MIAMI, Okla. — Northeastern Oklahoma A&M took advantage of two turnovers in the first half and a couple of first downs in the waning minutes of the Southwest Junior College Football Conference semifinal game on Saturday to defeat Tyler Junior College 37-35.
It was the first playoff game for the Golden Norsemen (8-1) since 2003. NEO's lone loss of the season came at the hands of Tyler (5-4) in a 65-59 double-overtime game on Sept. 27.
NEO jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first quarter on a 35-yard Kevin King field goal.
Tyler got on the scoreboard on a 39-yard touchdown pass from Tyrik Rollison to Jeremy Cappelle.
The Norsemen extended their lead to 17 with a 46-yard Michael Thompson pass and a 1-yard quarterback sneak from Clayton Mitchem.
A 70-yard pass from Mitchem to Garrett Powell, a 25-yard run touchdown and a field goal by King late in the second quarter gave the Norsemen a 34-7 edge at halftime.
A Tyler interception set up a field goal by Santiago Escobar that was blocked at the line. Escobar went on to miss another field goal in the third quarter from the 38-yard line.
In the second half, Tyler outscored NEO 22-3 and came within a two-point conversion run of winning the game.