Missed tackles on defense and missed opportunities on offense cost Northeastern A&M Saturday afternoon as the Golden Norsemen suffered a 65-24 drubbing at the hands of No. 1-ranked Navarro College at Robertson Field.
Coach Rob Green's Golden Norse seemed to stay in the locker room after falling behind 35-21 at halftime.
While the NEO offense could muster only 89 total yards the entire second half, the Golden Norse defense was getting shredded for 223 total yards and 30 points in the final 30 minutes.
The 41-point shellacking was worst than the 30-point loss of 70-31 at Kilgore College in the next-to-the-last game of the regular season.
During the first 15 minutes, coach Nick Bobeck's Bulldogs built a 14-7 lead on a 1-yard run by Vetric Sams and a 4-yard dash by William Powell.
NEO put points on the board as freshman tailback Durell Parker scored on a 16-yard run with 4:06 left in the first quarter.
The Golden Norsemen actually tied the game at 14-14 after tailback Cardell Clemens scored on a 9-yard run with 13:46 left until halftime.
Powell made short work of any NEO hopes of staying in the game with a nifty 67-yard touchdown run on Navarro's first play of the second quarter. Placekicker Gabriel Elizondo kicked the extra point for a 21-14 Bulldog lead at the 13:25 juncture.
Freshman quarterback Milton Howell connected with veteran wide receiver Rodney Bradley on a 59-yard TD play with 6:18 until halftime. Elizondo's extra point created a 28-14 cushion.
Golden Norse quarterback Trey Munden drove NEO 80 yards in nine plays before connecting with wide out Colton Chelf for a 14-yard touchdown pass. Matt Berrey kicked the point-after as NEO trailed 28-21 with 1:34 before half.
A 62-yard kickoff return by Justin Sturns gave Navarro the ball at the NEO 29-yard line. On the play, Berrey was flagged for a 15-yard face mask penalty to give the Bulldogs the ball at the NEO 14.
After a 5-yard run by Sams, Howell broke four tackles on the way to a 9-yard touchdown run with 47 seconds before half. The PAT by Elizondo gave Navarro a 14-point cushion.
Despite taking the second half kickoff, the Golden Norse were stopped after three plays.
Punter Nicholas Walters fielded a high snap, but the punt was blocked at the NEO 22-yard line by Brandon Joiner. Dominick Maddox made sure the ball went out of the endzone to give Navarro a two-point safety with 12:54 left in the third quarter.
NEO took advantage of a fumbled kickoff return by Kevin Diles as Durell Parker recovered the ball at the Navarro 35-yard line.
After three plays netted only nine yards, Berrey connected on a 37-yard field goal to create a 37-24 deficit with 11:21 left in the third quarter.