MIAMI — A game with Georgia Military Academy highlights the 2018 schedule for the Northeastern Oklahoma A&M football team.
The Bulldogs, ranked 18th in the final 2017 NJCAA poll, replace Coffeyville (Kansas) on the non-conference portion of the schedule.
Georgia Military plays in Miami on Sept. 8, and then NEO will travel to Milledgeville, Georgia, for a return game in 2019.
The Southwest Junior College Football Conference champion Golden Norse also face a home schedule that includes Arkansas Baptist, Trinity Valley, Navarro and Tyler.
“Two things that stand out to me is the home schedule: Georgia Military College, Trinity, Navarro and Tyler,” athletic director Dale Patterson said. “It gives us a great home schedule for our fans and it’s a great home schedule for the competition because we have the teams that have been the most successful the last couple of years (in the SWJCFC) at home. That is what I really like about it.”
Georgia Military, which went 8-2 in 2017, opened season with 23-7 loss to Navarro then ended the season with a 41-34 loss to Lackawanna (Pennsylvania) College.
In between, they got two wins over ASA Miami in a home-and home rivalry as well as Middle Georgia State College, ASA Brooklyn, College of DuPage, Hocking College of Nelsonville, Ohio, Army Prep and Arkansas Baptist.
This will just be the second meeting between NEO and Georgia Military, which has ties to the Golden Norse football program.
NEO Athletic Hall of Famer Glen Wolfe helped get the GMC program back off the ground in 1991 after a 31-year hiatus.
A year later, Robert Nunn — defensive line coach at NEO in 1988 and now beginning his first season as defensive line coach with the New York Jets — succeeded Wolfe and spent eight seasons as the Bulldogs’ head coach.
Northeastern A&M rolled to a 56-14 win in 1992 with Nunn at the helm.
“They are rated in the top 10 about every year,” Patterson said of the GMC program. “We had several other options for non-conference games. Several years ago, we wouldn’t have had any problem finding someone who wants to play us.
Our recent success has made it tough to get a schedule.”
“It’s nice to get Georgia Military up here,” Patterson said. “It’s going to be tough — one of the toughest schedules we’ve had in several years.”
The game with Georgia Military replaces a non-conference date with Coffeyville (Kansas) Community College.
The Georgia Military game is sandwiched around the 2018 season opener on Thursday, Aug. 30 against Arkansas Baptist and a Sept. 15 date with Trinity Valley.
That will be the annual Hall of Fame game.
The Norsemen host Navarro (Military Appreciation Night) on Sept. 29, then mark homecoming against Tyler on Oct. 13.
Road games are Sept. 22 at Kilgore, Oct. 6 at Blinn, Oct. 20 at New Mexico Military and Oct. 27 at Cisco.
The Arkansas Baptist game will mark the debut of Zach Allen as Golden Norse head coach.
He succeeds Clay Patterson, who resigned in January to accept a coaching position at the University of Minnesota.
The Golden Norsemen won the SWJCFC title for the first time since 2002 and made their first bowl game appearance since 2012.
NEO defeated Blinn 38-34 in the conference semifinal here then claimed a 26-10 win over sixth-ranked Trinity Valley Community College in the conference championship game.
The Norse faced Independence (Kansas) Community College in the inaugural Midwest Classic Bowl game, but suffered a 30-20 loss.
The 2018 SWJCFC semifinals will be Nov. 3 with the championship game Nov. 10.