Navarro, Hinds meet in Brazos Valley Bowl

Navarro, Hinds meet in Brazos Valley Bowl

BRYAN – The Second Brazos Valley Bowl features No. 16 Navarro (8-3) and No. 14 Hinds CC, Ms. (7-2) at 11 am Saturday, December 7, at Merrill Green Stadium.

The Brazos Valley Bowl, sanctioned in 2012, was created by The City of College Station, the Bryan-College Station Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Blinn College.

This year’s game has been moved to Bryan ISD’s Merrill Green Stadium since renovations already have started at the site of the first bowl game – Kyle Field on the Texas A&M University campus.

Coach Brian Mayper’s Southwest Junior College Football Conference runners-up will be seeking their ninth win of the season and 70th over seven seasons when they challenge coach Gene Murphy’s Eagles.  Navarro will be attempting to secure its sixth consecutive bowl victory.

 The Eagles, from Raymond, Ms., finished in a third-place tie in the South Division of the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC), and failed to qualify for the playoffs despite finishing the season on a five-game winning streak.  Perhaps the season’s signature win was a 24-20 win over Jones County JC at Ellisville that occurred in the middle of the winning streak.

 “This bowl invitation and the chance to play in December was one of the goals we set for our team last season,” said Murphy, who is the winningest active head coach in the NJCAA with 159 victories.  “This is an exciting opportunity for our football program because of the commitment our team showed this season, particularly after climbing back from two tough losses to top-ranked teams (Mississippi Gulf Coast, 41-34, and Copiah-Lincoln, 19-10).”

According to statistical sources, Hinds’ offense ranked 5th in the 14-team MACJC, averaging 36.1 points and 434.6 offensive yards with 27 rushing and 16 passing touchdowns during the nine-game regular season behind freshman dual-threat quarterback James Summers.

The Eagles ranked fourth in rushing, averaging 5.6 yards per play and 239.8 per game. Summers, the team’s top groundgainer, completed 49.5 percent of his passes (109-220-1753-16-13).  

Hinds’ defense statistically is No. 1 in the MACJC with an average yield of 18.7 points, 154.9 rushing and 197.4 passing.

Northwest Mississippi served as the MACJC representative in the first Brazos Bowl and defeated Kilgore, 47-36, in that game.