Cardinals knock sluggish Navarro from top ranking, 35-7
By ROB LUDWIG / Special To The Corsicana Daily Sun
As defenses of No. 1 rankings go, the result was about as bad as anyone could have imagined.
Too many penalties.
Too many turnovers.
Two too many touchdowns called back because of penalties.
Too little offensive production.
In essence, Navarro’s 35-7 loss to Trinity Valley at Tiger Stadium was about as sloppy and soaked as the devoted fans in the stands Saturday night.
Navarro entered the game brandishing the No. 1 ranking after rolling through its first four opponents. It left concerned about a suddenly sluggish offense and scrambling to ready itself for a surging 5-0 Tyler club next week on the road.
The loss also snapped a 29-game regular season home winning streak that started in 2006. It also stopped a skein of 23 straight home conference game victories.
Perhaps it was the rainy night that pushed back the start of the game by 30 minutes. Or maybe it was missing starting quarterback Josh Greer, who injured his collarbone last week at the end of a win over Kilgore and who’ll miss an undetermined amount of time.
Regardless the reason, the result was ugly.
Navarro trailed only 7-0 at the half and even tied the game on Tim Wright’s 16-yard run on the first series of the third period.
But matters unraveled quickly after that as the Cardinals, limited to less than 115 yards in the opening 20 minutes, went on a 28-point scoring spree to end the game.
There were plenty of causes for the Bulldogs’ problems against Trinity Valley. Navarro had been committing less than six penalties per game entering the contest, but proceeded to be whistled 20 times for 180 yards.
A chop block erased a 48-yard touchdown pass from Alex Allen to Austin Collins with less than a minute left in the first half that would have tied the score and shifted the momentum of the game.
Then in the fourth quarter, when the Bulldogs were in need of any spark to stem the Trinity Valley flood, defensive back Paul Banks’ 57-yard fumble return for a touchdown was called back because of an offsides penalty.
Making his first career start, Allen was inconsistent and often indecisive, completing 12 of 24 passes for 59 yards. Trinity Valley also sent a slew of rushers at him throughout the game, sacking the sophomore seven times and forcing him into four fumbles as he held onto the ball in a ever-tightening pocket. Navarro’s offense was limited to a season-low 269 yards
Allen did lead Navarro to a pair of ideal scoring opportunities in the first half, effectively mixing the quarterback draw with the running of Wright (22-131-1).
The Bulldogs used a fourth-down personal foul penalty to reach the Trinity Valley 10 with less than five minutes left in the first period. But Navarro lost two yards in three plays and Navarro Coach Brian Mayper opted not to go for a 31-yard field goal against a stiff wind. On fourth down, Allen fumbled and lost 8 yards, taking the Bulldogs out of a scoring position.
Navarro was back at the Trinity Valley 5 on the next series, but instead of kicker Carlos Macias attempting a 22-yard field goal, the Bulldogs attempted to go for a tying touchdown. Instead, defensive end Jhaustin Thomas hauled down Allen for a 10-yard sack.
Navarro’s defense played well most of the night, limiting the high-powered Trinity Valley offense to almost 200 yards below its norm. Quarterback Ryan Polite, who threw for 385 yards against Cisco last week, was 19 of 36 for 174 yards and was picked off once.
But Polite did toss second-half scoring completions to Jatavieon Green (37 yards) and Trent Momon (11 yards). Polite had found Jarvis Baxter from 22 yards in the second quarter for the game’s initial score.
Navarro also limited Trinity Valley’s running attack to only 9 yards on 13 carries in the first half. That blew up in the second half as the Cardinals rushed for 168 yards, averaging 8.8 yards per attempt. Marquel McNac busted a 56-yard scoring run in the third quarter, followed by Luis Lopez’s 1-yard touchdown run. Both scores were set up by Navarro penalties that gave Trinity Valley new life after the defense made stops on third down.
Trinity Valley 35, Navarro 7
Trinity Valley 0 7 21 7 — 35
Navarro 0 0 7 0 — 7
T — Jarvis Baxter 22 pass from Ryan Polite (Dylan McLain kick)
N — Tim Wright 16 run (Carlos Macias kick)
T — Marquel McNac 56 run (McLain kick)
T — Luis Lopez 1 run (McLain kick)
T — Jataveon Green 37 pass from Polite (McLain kick)
T — Trent Momon 11 pass from Polite (McLain kick)
First Downs 18 17
Rush-yards 32-177 57-210
Passing yards 174 59
C-A-I 19-36-1 12-24-0
Fumbles-lost 2-0 6-3
Punts-avg. 6-39 8-37
Penalties 17-163 20-180
Rushing — TVCC: Tavareon Dickerson 6-24, Marquel McNac 7-80, Ryan Polite 6-2, Luis Lopez 4-6, Jarvis Baxter 1-(-1), Darius Floyd 1-(-5), Josh Caldwell 1-5, Jeff Harris 5-70, Hunter McCoy 1-(-3); NC: Tim Wright 22-131, Cameron Washington 12-51, Alex Allen 23-28.
Passing — TVCC: Ryan Polite 19-36-1-171; NC: Alex Allen 12-24-0-59.
Receiving — TVCC: Jataveon Green 4-53, Jarvis Baxter 1-22, Franky Okafor 3-6, Trent Momon 1-11, Marquel McNac 2-(-7), Anterric Maxey 1-8, John Thomas 1-19, Darius Floyd 4-38, Paul Barksdale 2-24; NC: Devin Lauderdale 3-24, Markel Steward-Gillespie 6-29, Cameron Washington 2-(-5), Chadd Dansby 1-11