Struggling Bulldogs drop 3rd SWJCFC game, 40-30

Struggling Bulldogs drop 3rd SWJCFC game, 40-30

Northeastern Oklahoma A&M erupted for 24 unanswered points during a 12-minute span of the first half and earned a 40-30 victory Saturday over Navarro College at Tiger Stadium.

Coach Clay Patterson’s Golden Norsemen (2-2, 2-2 ) erased a 10-point first-period deficit to secure their first win over the Bulldogs in Corsicana since 2003 when they posted a 21-13 win at old Tiger Field. NEO had lost six straight to Navarro in Corsicana.

Coach Cody Crill’s Bulldogs (1-3, 0-3) have lost their first three Southwest Junior College Football Conference (SWJCFC) games for the first time since coach Chuck Lawrence’s 2004 club that finished 4-5 overall.

The Bulldogs’ offensive struggles continued Saturday. NC penetrated the NEO 40-yard line on nine occasions, lost fumbles three times, turned the ball over on downs once and also punted — one of eight on the day.  The Bulldogs outgained NEO substantially in offensive yards (436 to 349) and outdistanced the Golden Norsemen in first downs (26-18), but couldn’t establish enough rhythm and consistency to find the end zone.

Navarro struck first, building a 10-0 lead on Harry Woodberry’s 21-yard pass to Matt Reyna and Benigno Heredia’s 26-yard field goal midway through the first quarter.

The defense put NEO on the scoreboard as linebacker R.J. Goodman scooped up Woodberry’s fumble and ran 53 yards for a touchdown.

Wyatt Steigerwald, who started at QB for the Norse, then directed an 11-play, 90-yard march capped by tight end Jace Sternberger’s 24-yard reception and put NEO ahead to stay with 11:29 left in the second quarter.

Just over three minutes later Steigerwald found sophomore wideout Demond Sampson for an 11-yard touchdown pass, and Riley Hathhorn’s 45-yard field goal increased NEO’s lead to 24-10.

Navarro climbed within 24-16 at halftime as Woodberry hit Devonte Mims with a five-yard TD pass with 54 seconds left, and then the Bulldogs stopped NEO twice inside the 1-yard line in the waning seconds of the half.

The Norse scored twice in the third quarter on Darran Williams’ 40-yard run and Marquan Greene’s 68-yard punt return for a 37-16 lead.

Riley Hawthorne’s 24-yard field goal pushed NEO’s lead to 40-16 with 11:45 left before Navarro scored twice in the final seven minutes.

NEO rushed for 195 yards as Thompson totaled 100 yards on 12 carries and Williams 90 yards on 10 attempts. Steigerwald completed 21-of-36 passes for 268 yards, two TDs and one interception — the fifth of the season by Benjie Franklin.

Koby Bryer and Antwan Woods had five catches apiece for 78 and 26 yards, respectively.

DeAndre Cook had 141 yards on 29 carries for Navarro, and Woodberry hit 22-of-45 passes for 204 yards.

The Bulldogs host Arkansas Baptist for a 3 pm non-conference homecoming game Saturday. NEO entertains Kilgore at 6 p.m. Saturday.

NEO 40, Navarro 30

NEO         7   17   13   3 — 40
Navarro 10   6     0  14 — 30

Scoring Summary
First Quarter:
N — Matt Reyna 11 pass from Harry Woodberry (Benigno Heredia kick), 9:42
N — Heredia 26 FG, 7:04
NE — R.J. Goodman 51 fumble return (Riley Hathhorn kick), 1:43
Second Quarter:
NE — Jace Sternberger 24 pass from Wyatt Steigerwald (Hathhorn kick), 11:29
NE — Demond Sampson 11 pass from Steigerwald (Hathhorn kick), 8:08
NE —  Hathhorn 45 FG, 6:34
N — Devonte Mims 5 pass from Woodberry (kick blocked), :54
Third Quarter:
NE — Darran Williams 25 run (pass failed), 6:10
NE — Marquan Greene 68 punt return (Hathhorn kick), 1:14
Fourth Quarter:
NE — Hathhorn 29 FG, 11:44
N — DeAndre Cook 3 run (pass failed), 7:14
N — Brian Williams 16 pass from Derrick Ponder (Ponder to Lister pass), 1:16

YARDSTICK       NEO           N
First Downs                18            26
Rushes-Yards     36-173     52-173
Passing Yards           176          263
Passing               19-38-2  24-48-0
Fumbles-Lost           3-0           4-3
Punting                      6-29      8-34
Penalties                    7-70      7-90

Individual Statistics

Rushing — N: DeAndre Cook 29-141, Harry Woodberry 12-2, E.J. Davis 6-16, Travell Lumpkin 2-3, Josh Lister 2-13, Mori Evans 1-(-2); NE: Wyatt Steigerwald ; Darran Williams 10-68, Darwin Thompson 13-89, K.J. Wells 1-(-2), Kobe Bryer 2-13.
Passing — N: Woodberry 22-45-0-207, Derrick Ponder 2-3-0-48. NE: Steigerwald 19-35-2-176, Nycholas Burns 0-3-0-0.
Receiving — N: Matt Reyna 5-49, Cook 2-22, Kyle Townsend 1-8, Warren Flye 1-2, Devonte Mims 5-28, Davis 1-8, Troy Edwards 2-16, Brian Williams 2-23,Emmanuel Sanosi 1-4, Lister 4-102; NE: Antwan Woods 2-9, Marcheenan Hair 2-18,Thompson 3-25, Wells 3-23, Bryer 2-40, A.J. Freeth 2-11, Jace Sternberger 2-24,Demond Sampson 1-11, Marquan Greene 2-25.