TYLER, Texas — No. 11 Blinn College football (2-0, 1-0) was able to hold off Tyler Junior College in the Buccaneers' first conference game of the season for a 38-31 victory on Saturday night.
It was a game of ups and downs as Blinn worked its way back after falling behind 21-10 to a 31-21 lead only for Tyler to even the score 31-31 in the final quarter. Carlos Grace, who led the Buccaneers with 193 yards rushing on 37 carries, scored the game-winning touchdown for a 38-31 final.
"I am really proud of how resilient the kids were and how they fought through a lot of adversity and stayed in the game," said Ryan Mahon, Blinn head coach. "I am also really proud about the way our defense played. Tyler is a really hard place to win so I am glad we got out of there with the victory."
The Apaches entered the game with momentum and gained a 21-10 lead by the end of the first quarter. Tyler was the first to score on a touchdown, but Blinn's Danny Gray answered back with a 100-yard kickoff return to even the score 7-7 with 11:46 left in the opening quarter.
After the Apaches pulled back ahead 14-7, Blinn's Alec Schroeder kicked a 30-yard field goal for the Buccaneers to trail 14-10 with 8:41 remaining. Tyler scored its final touchdown of the quarter with 2:52 on the clock to lead 21-10.
The Buccaneers scored the only touchdown in the second quarter as Boyd connected with Wheatfall on a 54-yard pass with 13:43 remaining until the half. However, Tyler continued to hold a 21-17 lead heading into the third quarter.
Blinn gained on Tyler in the third quarter after scoring two touchdowns to lead 31-21. Gray caught a 40-yard pass delivered from Boyd within the first two minutes of the quarter and Robert Franklin III rushed the ball in from the three-yard-line with 5:17 left before the final quarter.
With 13:03 remaining, Tyler inched back into the game after kicking a field goal and scoring on a touchdown to tie the game 31-31.
Grace carried in the game-winning touchdown on a four-yard run with 9:24 left for Blinn to take a 38-31 victory.
The Buccaneers will return home to continue conference play against Navarro College on Saturday, Sept. 8, at 7 p.m. at Cub Stadium. The game will also feature the Blinn College cheer and dance team National Ring Ceremony.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 38 NJCAA national championships since 1987.