By ROB LUDWIG / Special To The Corsicana Sun —
Navarro took another large step in its improbable odyssey toward a playoff spot on Saturday when it rolled over Kilgore 52-17 on Saturday at Tiger Stadium.
The Bulldogs limited the Rangers to only 232 yards and 13 first downs in a game that was not as close as the final indicates.
Navarro (4-3 overall, 2-3 in the SWJCFC) received a little help in its postseason bid on Saturday when No. 4 Trinity Valley roared past Tyler, 55-6. Navarro holds the tiebreaker on the previously unbeaten Apaches thanks to last week’s resounding 37-26 win on the road.
The believer bus continues next week at Cisco (2-5, 1-4) and then a final game in two weeks at New Mexico Military (2-5, 0-5). Cisco lost 41-35 at home to winless Arkansas Baptist on Saturday, the same team Navarro trounced 71-6.
Navarro raced to a 38-2 lead at the half against Kilgore in a completely dominant two quarters. While gaining 184 yards on the ground and 277 yards overall, Navarro limited Kilgore to only three first downs and 27 total yards.
Running back DeAndre Cook scored three touchdowns in the first half, starting the game with a 3-yard run and then 6- and 31-yard scoring scampers in the second period. Cook did not play in the second half after compiling 129 yards on 19 carries.
Fellow back Mori Evans added 92 yards on 21 carries, including scoring runs of 1 and 7 yards in the first half and a 23-yarder in the third period.
Kicker Benigno Heredia added a season’s-best 40-yard field goal near the end of the first half as Navarro stretched its lead to 35 points.
The only slipup for Navarro in the first 30 minutes came when quarterback Harry Woodbery alertly kicked the ball out the back of the end zone when a third-down snap sailed over his head into the end zone.
Navarro’s lead swelled to 45-2 after Evans’ third touchdown with 8:52 left in the third period.
Kilgore’s passing attack, dormant most of the game thanks largely to four sacks, finally came to life, albeit briefly, in the third quarter.
Quarterback Jacob Frazier fired touchdown passes of 7 yards to Jonathan Mackey of Ennis and 42 yards to Kevin Jones to get the Rangers into double-figure scoring.
Navarro’s defense returned to its dominant form in the fourth quarter and the Bulldog offense took to the air for its final score. Woodbery connected with Matt Reyna for completions of 54 and 21 yards, the final completing a nine-play, 85-yard drive for the Bulldogs’ final points.
Navarro used sacks by Jacob Copeland (two), David Brazil and Elliott Albert to harass five Kilgore passers into completing only 10 of 32 passes. Cornerback Benjie Franklin also added his sixth interception of the year in the second half.
Woodbery was 14 of 23 passing for 176 yards. Reyna was his favorite target with four catches for 85 yards.
NOTES: Navarro was 9-of-14 on third-down conversions Saturday, including 6-of-8 during the first half when it raced to a 38-2 lead….Cook, the team’s leading rusher, recorded his fourth 100-yard-plus rushing effort in his last 5 games….Cook and Mori Evans combined have rushed for more than 1000 yards with 14 touchdowns through seven games….Sophomore placekicker Benigno Heredia’s 40-yard field goal Saturday gave him 22 for his career and tied him with Juventino (Juve) Sanchez (2009-10) for the team record. Heredia has kicked 22 of 26 field goal attempts in only 13 games. Heredia made his debut last season with 4-of-6 field goals in a come-from-behind win at Arkansas Baptist….Benjie Franklin made his sixth interception of the season and ninth in his last 12 games. Franklin now is second in the NJCAA in picks….Along with the interception, Franklin made six tackles, assisted on another, made 2 tackles for losses and broke up 2 passes….Linebackers Trevor Denbow, Jacob Copeland and Elliott Albert combined for 4 sacks, while Breon Hayward made 5 stops and pressured KC quarterbacks 3 times…..Defensive lineman David Brazil had 3 tackles, 3 tackles for losses and a sack….Navarro won its second straight in the series over the Rangers and improved its record over Kilgore to 14-10 since 2000. The Bulldogs have a 40-32-1 edge against KC since 1964…. — Mike Montfort
Navarro 52, Kilgore 17
Kilgore 2 0 15 0 â€” 17
Navarro 14 24 7 7 â€” 52
NC DeAndre Cook 3 run (Benigno Heredia kick), 12:11
NC Mori Evans 1 run (Heredia kick), 5:41
KC Safety, ball kicked out of end zone, 3:09
NC Mori Evans 7 run (Heredia kick), 12:23
NC Cook 6 run (Heredia kick), 8:18
NC Cook 31 run (Heredia kick), 6:02
NC Heredia 40 FG, 2:08
NC Evans 24 run (Heredia kick), 8:52
KC Jonathan Mackey 7 pass from Jacob Frazier (Frazier pass to Zecharius Nash-Kelly), 6:16
KC Kevin Jones 42 pass from Frazier (Jose Goite kick), 1:35
NC Matt Reyna 21 pass from Harry Woodbery (Heredia kick), 8:11
YARDSTICK K N
First Downs 13 27
Rushes-Yards 30-70 51-275
Passing Yards 162 176
Passing 10-32-1 14-24-0
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 1-0
Punting 9-32 3-41
Penalties 10-93 10-110
Rushing — N: DeAndre Cook 19-129, Mori Evans 21-92, Harry Woodbery 5-(-4), Josh Lister 1-16, Derrick Ponder 2-4, Traell Lumpkin 11-40; K: D.J. Hicks 2-19, Jacob Frazier 7-26, Demarcus Smith 2-5, Emmanuel Jones 1-(-19), Carlos Franks 7-37, Jalil Kirkpatrick 4-(-3), Demontre Tuggle 4-2, Roger McCuller 2-(-1), Josh Bolfing 1-6.
Passing — N: Woodberry 14-23-0-176, Derrick Ponder 0-1-0-0. K: Frazier 9-19-1-155, Kilpatrick 1-5-0-7, McCuller 0-2-0-0, Bolfing 0-5-0-0, Jonathan Mackey 0-1-0-0.
Receiving — N: Matt Reyna 4-85, Cook 2-48, Kaylon Geiger 4-16, Brian Williams 2-19, Lister 1-2, Troy Edwards 1-23, Devonte Mims 1-5; K: Lucky Daniels 1-7, Mackey 3-18, De’Keidrian Rollins 1-38, Zecharius Nash-Kelly 2-22, Kevin Jones 2-54, McCuller 1-15.
SWJCFC SATURDAY SCORES
Navarro 52, Kilgore 17
TVCC 55, Tyler 6
Blinn 27, NMMI 13
Arkansas Baptist 41, Cisco 35
NEO 34, Coffeyville 30