Navarro at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M
Saturday, 1 p.m.
At Robertson Stadium, in Miami, Okla.
Radio: KAND 1340 AM
Records: No. 9-ranked Navarro (8-2) vs. No. 4-ranked NEO (9-1)
Recent History: NEO won the regular-season finale between the two teams, 26-24, when K Patrick Sohrt’s 46-yard field try in the waning moments fell short for the Bulldogs.
Key Players: Navarro: QB Stump Godfrey, RB Traylon Shead, WR-KR Tony Drake, TE Gerard Shillow, RB Tyler Middleton, LB D.J. Simon, RB Tim Wright, DE Andre Ross, T Aleon Calhoun, T Zach Fondal, G Mitchell Bell, DT Arnold Blackmon, DE Michael Jolivet, C John Studdard, DT Terrell Brooks. NEO: QB Clayton Mitchem, RB Gerald Howse, WR-KR Michael Thompson, WR Kameron Doolittle, K Kevin King, DE Jaiari Dunaway, S Devron Moore, RB Casey Curtis.
Game Notes: S Moore has continued his hot streak, picking off his conference-leading seventh pass last week against Tyler . . . NEO held a comfortable 34-7 lead at the half against Tyler in one SWJCFC semifinal. But the Apaches stormed back behind TD passes on three straight drives, the last with less than five minutes left. Tyler opted to go for the tie, but its two-point conversion pass was incomplete, giving the Golden Norse a 37-35 win . . . Mitchem has been the class of the league at quarterback this season, completing 62.9 percent of his passes for 18 TDs and only 6 interceptions. Mitchem also has rushed for 565 yards and 10 scores . . . RB Howse (754 yards, 11 TDs) has been NEO’s go-to back most of the season, but Curtis rushed for more than 120 yards vs. Tyler and leads the team with a 5.3 yards-per-rush average . . .This game will feature the two top kickers in the conference. Navarro’s Sohrt came back from his miss in Miami to nail a pair of a FGs vs. Kilgore, including a season-best 48-yarder in the second half. Meanwhile, King hit 3 field goals against Tyler, easily giving him the conference lead with 10 FGs on 12 attempts . . . NEO is second in the NJCAA with 50 sacks this season, led by Jairi Dunaway’s 9.5. Nine players have at least 2 sacks this season . . . Watch for NEO to attempt to disrupt Navarro’s powerful run game with a variety of defensive alignments, shifting from even to odd fronts and bringing linebackers and safeties from different angles to force Navarro blockers out of their area of blocking responsibility. Kilgore mirrored NEO’s efforts two weeks ago and held the Bulldogs to a season-low 143 yards on the ground.