Eppler 2 run (run failed) 4:51, 2Q, 20-3.
TVCC TD: Eppler 8 run (Sevier kick) 3:18, 2Q 27-3
TVCC TD: Torrin Justice 8 pass (kick failed) :15, 2Q 33-3
TVCC TD: Khalil Banks 86 kickoff return (Sevier kick) 14:49, 3Q 40-3
TVCC FG: Sevier 21 FG 9:31, 3Q, 43-3
TVCC TD: Lik Estillen 1 from Eppler (Sevier kick), 6:40, 3Q, 50-3.
TVCC TD: Jaylon Henderson 56 run (Sevier kick), 10:10, 4Q, 57-3.
(Story courtesy Joe Elerson/Athens Daily Review)