NAIA/NJCAA Recap: Navarro edges New Mexico Military Institute to win SWJCFC title

Navarro College (Photo by John Murphy)

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NAIA Recap

Wayland Baptist Pioneers (4-6, 3-5)

Last Week: WBU made a valiant comeback effort but took a 35-20 loss on the road to No. 21 Langston last Saturday. Quarterback Nick Quintero completed 20-of-38 passes for 263 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Wide receiver Brayln Kirby caught five passes for 46 yards and a touchdown. Hugh Zelder led the defense with 10 tackles, seven solo for the Pioneers.

The Verdict: The Pioneers played well at home this year but struggled on the road with a 1-4 record. WBU will hit the recruiting trail this offseason and look to compete once again for the Sooner Athletic Conference title next year.

This Week: WBU has concluded its season.


Texas Wesleyan Rams (3-7, 3-5)

Last Week: Texas Wesleyan did not play last week.

The Verdict: The Rams showed incredible improvement again this season as they continue to make strides since bringing the football program back three years ago. TXWES will have higher expectations next year as its young team continues to grow and gain confidence.

This Week: TXWES has concluded its season.


Texas College Steers (1-9, 1-8)

Last Week: Texas College nearly pulled off one of the best wins in recent history on the road last week before falling 24-20 to Arizona Christian. Derrick Cooper had a great game as he completed 15-of-39 passes for 215 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions while rushing for 87 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. Dyamond Wood led the receiving corps with 74 yards on five receptions. Desmond Luster led the defense with 11 tackles, six solo, one tackle for loss and one-half sack.

The Verdict: The Steers were not able to end this season on a winning streak as they did last year, but they remained competitive in many of their games this year. The Steers have struggles in many areas, but the coaching staff and players do a great job despite some limitations.

This Week: Texas College has concluded its season.


Southwestern Assemblies of God Lions (0-10, 0-8)

Last Week: SAGU hung tough through the first half but was unable to keep pace in the second half of a 33-14 loss at home to No. 16 Ottawa (Ariz.). Running back Gabe Sanders led the offense with 66 yards rushing on 17 carries. Garry Powell completed 7-of-18 passes for 75 yards and two interceptions. Landon Jones led the Lions defense with 16 tackles, seven solo.

The Verdict: A tough season came to an end last week for SAGU. The Lions have hit the recruiting trail hard this year and will continue to improve during the offseason. The Lions have had a good run of success prior to this season and they should return to their expectations soon.

This Week: SAGU has concluded its season.



No. 17 Navarro Bulldogs (6-5, 4-4)

Last Week: Navarro began the SWJCFC championship game with a 57-yard touchdown pass from Parker McNeil to Alex Washington. The Bulldogs completed a two-point conversion pass to take an early lead. That two-point conversion proved huge as Navarro defeated New Mexico Military Institute 36-35 to win the SWJCFC title last Saturday. McNeil completed 28-of-39 passes for 407 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Kiante Stoker was brilliant on the ground as he gained 142 rushing yards on 17 carries while Isaiah Robinson added three rushing touchdowns. Abraham Beauplan had a tremendous game with 22 tackles, eight solo, one-half tackle for loss, two quarterback hurries and recovered a fumble.

The Verdict: The Bulldogs will not have a chance to play in the postseason this year as the Heart of Texas Bowl will not host a game this year and the total number of bowl games dropped to five with the state of Arizona ending all junior college football programs. Navarro still won the conference title and will look to rebuild for next year.

This Week: Navarro has concluded its season.


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

Last Week: Kilgore did not play last week.

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 had another successful season but inexplicably did not receive a bowl bid.

This Week: Kilgore has concluded its season.


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

Last Week: TVCC did not play last week.

The Verdict: The Cardinals had a really solid season led by a suffocating defense. The TVCC defense will need to play well in the bowl game. The extra practice that the Cardinals have this year will serve well heading into next year.

This Week: TVCC will play No. 7 Butler in the Midwest Classic Bowl at Red Robertson Field in Miami, Okla. on Sunday, December 8 at 2 p.m.


Cisco Wranglers (5-4, 3-4)

Last Week: Cisco did not play last week.

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 did not play last week.

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 did not play last week.

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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