NAIA/NJCAA Recap: No. 20 Navarro's heroics; Wayland Baptist's big win; No. 7 Kilgore falls

Navarro College vs. Tyler Junior College (Photo by John Murphy)

NAIA Recap

Wayland Baptist Pioneers (4-4, 3-3)

Last Week: WBU rode a huge first half on offense and a stingy defense to earn a big 35-14 win at home over Oklahoma Panhandle State last Saturday. Mitchell Parsley completed 12-of-32 passes for 274 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Daniel Hurn was the leading receiver with 100 yards and a touchdown on four catches while De’Sean Johnson added 52 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. Justin Wheeler led the defense with 10 tackles, seven solo, six tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.

The Verdict: The Pioneers earned what must be considered their best win of the season last week. WBU had a complete team win with the offense playing well especially in the first half and the defense holding solid the entire game. They will try and ride that momentum again this week.

This Week: WBU travels to play Texas Wesleyan on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.

 

Texas Wesleyan Rams (2-7, 2-5)

Last Week: Texas Wesleyan struggled to keep pace in the second half as they fell 45-35 at home to Arizona Christian last Saturday. Avery Childs completed 26-of-45 passes for 286 yards and two touchdowns for the Rams while Jermarcus Jones added 73 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries. Brandon Rolfe led the receiving corps with 120 yards and two touchdowns on eight receptions. Mark Seidler registered 11 tackles, 10 solo, with 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.

The Verdict: The Rams have hung tough against many of their conference opponents this year and last week was no exception. The Rams finish their third season since resurrecting their football program on Saturday and will try to add another big win to their record.

This Week: TXWES plays its final game of the season at home against Wayland Baptist at 2 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.

 

Texas College Steers (1-7, 1-6)

Last Week: Texas College held strong for a quarter before the Bethel defense took over as the Steers lost 51-14 at home last Saturday. Quarterback Derrick Cooper completed 7-of-23 passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns while adding 44 yards rushing on 13 carries. Chris Henry had three receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown for the Steers. Chay Jones led the team with seven tackles, five solo, while Edward McDonald added four tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks.

The Verdict: The Steers faced an uphill climb against a tough Bethel squad coming off a loss. The next two games for Texas College are not only against two of the top teams in the conference but the Steers will play both of their final games on the road.

This Week: Texas College travels to play No. 22 Langston on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.

 

Southwestern Assemblies of God Lions (0-8, 0-6)

Last Week: SAGU was unable to score in the second half of a heartbreaking 21-14 loss at home to No. 22 Langston last Saturday. Brylen Watson completed 17-of-36 passes for 155 yards. Bryant Dotson led the receivers with eight catches for 84 yards for the Lions. Linebacker Landon Jones had an incredible game with 15 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss as the Lions held Langston to only 219 total yards of offense.

The Verdict: This was the best game of the season for the Lions and they nearly pulled off the incredible upset and a signature win. While SAGU will be underdogs in its final two games, those teams would be best served not overlooking the Lions based on their record.

This Week: SAGU travels to play Oklahoma Panhandle State at 2 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.

 

NJCAA Recap

No. 20 Navarro Bulldogs (5-5, 4-4)

Last Week: One week after falling in a classic game to No. 8 Trinity Valley, Navarro returned the favor by scoring 20 points in the fourth quarter to finish an amazing 26-24 comeback win in the SWJCFC semifinals. Troy commit Parker McNeil completed 24-of-37 passes for 234 yards and two touchdowns while Isaiah Robinson added 130 yards rushing on 21 carries. Shadeed Ahmed was the leading receiver with 70 yards on nine catches. Abraham Beauplan had 13 tackles, one-half sack and three quarterback hurries while Brendon Luper also registered 13 tackles, eight solo, for the Bulldogs.

The Verdict: The Bulldogs pulled out the thrilling win this week and one could say they got the win that mattered the most as Navarro advances to the SWJCFC finals. The Bulldogs will host the finals as both of the lower seeds won their semifinal games last week.

This Week: Navarro will host No. 18 New Mexico Military Institute at 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon in the SWJCFC championship game.

 

No. 7 Kilgore Rangers (8-2, 7-2)

Last Week: The Kilgore offense was stymied by New Mexico Military Institute in the semifinals of the SWJCFC as the Rangers suffered a 20-10 defeat at home. Jacob Frazier completed 9-of-17 passes for 114 yards and an interception and added 106 yards rushing on 22 carries. Kevon Latulas gained 72 yards rushing on only 10 carries for the Rangers while Jacorien Barnes led the defense with 12 tackles, eight solo, one sack, one quarterback hurry and one fumble recovery.

The Verdict: This was a painful loss for the Rangers on multiple fronts. The loss ended any hope of playing for a national title and also keeps Kilgore from earning its second consecutive conference title. The Rangers will no doubt earn a bowl bid and will have one more chance to leave an impression.

This Week: Kilgore awaits a possible bowl bid.

 

No. 13 Trinity Valley Community College Cardinals (7-3, 5-3)

Last Week: TVCC led most of the game last Saturday but a late comeback by Navarro was too much as the Cardinals lost 26-24 to the Bulldogs in the SWJCFC semifinals last Saturday. Jeremy Hunt completed 24-of-36 passes for 271 yards and two touchdowns while adding 55 yards rushing on 11 carries. Keonta Fiakpui led the receivers with 86 yards and a touchdown on seven receptions. Race Moser led the defense with 12 tackles, five solo, and recovered a fumble for the Cardinals.

The Verdict: The Cardinals had relied on their outstanding defense all season and it was the defense that was unable to slow down Navarro in the fourth quarter last Saturday. While the loss is disappointing for TVCC, they have earned a spot in a bowl game and will wait to find out where they will play.

This Week: TVCC awaits a possible bowl bid.

 

Cisco Wranglers (5-4, 3-4)

Last Week: Cisco was unable to contain the Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College offense last Saturday as they suffered a 48-30 loss on the road. The Wranglers allowed 485 yards of total offense to the Norsemen including 297 yards rushing. The loss is devastating for Cisco as they lost a tiebreaker for the playoffs. The Wranglers would have secured a playoff berth with a win.

The Verdict: The Wranglers were in a great position to earn a playoff spot but lost their last two games to finish the regular season and missed the playoffs. Cisco is the only team in the country to defeat No. 5 Kilgore but was unable to finish when they needed it the most.

This Week: Cisco College has concluded its season.

 

Tyler Apaches (4-5, 3-4)

Last Week: TJC held a 14-point lead entering the fourth quarter but were unable to hold on as they fell 34-28 in double overtime at home to No. 5 Kilgore last Saturday. Quarterback David Johnson completed 13-of-21 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown for the Apaches. Chris Sanders, Grid Isadore and Javontavius Mosley each recorded 11 tackles to lead the Tyler defense.

The Verdict: The Apaches put up a valiant effort to end the season as they faced three straight weeks of must-win games but were unable to hold on against a tough Rangers team. TJC played without its starting quarterback and still held a lead entering the fourth quarter. This was a good end to the season for first-year head coach Thomas Rocco to build the Apaches.

This Week: Tyler has concluded its season.

 

Blinn Buccaneers (4-5, 2-5)

Last Week: Blinn suffered another heartbreak last Saturday at New Mexico Military Institute scored in the final seconds to complete a 45-42 comeback win over the Buccaneers. Quarterback Brock Landis completed 17-of-39 passes for 387 yards and four touchdowns. Wide receiver Danny Gray had an incredible game with 169 yards and a touchdown on five receptions. Ben Langston led the Blinn defense with 10 tackles and one tackle for loss.

The Verdict: The Buccaneers season took a turn at midseason as they finished with four straight losses which followed three consecutive wins. The season is disappointing for a Blinn team that was trying to build off of a bowl game win last year.

This Week: Blinn College has concluded its season.

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