COFFEYVILLE, Kan. — Taking a break from the rigors of Southwest Junior College Football Conference competition, the No. 21st-ranked Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College Golden Norsemen cross the northern border at 7 p.m. Saturday to play the traditional Border Battle with Coffeyville Community College at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Much to the delight of a large homecoming crowd last week at Miami's Red Robertson Field, the Golden Norse defeated the Cisco (Texas) Wranglers by a 42-9 score in a SWJCFC match-up. With the victory, the Golden Norsemen are 4-2 in both the conference and on the season.
Swept up in a three-game losing streak, the Red Ravens have a 1-3 record in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference and a 1-5 season mark.
Last weekend the Ravens dropped a 41-32 decision at Garden City, Kansas.
Former head coach and longtime athletic director Jeff Leiker is serving as the Ravens’ interim head coach as Aaron Flores has taken a medical leave.
Leiker was head coach at Coffeyville for seven years, posting a 56-24 record. He became athletic director in 2007.
Sodexo will host a tailgate party in the north unpaved parking lot at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Cost is $7 per person.
Last year in a renewal of the longtime series, the Red Ravens gained a 41-31 win at Red Robertson Field. Coffeyville generated 540 yards in total offense compared to 478 yards by NEO. Unleashing an explosive air attack, the Ravens produced 458 yards via the pass while the Norsemen managed only 248 yards.
NEO's stingy defense limited Coffeyville to a mere 87 yards on the ground while the Golden Norsemen amassed 230 total yards.
Throughout six games the Golden Norse rank fifth in the nation offensively by averaging 503.8 total yards per game.
Led from the trio of Wyatt Steigerwald, Nic Burns or Cordale Grundy, the NEO passing game is averaging 7.3 yards per carry and 234.7 yards per game. NEO ranks 19th in the nation in team passing.
The Golden Norse ground game ranks No. 6 in the nation by accumulating an average of 6.3 yards per carry and 292.1 total yards per game.
Starting under center for the Golden Norse will be Steigerwald with veteran Darwin Thompson and Darran Williams sharing duties in the backfield.
With Gundy still sidelined by an ankle injury suffered against Tyler Junior College, Steigerwald has completed 81 of 126 passes for 924 yards and four interceptions along with 13 touchdowns.
Thompson has rushed for 733 yards on 90 carries for an average of 8.1 yards per touch with five TDs. He also has eight catches for 61 yards and one touchdown.
Darran Williams has gained 518 yards on 72 carries and two TDs. He also has one pass reception for 16 yards.
Veteran wide receiver Kobe Bryer leads the Norsemen with 27 catches for 318 yards and two touchdowns.
Sophomore wide out KJ Wells has produced 16 receptions for 160 yards and two TDs.
Two-year starter Antwan Woods has made 15 catches for 112 yards.
Twelve of NEO's 15 receivers are averaging over 10 yards per catch.
While limiting the opposition to an average of 322.2 total yards per game, the Golden Norseman defensive unit ranks sixth in the nation overall. The Norse run defense limits opponents to 129.2 yards per game while the pass defense gives up an average of 193 total yards each game.
Nine out of 11 Golden Norse defenders are sophomores led by linebacker Dillon Hall with 16 unassisted tackles and 36 assists.
Defensive back Aliik Sezer ranks second with 20 solo tackles and 26 assists.
Linebacker Lamonte Huval has recorded 15 unassisted tackles and 24 assists.
Coffeyville enters the game with a predominantly freshman offense. The Red Ravens average 280 total yards per game that includes 149.7 yards on the ground and 130.3 yards via the pass.
Freshman Aloyous Jackson guides the Raven offense at quarterback. Jackson has completed 22 of 44 passes for 238 yards and one TD with two interceptions.
Four other players have seen action as signal callers for Coffeyville.
Redshirt freshman Justin Henderson leads the Red Ravens in rushing with 441 yards on 77 carries and five touchdowns, He also has two catches for 10 yards.
True freshman Wynton Ruth splits time in the backfield with Jackson. He has gained 279 yards on 48 carries with one TD.
Handling the receiving chores for the Ravens are redshirt freshmen Derrick Williams, Juwan Ruffin and redshirt sophomore Errol Breaux.
Derrick Williams has made 16 receptions for 172 yards and two touchdowns.
Ruffin has caught 14 passes for 262 yards while Breaux has snared 11 passes for 80 yards.
Coffeyville's defensive unit is allowing 514 totals yards per game and 39 points.
Redshirt sophomore defensive back Javon Burse leads Coffeyville with 23 unassisted tackles and 31 assists.
Veteran linebacker Vernon Dasher has made 19 solo tackles and 33 assists.
NEO remains on the road, Saturday, Oct. 21, for a 1 p.m. non-conference game with Arkansas Baptist College in Little Rock.