TYLER, Texas - Bringing the curtain down on one of the most disappointing seasons in school history, Northeastern A&M's Golden Norsemen travel to Tyler, Texas, for a 2 p.m. showdown with Tyler Junior College at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
Once two of the most winningest junior college football programs in the nation, both teams are playing as ‘also rans' in this season finale.
Coach Rob Green's Golden Norsemen make the 385-mile trek to Tyler with a 2-4 record in the Southwest Junior College Athletic Association.
This marks the second straight year the Norsemen have failed to qualify for the four-team post season playoffs. Since joining the SWJCFC in 1996, NEO has failed to qualify for the playoffs five times.
Following a 34-0 shutout at the hands of Kilgore College last weekend at Robertson Field, the Norsemen are 2-6 on the season. With a loss it would mark the first time since the 1930-31 seasons NEO has posted back-to-back losing seasons.
Fortunes aren't any better for coach Danny Palmer's Tyler Apaches after a 48-27 loss to Trinity Valley last weekend. The Apaches are 2-4 in the SWJCFC and 3-5 overall.
The Golden Norsemen have not been in the playoffs since 2006 - Green's second year as head coach.
NEO lost to Kilgore College 14-12 in the ‘06 semifinal game in Miami.
Tyler's playoff drought extends to 2004, when the Apaches suffered a 21-14 loss to arch rival Kilgore College in the title game.
“We've got to minimize our mistakes to be successful on offense and give ourselves a chance to win,” Green said. “After the bad game that Trey had, the normal reaction would be to replace him.
“This is his last game at NEO and our other two quarterbacks (Corey Conley and Daniel Walker) aren't ready to step into the starting role,” Green said. “It would be easy to say ‘let's just move someone in.' but Trey's been our starter for seven games and there's no reason to think that he can't lead us to another victory.”
Munden (6-1, 205 of Verdigris) ranks second in the SWJCFC and 21st in the nation by completing 101 of 193 passes for 1,231 yards and six touchdowns with 10 interceptions.
“We feel like we're putting our best people on the field.” Green said. “But let's face it, you can't throw three interceptions and lose a fumble and expect to beat anybody.