Drilled: NC overpowers A&T in home opener, 49-7

The Bulldogs had all the numbers Saturday in their home-opening 49-7 win over Texas A&T — on the sideline, in statistics and on the scoreboard.

They racked them up with ease.

A total of 17 skill-position players contributed to 547 yards offense and 676 total yards as they came within one point of scoring 50 or more points in a single game for the 10th time in the last 14 games.

Defensively, a total of 24 players combined to make 10 sacks and 9 negative-yardage plays among 101 total tackles and limited the Drillers to a mere 97 yards offense on the night.

Even special-teams play added 129 return yards, including 117 by Ennis freshman Devin Smith on just four touches.

First-year coach Cody Crill’s team improved to 2-2 overall and heads into its crucial Southwest Junior College Football Conference home opener against Kilgore with a 1-1 league record — identical marks to those of the Rangers.

Against Texas A&T, the Bulldogs scored 14 points within :25 of the first period, cruised to a 35-7 lead and closed with two rushing touchdowns in the final period.

Quarterback Bivins Caraway accounted for 262 yards offense and three touchdowns.

AT4Despite four interceptions, the Longview sophomore completed 16-of-24 passes for 241 yards with scoring strikes of 29 yards to freshman Taylor Thompson and 54 to sophomore Del’Michael High. Caraway produced the game’s first touchdown on a 7-yard run with 9:50 left in the first quarter.

Caraway was one of six different ballcarriers.  No one rushed more than seven times or gained more than 100 yards in the balanced effort.

Sophomore team-leading rusher Josh Cleveland totaled 99 yards on seven carries and scored on runs of three and two yards for NC.  Shifty freshman Maurice Gordon added 50 yards from six carries and scored on a three-yard burst on the second play of the second quarter.

Back-up quarterback Devlin Isadore worked most of the second half, completing 4-of-7 for 77 yards.

Defensively, linebackers JB Copeland and Ty Thomas shared team-high tackle honors with 11 stops.  Linebacker Jake Blomstrom made 9 tackles.  Defensive lineman D.J. Collins made eight stops, with four tackles for losses and a sack.  End Tremaine Whittley recovered a fumble forced by lineman Harris Tafah that set up Navarro’s second touchdown.

AT14In other SWJCFC games Saturday, fourth-ranked Tyler fell from the unbeaten ranks at Miami, Okla., in a 40-23 loss at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M.  No. 20 Trinity Valley powered past Kilgore 61-30, and Blinn used two first-period defensive touchdowns en route to a shutout of Arkansas Baptist, 49-0, in Little Rock.

Navarro 49, Texas A&T
Texas A&T          7      0     0     0   — 7
Navarro            14     21     0    14   — 49

First Quarter
N — Bivins Caraway 7 run (Patrick O’Brien kick), 9:50
N — Taylor Thompson 29 pass from Caraway, 9:25
T — Hasan Defense 55 interception return (Alexis Saldizae kick), 5:41
Second Quarter
N — Maurice Gordon 3 run (O’Brien kick), 14:23
N — Josh Cleveland 3 run (O’Brien kick) 12:17
N — Del’Michael High 54 pass from Caraway (O’Brien kick), 1:44
Fourth Quarter
N — Josh Cleveland 2 run (O’Brien kick), 14:26
N — Mori Evans 4 run (O’Brien kick), 6:38

Game Yardstick            T          N
First Downs                  12        17
Rushes-Yards        47-(-9)      28-228
Passing                 10-34-0      20-31-5
Passing Yards            106       319
Punting                     6-29      2-42
Fumbles                      4-1      1-1
Penalties                 10-86     9-69


RUSHING — Navarro: Kijana Amous 7-47, Bivins Caraway 3-21, Maurice Gordon 6-50, Marcus Anderson 3-16, Josh Cleveland 7-99, Mori Evans 1-4, Team 1-(-9); Texas A&T: Chris Williams 8-23, Jamill Gordon 20-(-27), Tye Miller 1-(-8), Juavon Brown 12-22, Freddy Sevilla 3-(-7), Josh McKinnney 2-2, Alfred Scott 1-(-14).

PASSING — Navarro: Caraway 16-24-4-241, Devlin Isadore 4-7-1-77; Texas A&T: Gordon 8-23-0-90, Scott 3-12-0-16.

RECEVING — Navarro: Timothy Taylor 5-43, Del’Michael High 3-63, Amous 2-(-3), Taylor Thompson 1-29, Warren Flye 4-66, Dominique Harris 1-33, Dante Ellis-Thomas 1-41, Cleveland 2-36, Anderson 1-11; Texas A&T: Brown 1-27, Elroy Duncan 1-4, Dequan Allen 1-25, Devaughn Brown 2-16, Edrick King 2-10, Chris Williams 1-8, Simmons 1-7, Sevilla 2-7, Alexis Seldizae 1-6.

KICKOFF RETURNS — Navarro: Devon Smith 1-22, Mori Evans 1-12; Texas A&T: Josh McKinny 1-23, Juavon Brown 2-70, Ladarrian Ellis-Jones 4-65.

PUNT RETURNS — Navarro: Smith 3-95


Photos By Keith Speer