CORSICANA, Texas -- No. 1-ranked Blinn scored two touchdowns in a four-minute span of the fourth quarter here Saturday afternoon but that was not enough as the Buccaneers fell to No. 2 Navarro, 23-20, in the regular-season finale for both teams. The game featured 916 yards of total offense between the teams but also had 250 combined penalty yards.
Navarro (6-0 conference, 9-0 overall) clinched the regular season Southwest Junior College Football Conference championship and the top seed in the four-team playoffs that begin this Saturday. The Bulldogs will host Kilgore (3-3, 4-5), which clinched the final playoff berth with a 27-10 victory over Cisco. Blinn (5-1, 8-1) will host No. 15 Tyler (3-2, 6-2).
It is very likely that Navarro will move into the No. 1 spot in this week's NJCAA/jcfootball.com poll, which was released Tuesday morning while Fort Scott, a 14-10 victor over No. 4 Butler, is expected to move up one spot to No. 2.
Navarro never trailed in the contest, going out to a 14-0 lead in the first nine minutes of play. Running back Derrick Hall scored on a 51-yard run barely two minutes into the contest. Jahmai Coleman caught a 24-yard scoring pass from Roddy Green to make it 14-0 after Navarro recovered a Blinn fumble.
The Buccaneers got on the board late in the first on a 1-yard run by Mike Hayes. Navarro scored the only points of the second quarter as Juve Sanchez kicked a 23-yard field goal with 1:20 left before the half to make it 17-7.
Navarro extended the lead to 23-7 when Green hit J.J. Hayes on a 13-yard pass with 14:30 to go as the Bulldogs capitalized on another turnover. The extra point was unsuccessful.
Blinn stormed back with Cam Newton hitting Darrin Moore from 22 yards out with 9:34 remaining. A two-point conversion attempt failed.
Newton struck again with 5:39 remaining, finding Jarod Jaroszewski from 25 yards out.
Navarro had 24 first downs and 505 yards of total offense. The Bulldogs rushed 50 times for 299 yards. Blinn had 23 first downs and 411 yards of total offense, passing for 257 of those. Blinn turned the ball over 4 times while Navarro coughed it up only twice. Blinn was also called for 13 penalties for 130 yards. Navarro was whistled 11 times for 120 yards.
For Navarro, Green completed 15 of 31 passes for 206 yards. Hayes caught 5 passes for 75 yards. Hall rushed for 162 yards on 16 carries and DePauldrick Garrett added 97 yards on 20 totes.
For Blinn, Newton completed 20 of 44 passes for 244 yards. Moore caught 7 for 87 yards. Hayes rushed for 87 yards on 21 carries while Newton gained 67 on 14 rushes.