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‘Dogs defense comes to rescue as NC rallies, 27-23


Ninth-ranked Navarro scored 20 unanswered points in the second half and rallied from a 16-point deficit to secure a 27-23 season-opening win over the 15th-rated Georgia Military Bulldogs Thursday at Tiger Field.

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Devlin Isadore (10) threw for 273 yards, 3 TDs (Photo By Keith Speer)

Navarro won its seventh season opener in the last nine years and improved its record to 46-8 at Tiger Stadium since the facility opened in 2006.

In short summary, dual-threat quarterback Devlin Isadore passed for 273 yards and three touchdowns — 3 yards to Tim Thomas, 11 yards to tandem offense leader Maurice Gordon and 12 yards to Dante Ellis-Thomas.  Redshirt freshman placekicker Adolfo Chavira of Rockdale accounted for 9 points in his first collegiate action with 3 conversions and fourth-quarter field goals of 31 and 36 yards. To top it off, Clarksville freshman Franky Olguin averaged only 32 yards on eight punts, but twice buried GMC during the fourth quarter with 36 and 32 yarders that wobbled out of bounds inside the seven-yard line.

It all reads so easily.  But Navarro’s 13th all-time win against GMC wasn’t accomplished with the great of ease.

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Maurice Gordon (28) tears away from GMC tackler. Gordon rushed for 71 yards and caught 7 passes for 64 yards. (Photo By Keith Speer)

Coach Bert Williams’ GMC club had its way converting big play after big play during the first half when it controlled a 16-7 lead.  In large chunks, GMC powered an unsightly 289 yards from just 10 offensive plays — 44, 43, 25, 42, 40, 35, 20, 11, 14, 15 — and to add to the humiliation, the visitors extended their lead to 23-7 on T.J. Lowe’s 36-yard interception return at 11:56 of the third period.

Defensive coordinator Scott Joseph and staff made adjustments.  The difference with the restart completely turned momentum and the game into Navarro’s favor.

In the game’s final 26:56, Navarro’s defense yielded GMC 31 yards from 26 offensive plays spanning eight possessions — a stark, outrageous warp of numbers.

In that span, Navarro’s defense forced three three-and-out series, took over on downs after a fourth-down stop behind the line of scrimmage, intercepted a pass in the end zone and also caused and recovered a fumble.  GMC summoned kicking specialist Grant Clemons to punt four times.  No GMC offensive possession lasted longer than five plays. GMC ran two fourth-quarter plays in Navarro territory, but didn’t penetrate the Bulldogs’ 47-yard line.

Score By Quarters:
Georgia Military (0-1)       13     3     7    0    — 23
Navarro (1-0)                        7     0   14    6   — 27
Scoring Summary:
First Quarter
GMC — Major Bellamy, 43-run. (Grant Clemons kick)  13:55
NC — Tim Taylor, 3-pass from Devlin Isadore.  (Adolfo Chavira kick)  2:24
GMC — Chris Green, 42-pass from Cameron Rosendahl. (Kick blocked).  0:24
Second Quarter
GMC — Grant Clemons, 34-FG>  10:59
Third Quarter
GMC — TJ Lowe, 36-interception return. (Grant Clemons kick)  11:56
NC — Maurice Gordon, 11-pass from Devlin Isadore. (Adolfo Chavira kick).  8:48
NC — Dante Ellis-Thomas, 12-pass from Devlin Isadore. (Adolfo Chavira kick).  2:02
Fourth Quarter
NC — Adolfo Chavira, 31-FG.  12:34
NC — Adolfo Chavira, 36-FG, 11:08

Yardstick              GMC         NC
First Downs                 14            22
Rushes-Yards      32-190    47-155
Passing Yards            128          283
Total Offense             318          438
Passes                   13-33-1      20-40-1
Fumbles Lost              2-1           0-0
Punting                      9-45        8-32
Penalties                  10-89        3-25
RUSHING: NC — Devlin Isadore 12-6-0; Maurice Gordon 15-71-0; Xavier Turner 16-90-0; Kenneth Arthur 4-(-2)-0.   GMC — Kawan Bryant 11-57-0; Cameron Rosendahl 11-(-10)-0; Major Bellamy 3-67-1; Nathaniel Harvey 1-1-0; Christopher Green 5-41-0; Isaac Zico 1-35-0.
PASSING: NC — Devlin Isadore 19-37-273-3-1; Kenneth Arthur 1-3-10-0-0.  GMC — Cameron Rosendahl 13-33-128-0-2.
RECEIVING:  NC — Maurice Gordon 7-64-1; Keshawn Henderson 3-82-0; Dante Ellis-Thomas 3-77-1; Xavier Turner 3-13-0; Andre Bonner 2-32-0; Tim Taylor 1-3-1; Devlin Isadore 1-10-0.
PUNT RETURNS: NC – Dominique Harris 1-7; Matt Reyna 2-10-0.
KICKOFF RETURNS: NC — Sabian Cannon 1-23-0; Matt Reyna 1-17-0
INTERCEPTION:  NC — Matt Wright, Deionta Valentine
CAUSED FUMBLE: NC — Tavares Thomas
FUMBLE RECOVERY:  NC — Pattro Howard