Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Sports

November 29, 2012

Navarro Football: Dawgs try for another 10-win season at H.O.T Bowl

Corsicana — If Navarro is to keep its pace of double-digit victories in 2012, it had better find a way to keep its focus against what can be a confusing Georgia Military defense and a very diverse offense.

The No. 5-ranked Bulldogs take on 20th-ranked Georgia Military in a matchup of familiar foes on Saturday at 11 a.m. in the 11th Heart of Texas Bowl in Copperas Cove.

Navarro (9-2) has posted double-digit victories the last two seasons, but Georgia Military and its 7-3 record may be a bit deceiving as the Bulldogs map strategy to make it three in a row.

Georgia Military coach Bert Williams is a master of a 3-3 stack defense that brings defenders from different lanes across the line of scrimmage and often interrupts even the best blocking offensive lines.

“You’ve got to lock in and stay focused against their defense,” said Navarro coach Brian Mayper. “If you are an offensive lineman, you’d better keep your eyes open and not make mistakes. Once they get up on you, they really get after it. They are a sound football team and really get after you defensively.”

Offensively, GMC has often been on fire behind quarterback Clay Chastain (121-217-7, 20 TDs). The Bulldogs defeated current No. 4 Snow College early in the season, but succumbed to unranked Dean 35-28 and No. 6 Nassau 50-24 before giving No. 1 Iowa Western a scare before losing 55-35.

Chastain was at his best in Georgia Military’s final regular season game, completing 20 of 31 passes for 322 yards and five TDs in a 43-25 win over a solid Lackawanna team.

The Bulldogs have been dependent on a pair of productive running backs most of the season. Mario Alford is averaging 10.4 yards per carry with six scores, though he has not appeared since Oct. 13. Akeem Judd has taken up the slack with 423 yards and five TDs on the ground, including a 10-carry, 155-yard effort vs. Lackawanna.

“They are far from one dimensional offensively,” Mayper said. “They mix the pass in with the run behind a massive offensive line. We’d better be prepared to carry out our assignments to shut down that offense.

“If we focus in, things could snowball for us like it has in some games this season.”

Mayper said he’s seen positive signs in workouts that his Bulldogs can maintain the proper focus in their third straight bowl game.

“We’ve been working at a fast tempo in practice and kept them fresh and healthy,” he said. “I’ve got a good feeling that our kids will be focused on their assignments and playing hard against a very talented Georgia Military team. If, for some reason, they aren’t ready to play, we’re going to have our hands full and getting that 10th win of the season is going to be difficult.”

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