MIAMI, OK — In a game marred by numerous unsportsmanlike penalties, fourth-ranked Northeastern Oklahoma A&M lost the Southwest Junior College Football Conference Championship 62-24 on Saturday to Navarro College.
Navarro was hit with 15 penalties for 175 yards, including a couple of bench-clearing altercations.
NEO capitalized on a Navarro fumble putting the Norsemen up the scoreboard first with a 29-yard field goal by Kevin King.
Navarro got on the board with a 14-yard run by Tralong Shed, but NEO quickly answered back with seven points on a 34-yard Casey Curtis scamper.
“I thought it was a big deal in the first half when we created three turnovers,” said NEO coach Dale Patterson said. “We only came away with three points instead of at least three field goals which put us in a hole.”
By the second quarter, things began unraveling for the Norsemen as ninth-ranked Navarro quickly set the tone for the rest of the game scoring 21 straight points on two touchdown passes and a 12-yard run.
Navarro's domination of the ground game helped them leave the field at halftime up 28-10.
Tyler Middleton capped a six-play drive by running up the middle 45 yards to put Navarro up 35-10 at the beginning of the third quarter. Tony Drake added another six points on a 13-yard run.
As the third quarter wound down, NEO's Clayton Mitchem connected on a 34-yard pass to Garrett Powell who ran up the right side of the field for a touchdown chipping away at Navarro's 41-17 lead.
Shed shredded the NEO defense and walked 28 yards untouched to put Navarro up 48-17 in the fourth quarter.
NEO turned a fourth down into a gain of 15 yards and added more yardage on two more plays before Mitchem was tripped up at the one-yard line. On the next play, Mitchem took the ball in for NEO cutting the Navarro's lead to 48-24.
Navarro had 14 points in the final 10 minutes of the game.
The National Junior College Athletic Association bowls will extend invitations to teams this week.