Defending national champion Blinn College unleashed an arsenal of weapons as the Buccaneers cruised to a 41-14 victory over the Northeastern A&M Golden Norsemen Saturday afternoon at Robertson Field.
The loss spoiled a perfect fall homecoming afternoon for coach Rob Green's Norsemen in front of approximately 1,200 fans. NEO slips to 1-3 in the Southwest Junior College Football Conference and 4-3 on the season.
With the victory, coach Brad Franchione's 8th ranked Bucs are 3-1 in the SWJCFC and 6-1 overall.
Blinn used a partially blocked punt by Clinton Leal to cover 78 yards in 14 plays to grab the lead for good. During the drive redshirt freshman quarterback Terrance Cain converted four third-down situations.
Cain bulled over from a yard out to end the drive with 9:13 left in the first quarter. Brad Hicks kicked the extra point for a 7-0 Bucs lead.
Taking advantage of a fumble by NEO tailback Shaun Baker-Hughes that was recovered by defensive tackle Sean Warren, the Buccaneers moved 54 yards in four plays to increase their lead to a 14-0 margin.
Veteran tailback Zach Booker ripped off a 44-yard run before Cain connected with sophomore tight end Samer Elqutab for a 5-yard touchdown pass. The extra points by Hicks came with 7:12 left in the first quarter.
The Golden Norsemen mounted an 89-yard drive that consumed six minutes at the start of the second quarter as redshirt freshman Kaelin Woods took over at quarterback as Bo Bowling moved to tailback.
Woods completed five straight passes for 42 yards before Blinn cornerback Husani Sallah stepped in front of a pass to Kevin Radford and returned it 84 yards for a touchdown. Hicks tacked on the point-after for a 21-0 Buccaneers lead with 9:50 remaining in the second quarter.
The Golden Norsemen responded with a 59-yard, three-play drive on their next possession. Freshman tailback Jeremiah Sampson reeled off a 52-yard run to set up NEO's scoring opportunity.
Bowling crashed over from the 2-yard line and Jeremy Knott kicked the extra point to create a 21-7 deficit with 8:43 until halftime.
Another time-consuming drive fueled by 12 plays enabled the Buccaneers to put points on the scoreboard before going to the locker room. Hicks connected on a 22-yard field goal with 0:30 showing on the clock to give Blinn a 24-7 halftime lead.
Blinn returned to the field to take the kickoff to start the third quarter. The Buccaneers covered 80 yards in 12 plays before Cain connected with wide out Kevin Ferguson for an 18-yard touchdown pass. The PAT by Hicks increased the Blinn lead to a 31-7 advantage with 11:57 left in the third quarter.
Hicks booted a 21-yard field goal with time winding down in the third period to culminate a 61-yard, eight-play drive and produce a 34-7 Bucs lead.
Faced with a 3rd-and-24 situation to start the fourth quarter, Bowling darted straight down the field on a quarterback keeper to score on a 64-yard run. Knott kicked the extra point with 14:48 left in the game to close out NEO's scoring.
Late in the fourth quarter Booker scored on a 14-yard run and Hicks added the PAT after the Buccaneers drove 69 yards in eight plays.
NEO amassed 345 yards in total offense while Blinn accumulated 484 total yards.
Bowling led the Golden Norse ground game with 104 yards on 25 carries. Sampson contributed 98 yards on eight carries.
Woods completed 12 of 21 passes for 98 yards with two interceptions while Bowling hit 1 of 8 passes for 27 yards and one interception.
Along with the three interceptions, the Golden Norsemen lost three of four fumbles.
Booker rushed for 97 yards on 10 carries to lead Blinn's ground game while Joshua Lewis added 64 yards on 13 carries.
Cain completed 25 of 39 passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman wide receiver Rod Harris made seven catches for 73 yards.
In other SWJCFC games Saturday, Cisco defeated Navarro 28-14, Kilgore beat Trinity Valley 34-6 and Tyler trounced Arkansas Baptist by a 52-13 score.
NEO concludes the road portion of the regular season next Saturday with a 2 p.m. contest at Kilgore, Texas.
Blinn, Texas 41, Northeastern A&M 14
Blinn 14 10 10 7 - 41
Northeastern A&M 0 7 0 7 - 14
BCC - Cain 1 run (Hicks kick), 9:13
BCC - Elqutab 5 pass from Cain (Hicks kick), 7:12
BCC - Sallah 84 interception return (Hicks kick), 9:%0
NEO - Bowling 2 run (Knott kick), 8:43
BCC - FG, Hicks 22, 0:30
BCC - Ferguson 18 pass from Cain (Hicks kick), 11:57
BCC - FG, Hicks 21, 0:49
NEO - Bowling 64 run (Knott kick), 14:48
BCC - Booker 14 run (Hicks kick), 4:25
First downs 24 18
Rushes-yards 48-222 39-220
Passing yards 262 125
Return yards 105 1
Pass-Com-Att-Int 25-40-0 13-29-3
Punts-avg 4-37.5 7-33.7
Fumbles-lost 3-1 4-3
Penalties-yards 13-76 4-30
Rushing - Blinn, Booker 10-97, Lewis 13-64, Brown 10-38, Jordan 4-28, Cain 8-(-5). NEO, Bowling 25-104, Sampson 8-98, Baker-Hughes 4-20, Woods 2-(-2).
Passing - Blinn, Cain 25-39-2-262, Kelly 0-1-0-0. NEO, Woods 12-21-2-98, Bowling 1-8-1-27.
Receiving - Blinn, Harris 7-73, Ferguson 4-32, Jordan 3-30, Kelly 3-14, Johnson 2-55, Brown 2-23, Pierce 2-21, Lewis 1-9, Elqutab 1-5. NEO, Tucker 8-97, Radford 2-17, Williams 1-8, Bowling 1-3, Coleman 1-0.