Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Sports

September 26, 2013

Navarro Football: No. 1 Navarro vs. Trinity Valley

Corsicana — Take a poll of the NJCAA football coaches and you’d likely get a resounding 100 percent yes if asked if they’d like their team ranked No. 1 in the country.

And then ask them when they’d like that ranking. Again, it’s unanimous they all want to be No. 1 the second week of December.

It took all of four weeks for coach Brian Mayper’s Navarro Bulldogs to ascend to the top spot in the NJCAA rankings and now defense of that No. 1 position begins in earnest against one of the most talented teams in the country.

Navarro hosts a 2-2 Trinity Valley team on Saturday at 7 p.m. that has played No. 2 Iowa Western within seven points, blasted Jayhawk Conference power Coffeyville 70-7 and last week dominated Cisco, 49-21.

“It’s a nice honor to be No. 1,” Mayper said earlier this week after his team defeated fellow SWJCFC preseason favorite Kilgore. “But now we’ve got to win. We’ve got to beat Trinity Valley this weekend and then keep winning each week until we achieve our ultimate goal, which is to be No. 1 in December.”

Navarro (4-0 overall, 2-0 in the SWJCFC) is in the middle of an arduous three-game stretch on its schedule. Having dispatched Kilgore 35-21 last week, the Bulldogs take on Trinity Valley at Tiger Stadium and then venture to Tyler for a date with an Apache team that is 4-0 and has risen to No. 7 in the NJCAA.

  Trinity Valley presents its own set of difficulties, namely the league’s most potent quarterback leading an offense averaging a conference-best 528.3 yards per game.

Ryan Polite, a sophomore who ironically transferred from UTSA after finding himself behind former Trinity Valley quarterback Tucker Carter on the Roadrunner depth chart, has lit it up in his first four games. The former Desoto star has completed 70.3 percent of his passes with nine touchdowns, averaging 331 yards through the air. The freshmen duo of Jarvis Baxter and Jataveon Green have 22 and 21 catches, respectively.

“Iowa Western got them down early and then Trinity Valley started scoring in a hurry,” Mayper said. “They’ve got that kind of team. They’ve got athletes all over the field and they have the ability to score at any point of the game. (Polite) does a lot of reading (defenses) at the line of scrimmage and they throw a lot more to the receivers in the slots. Trinity Valley gets the ball down the field in a hurry.”

The two teams share another trait — the ability to shut down opponents’ running games. Navarro is allowing only 52.5 yards per game on the ground, just two yards better than the Cardinals. Trinity Valley is giving up only 1.4 yards per attempt, compared to 1.6 for Navarro.

Navarro was especially hard on Kilgore’s offense in the second half last week, sacking quarterback Tanner Tausch four times and limiting the Rangers to minus-1 yard rushing in the final 30 minutes.

    “We’re deep on the defensive line right now and it showed in the second half (against Kilgore) because we were able to rotate guys in all night,” Mayper said. “The defensive line must get pressure on (Polite) on Saturday.”

The main difference between the two clubs is turnovers. Navarro is plus-6 in turnovers/takeaways and the Cardinals are minus-5. Navarro’s new 3-4 defense has forced 13 fumbles already this season. Meanwhile, Trinity Valley has put the ball on the turf 14 times, losing eight.

“It’s been proven whomever wins the penalty and turnover part of the game wins 90 percent of the time,” Mayper said. “We’ve got to get started fast on Saturday, play great defense, score quickly and get turnovers. Then we’ve got to keep that going throughout the game. If we do those three things, we’re going to win the game against a very talented (Trinity Valley) team.

“Last week, we started about as fast as a team could (Austin Collins returned the opening kickoff 84 yards for a TD), but then we didn’t keep it up and they were tied with us at halftime. We cannot do that again this week.”

Navarro will be without starting quarterback Josh Greer (injured shoulder) for an undetermined amount of time, though they have veteran Alex Allen ready to step in as the starter on Saturday. Allen has completed 6 of 13 passes for 129 yards and has rushed for 51 yards and two scores in backup duty this season. Carson Earp, a smart, strong-armed freshman from Waco, will be Allen’s backup.

Although Navarro won’t stray too far from its quick-strike passing attack, it may lean heavily on the running attack that features a pair of 100-yard-a-game rushers in Tim Wright and Cameron Washington.

Whatever the offensive combination or personnel, the Bulldogs will stick with their coach’s mantra.

“Start fast. Great defense. Get turnovers. That’s how we’ll win,” Mayper said.

Text Only
Sports
  • 4-115-14CHSBBMinniear.jpg CHS Baseball: Lindale haunts Tigers again with critical 4-0 win

    Lindale has been poison to Corsicana all year.
    The Eagles won a bizarre game in Lindale to keep the Tigers out of the football playoffs and ruined the boys basketball season with two gut-wrenching wins in the final week of the season.
    They did it again Tuesday, beating the Tigers 4-0 at Price Field to take over second place in the District 16-4A race.
    Lindale (6-2) had one big inning to hand Corsicana (5-3) its second loss in a row.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • I4-15-14Kellysigns.jpg GC Volleyball: Kerens' Kelly signs with Paris Junior College

    She prayed about it. She lost sleep about it. And she prayed about it some more.
    That's just a glimpse of what Marqueshia Kelly went through before deciding to turn down a half dozen basketball scholarships and accept a scholarship to play volleyball at Paris Junior College.
    The journey might have been a little sleepless, but in the end it wasn't that tough for Kelly, who is a multi-sport star at Kerens.
    “I followed my heart,'' she said on Tuesday just moments after signing a letter-of-intent to play volleyball at Paris in front of family, coaches and friends.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • CHS Tennis: Tigers play well in powerhouse region

    Corsicana's tennis team finished its season with a  strong showing in the Class 4A Regional Tournament at UT-Arlington before falling to some powerhouse players from Dallas.

    April 15, 2014

  • GC Baseball/Softball: Roundup -- Blooming Grove edges Mildred 1-0

    Blooming Grove kept its baseball playoff hopes alive, winning a pitcher’s duel, 1-0, in Mildred Tuesday night. Dalton Blake struck out 11 and scattered five hits in a well-pitched game that took an hour and a half to complete.

    April 15, 2014

  • Navarro Softball: Bulldogs sweep Bossier on Sophomore Day

         From a one-sided laugher to a hold-your-breath finish, Navarro’s softball team celebrated Sophomore Day on Saturday in front of its largest crowd of the season.
        The Bulldogs ripped Bossier 14-1 in a five-inning romp and then had to fight for their lives in the second game, finally winning 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh with a squeeze bunt that brought home Caitlin Moerbe, who ended the day with a dust-filled slide at the plate.
       

    April 12, 2014

  • GC Softball: Hubbard, Curtis shut out Axtell 3-0

       For Hubbard’s Olivia Curtis the magic number was 15 -- as in 15 wins and 15 strikeouts.
        But don’t stop counting now. There’s plenty left for Curtis and her Hubbard teammates who have made the most of their stretch run in the district race, and capped off a huge week with a 3-0 win over Axtell on Friday.
     

    April 11, 2014

  • GC Baseball/Softball: Roundup -- Kerens' Anderson pitches perfect game (ADDS Dawson baseball)

    Brett Anderson threw a five-inning perfect game Friday at home to lead Kerens over Neches 11-0 in a key district game that leaves the Bobcats in first place with a two-game lead.

    April 11, 2014

  • CHS Baseball: Tigers lose to Nacogdoches 4-1

    In a battle for first place in the District16-4A race, Nacogdoches and pitcher Brigham Hill stopped Corsicana’s Tigers 4-1 Friday to take over the lead in the district with a 6-1 record. The Tigers are now 5-2 and face Lindale, which is also 5-2, at Price Field on Tuesday night to try to gain ground in a tough district race.
      

    April 11, 2014

  • Kerens bb 4-10-14.jpg GC Baseball: Kerens closing in on first district title since 1977

    Step by step, inch by inch …
    That's how the Kerens baseball team got here, right here on the threshold of what could be the program's best season since 1977.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • GC Track & Field Roundup: Kerens girls win district

    The Kerens girls ran away with the District 18-1A track & field meet at Cayuga, scoring 134 points to beat Dawson (108), Cayuga (101), Cross Roads (93), Hubbard (91), LaPoyner (42) and Wortham (16).

    April 11, 2014