ROSWELL, N.M. — DeAndre Cook carried 33 times for 183 yards and a touchdown, powering Navarro past New Mexico Military Institute, 34-21, on Saturday.
It was the fifth straight victory for the No. 18-ranked Bulldogs, who enter the SWJCFC playoffs next week as the No. 4 seed. Trinity Valley, Northeastern Oklahoma and Blinn are tied for first with 5-2 records. Navarro is 6-3 overall and 4-3 in league play. Navarro will play at Trinity Valley in the SWJCFC semifinals, and Blinn and NEO will face off for the second week in a row in the other semi.
Navarro’s defense, which held NMMI to 61 yards in the first half, struck first when Imhotep Wilson returned a botched punt 21 yards for a touchdown at the 8:26 mark of the opening frame.
Benigno Heredia added the first of two field goals with 7:26 left in the second quarter. Heredia added to his school record with a 28-yarder in the waning moments of the game.
Cook, who lost a fumble in the end zone in the first quarter, nearly lost another one with 5:53 showing in the second period. Cook drove to the goal line but fumbled. Fortunately for the Bulldogs, receiver Kaylon Geiger pounced on the loose ball for a touchdown and a 17-0 lead at the half.
After being completely shut down in the first half, NMMI’s offense came alive in the third quarter. Quarterback Cody Frampton completed touchdown passes of 41 yards to Caleb Meyer-Hagan and 82 yards to Eric Tolivour, trimming Navarro’s lead to three.
Navarro quarterback Harry Woodbery accounted for 264 yards, but he was only 13-of-29 passing the ball and was picked off twice.
Navarro defensive back Jacoty McCoy was among the leaders on defense the Bulldogs with an interception in the fourth period to kill NMMI’s final drive.
NAVARRO 7 10 7 10 — 34
NMMI 0 0 14 7 — 21