Football

HUTCHINSON, Ks. -- Quarterback Khalil McClain rushed for 185 yards and two first-half touchdowns to lift Hutchinson to a 35-6 win Saturday in The 10th Annual Salt City Bowl Game at Gowans Stadium. McClain failed to complete any of eight pass attempts on a miserably cold and blustery day, but he walked away with Offensive MVP honors after a first half in which he scored on runs of 72 and 65 yards and led the Blue Dragons to a 21-6 halftime lead. Even when he went out with injury for one play, McClain impacted the game.  His replacement, Mason Shucker, threw a short pass to Rico Nix, who tight-roped the sideline 68 yards for a third big-play touchdown during the first 30 minutes. Shucker's completion was the only one by the Blue Dragons Saturday. Navarro struggled to 199 yards offense and suffered four turnovers (two fumbles and two interceptions). The Bulldogs managed only 37 rushing yards on 31 attempts. Navarro's only score came with 1:40 remaining in the second quarter when receiver Jared Wyatt caught his 10th TD of the year on a 28-yard pass from quarterback Parker McNeil.  McNeil completed 23-of-40 passes for 161 yards with the TD and two interceptions. Wyatt led NC receivers with...

HUTCHINSON, Ks. -- Coach Jim Gush's Navarro Bulldogs (6-4) Wednesday morning accepted an invitation to play 13th-ranked Hutchinson (8-3) in the 10th Annual Salt City Bowl at Gowans Stadium in Hutchinson, Ks., on December 1. The Bulldogs will be making their 20th bowl appearance, and first at the Salt City Bowl.  Kickoff is set for 1 pm CST. Navarro is 13-5-1 in bowl games, with a six-game winning streak. The Bulldogs last appeared in the 2013 Brazos Valley Bowl and defeated Hinds CC, Ms., 34-27, at Merrill Green Stadium in Bryan. NC's bowl winning streak began in 2007 with a 24-21 win over Georgia Military in the Pilgrim's Pride Bowl at Sam Parker Field in Mount Pleasant. Navarro won Heart of Texas Bowls in 2009, 2011 and 2012; and the Citizens Bank Bowl in Pittsburg, Ks., for the 2010 NJCAA Championship. The Bulldogs and Hutchinson have met twice previously. They played two seasons (2012 and 2013) in the old season-opening Kansas-SWJCFC Challenge Series. Navarro won 54-34 at Corsicana in 2012, and 41-16 at Hutchinson in 2013. Hutchinson will be making its 21st all-time bowl appearance -- their last eight in the Salt City Bowl.  The Blue Dragons are 11-7-2 in bowl games and 6-1 in the...

By MIKE MONTFORT    --- Quarterback Parker McNeil's selection as league MVP highlights a list of 16 Navarro football players named to the 2018 All-Southwest Junior College Football Conference team chosen by the league's coaches. Coach Jim Gush's SWJCFC Semifinalist Bulldogs (6-4) placed five (5) on the first-team, seven (7) on the second unit and four (4) honorable mention selections. McNeil, whose 298.9 passing yards per game and 26 touchdowns ranked second statistically in the NJCAA, became the second Navarro player in as many seasons to earn a conference superlative award. Last year, Benjie Franklin was selected as the league's 'Defensive Player of the Year'. McNeil completed 62 percent of his passes (226-363-2989-26) as Navarro's starter.  His statistics rank second in completions and third in attempts, yardage and TD passes in a single season at Navarro. McNeil had an NC-record passing day of 552 yards against TVCC during the regular-season finale that helped to catapult the Bulldogs into the SWJCFC playoffs. Joining McNeil on the mythical all-conference first team were wide receiver Jared Wyatt, offensive lineman Josh Cooper, defensive lineman Trevon Mason, and defensive back Josh Morgan. Wyatt caught 57-970-9, and with Kaylon Geiger, created a 1-2 receiving tandem that caught 123-1917-14. Cooper was a top blocker...

By MIKE MONTFORT   -- ATHENS -- Navarro quarterback Parker McNeil threw for a school-record 552 yards while the Bulldogs rallied from a 15-point deficit and scored 31 unanswered points to finish a 47-31 playoff-qualifying win over TVCC. McNeil completed 29-of-45 passes and threw six touchdown passes. His completions, yardage and TD totals were personal-best games at NC. McNeil threw TD passes to six different players, and he sprayed passes to 11 different receivers as Navarro (6-3) won its third straight game.  He fired TD passes of 26 to Corey Smallwood, 78 to Jared Wyatt, 31 to Keaton Dudik, 30 to Josh Lister, 62 to Kaylon Geiger and five to Gregory Clayton. McNeil surpassed the pass-yardage mark of Adrian Nelson, who completed 28-of-44-542-6 in a 55-51 loss to TVCC at Bruce Field on October 29, 2011. McNeil's top targets Saturday were Geiger (9-208-1) and Wyatt (5-141-1). NC's 1-2 receiving tandem now has combined for 106 catches through nine games. Geiger missed most of the second quarter, but managed to record the first 200-yard-plus receiving game for Navarro since 2015 when Del'Michael High (Tarleton) caught 9-202-1 during a 69-55 loss at Tyler. Wyatt's totals came in the first half. Navarro snapped TVCC's five-game winning streak in the series --...

By MIKE PHILLIPS / Corsicana Sun It's as complicated as you want to make it, or as simple as 1-2-3. For Jim Gush and his Navarro Bulldogs the wild traffic jam in the conference standings and all the could-be scenarios that could keep you up at night really don't matter. “The main thing for us is to concentrate on our team,” said Gush, whose Dawgs are so close to a playoff berth they can taste it. They're 3-3 in a conference race that could end up with four teams tied for the final playoff berths, or end simply enough with the Dawgs claiming a playoff spot with a victory at Trinity Valley in next week's final regular season game and a loss by Kilgore. That's simple enough. If Kilgore (3-2) loses one of its final two games (the Rangers play at Blinn Saturday and at home next week against Tyler) and the Dawgs win in Athens next week, Navarro is in the playoffs. “There are a lot of scenarios,” Gush said. “There could be four teams tied with tiebreakers and even a coin flip. But we have to win, and that's our focus. That's his message to his team, and you can bet one thing: The...