COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The regular seasons in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference and the Southwest Junior College Football Conference each came to a climactic end as the top four teams in the country took the field against one another Saturday. After the dust settled Navarro (Texas) and Fort Scott emerged with their undefeated records intact to claim the top two spots in this week's NJCAA/ JC Football.com Top 20 Poll.
Navarro (9-0) defeated previous No. 1 Blinn (Texas) 23-20 Saturday to win the SWJCFC regular season title, which is the second straight for Navarro. The win also gives the Bulldogs the top seed and home field advantage heading into the league's playoffs, which start this Saturday where Navarro will host Kilgore (Texas) and Blinn will host No. 14 Tyler (Texas).
The Bulldogs controlled most of the game, holding a 23-7 lead heading into the fourth quarter. However, Blinn fought back like a No. 1 team does, and closed the gap to 23-20 and had a chance to take the lead but the Navarro forced an interception in the final minutes to seal the victory.
The Bulldog defense pressured Blinn's top ranked quarterback Cam Newton all day, forcing two interceptions, two fumbles while also collecting three sacks. The Navarro offense racked up 504 yards with running back Derrick Hall pacing the Bulldogs with 169 rushing yards on 17 carries and a touchdown.
Blinn had held the No. 1 ranking in the poll for the last eight weeks while Navarro had been in the No. 2 spot for the last seven weeks.
Navarro received 139 total poll points and six of seven first place votes from voters to take over the top ranking. Blinn received 116 poll points to slide down to No. 4.
Fort Scott (9-0) made history on Saturday with their 14-10 win over defending national champion Butler. The Greyhounds' victory ended Butler's eight-year run as Jayhawk Conference champions and gave Fort Scott its first conference title in 35 years.
Fort Scott's No. 2 ranking is the highest position in the poll for the Greyhounds since earning the No. 1 spot in the final poll of the 1970 season.
Fort Scott became the first team other than Butler to win an outright KJCCC championship since Garden City won the title in 2000.
The Greyhounds received 134 poll points and one first place vote to move up to No. 2 in the rankings. The loss for Butler, their second on the season, drops the Grizzlies to No. 8 in the poll.
The victory over Butler -- Fort Scott's first over the Grizzlies since 1986 -- also gives the 'Hounds the top seed and home-field advantage in the Region VI playoffs, which begin Sunday. Fort Scott will host No. 17 Hutchinson in its first-round game while Butler will host No. 16 Coffeyville. Both games kick off at 1:30 p.m.
The loss was Butler's first in conference play since a 43-29 loss at Highland on Oct. 28, 2006. Butler had won 20 conference games in a row.
Mississippi Gulf Coast (9-1) moves up to No. 3 following their 58-21 victory over Coahoma (Miss.) in the first round of the Mississippi Association of Community & Junior Colleges playoffs. The Bulldogs scored 35 unanswered points in the first half to cruise to their ninth victory of the season.
The win advances Mississippi Gulf Coast to its third straight MACJC state title game and fourth in six years. The Bulldogs will travel to No. 7 East Mississippi (9-1) Saturday for this year's title game.
East Mississippi advanced with its 26-16 win over then-No. 19 Jones County in the other MACJC semifinal contest. The Lions will be making their first ever appearance in the MACJC Championship Game and enters the contest with a six-game winning streak. The lone loss for the Lions this year was to Mississippi Gulf Coast, 43-26, back on Sept. 17.
Snow College (Utah) creeps up to No. 5 this week following their 48-20 win over Scottsdale (Ariz.). The Badgers are now 9-1 and are off next week before they face No. 9 Arizona Western (7-1) in a contest that will determine the champion of the Western States Football League.
In other playoff action last weekend Grand Rapids (Mich.) defeated Harper (Ill.) for the second time in as many weeks by the score of 35-0 in the Midwest Football Conference-East Division semifinals. The Raiders are tied for the No. 5 spot in this week's poll with a 9-0 record and will host Joliet (Ill.) in the MFC-East title game this Saturday.
The championship of the Minnesota College Athletic Conference will be an all-South Division affair when No. 10 Rochester Tech (Minn.) faces No. 12 Central Lakes (Minn.) this Sunday at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minn. Rochester improved to 10-0 with its 21-6 semifinal win over Mesabi Range while Central Lakes moved to 9-1 with a 36-30 victory over Vermilion in the other MCAC semifinal. Rochester Tech won the regular season contest between the two teams on Sept. 26, defeating the Raiders 27-6.
NOTES: With Blinn's loss to Navarro on Saturday there are just four undefeated teams in this week's poll (Navarro, Fort Scott, Grand Rapids and Rochester). Of the four undefeated teams, Rochester has the most victories (10) of any team....
Rochester extended the longest-active winning streak in the NJCAA to 15 games with its 21-6 win over Mesabi Range...
Navarro last held the No. 1 ranking in the poll on Nov. 11, 2008...
"Next game" is this Saturday unless noted.
|Team||Record||Points||Previous||Last week||Next game|
|1. Navarro, Texas (6)||9-0||139||2||def. No. 1 Blinn, 23-20||vs. Kilgore, Texas|
|2. Fort Scott (1)||9-0||134||3||def. No. 4 Butler, 14-10||vs. No. 17 Hutchinson, Sun.|
|3. Mississippi Gulf Coast||9-1||122||5||def. Coahoma, Miss., 58-21||at No. 7 East Mississippi|
|4. Blinn, Texas||8-1||116||1||lost to No. 2 Navarro, 23-20||vs. No. 14 Tyler, Texas|
|5. Snow, Utah||9-1||109||6||def. Scottsdale, Ariz., 48-20||at No. 9 Ariz. Western, Nov. 14|
|tie. Grand Rapids, Mich.||9-0||109||7||def. Harper, Ill., 35-0||vs. Joliet, Ill.|
|7. East Mississippi||9-1||95||8||def. No. 19 Jones County, Miss., 26-16||vs. No. 3 Mississippi Gulf Coast|
|8. Butler||7-2||93||4||lost to No. 3 Fort Scott, 14-10||vs No. 16 Coffeyville, Sunday|
|9. Arizona Western||7-1||87||9||def. Glendale, Ariz., 48-14||at Phoenix|
|10. Rochester Tech, Minn.||10-0||74||10||def. Mesabi Range, Minn., 26-1||vs. No. 12 Central Lakes, Minn.|
|11. Eastern Arizona||7-2||62||12||def. Pima, Ariz., 49-6||at Scottsdale, Ariz.|
|12. Central Lakes, Minn.||9-1||60||12||def. Vermillion, 36-30||vs. No. 10 Rochester Tech, Minn.|
|13. Dean, Mass.||8-1||50||14||def. Alfred State, N.Y., 34-27||at Lackawanna, Pa.|
|14. Tyler, Texas||7-2||49||15||def. Northeastern Okla. A&M, 54-35||at No. 4 Blinn|
|15. Nassau, N.Y.||6-2||44||16||def. Louisburg, N.C., 30-10||vs. Alfred State, N.Y.|
|16. Coffeyville||6-3||39||17||def. Independence, 24-0||at No. 8 Butler, Sunday|
|17. Hutchinson||6-3||21||NR||def. Garden City, 55-14||at No. 2 Fort Scott, Sunday|
|tie. Ellsworth, Iowa||6-3||21||11||lost to Iowa Western, 20-17||vs. North Dakota Science|
|19. Georgia Military||5-3||19||18||idle||at Erie, N.Y.|
|20. New Mexico Military||6-3||10||NR||def. Phoenix, 28-21||at Mesa, Ariz.|
|tie. Pearl River, Miss.||6-3||10||20||idle||season over|
Others receiving votes
|Team||Record||Points||Previous||Last week||Next game|
|Lackawanna, Pa.||6-2||5||NR||vs. Princeton JV, cancelled||vs. No. 13 Dean, Mass.|
|Jones County, Miss.||6-4||1||19||lost to No. 8 East Mississippi, 26-16||season over.|
NOTES -- The following conferences began playoffs last week: Mississippi, Minnesota, Midwest Football Conference-Eastern Division....
The following conferences begin playoffs this week: Jayhawk Conference (Region VI Playoffs), Southwest Junior College Football Conference, Midwest Football Conference-West.....
The Northeast Football Conference and Western States Football League do not conduct playoffs.....
|1. Navarro, Texas||9-0|
|2. Fort Scott||9-0|
|3. Mount San Antonio, Calif.||7-1|
|4. Mississippi Gulf Coast||9-1|
|5. El Camino, Calif.||7-1|
|6. East Mississippi||9-1|
|7. Bakersfield, Calif.||8-1|
|8. Blinn, Texas||8-1|
|9. Fullerton, Calif.||7-1|
|10. Cerritos, Calif.||8-0|
|11. City College of San Francisco||7-1|
|12. Grossmont, Calif.||7-1|
|13. Grand Rapids, Mich.||9-0|
|14. Allan Hancock, Calif.||8-1|
|16. Foothill, Calif.||7-1|
|17. Los Angeles Harbor||8-0|
|18. Palomar, Calif.||7-2|
|19. Arizona Western||7-1|
|20. Rochester Tech, Minn.||10-0|
|21. San Mateo, Calif.||7-1|
|22. Snow, Utah||9-1|
|23. Ventura, Calif.||6-2|
|24. Ellsworth, Iowa||6-3|
|25. Eastern Arizona||7-2|
|26. Tyler, Texas||7-2|
|27. Saddleback, Calif.||7-2|
|28. Butte, Calif.||6-2|
|29. Reedley, Calif.||5-3|
|30. Jones County, Miss.||6-4|
"On the Bubble": Santa Rosa, Calif., 5-3; Copiah-Lincoln, Miss., 6-3; San Joaquin Delta, Calif., 5-3; College of the Canyons, Calif., 5-3; Los Angeles Pierce, Calif., 6-2; Coffeyville, 6-3; New Mexico Military, 6-3; Hutchinson, 6-3; Central Lakes, Minn., 9-1; Dean, Mass., 8-1.