MIAMI — Northeastern Oklahoma A&M looks to continue its domination of Arkansas Baptist College when the teams meet Thursday, Aug. 30.
While the Red Robertson Field clash is the season opener for the Norsemen, it’s the third outing of the season for ABC.
The Buffaloes’ schedule lists games with Georgia Prep Sports Academy and CMP Prep Academy, but no scores are available.
“They are going to have a bunch of guys who feel like they know how to win,” said Zach Allen, who will make his debut as head coach of the Golden Norse. “They are going to come in with a couple weeks of practice on us and a couple games.”
NEO, ranked eighth in the National Junior College Athletic Association preseason football poll, has won 10 of the previous 12 meetings with Arkansas Baptist, including a 65-24 romp last season in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Quarterback Wyatt Steigerwald tied an NEO school record with six touchdown passes in the game.
He completed 26 of 33 passes for 325 yards, Steigerwald’s third straight 300-plus-yard game.
NEO led 38-18 at the half.
Reserve running back Cortez Watson had two touchdown runs and Darran Williams added one.
The Norse are the last member of the conference to start their season.
Navarro squeezed out a 31-29 win against Georgia Military on Thursday, Aug. 23.
New Mexico Military Institute played Friday, Aug. 24, and Kilgore, Cisco, Blinn and Trinity Valley got things rolling on Saturday, Aug. 25.
“I think they are chomping at the bit,” Allen said of his players. “They are probably tired of me. I think a lot of things will come together once they see another opponent across the line from them.
“It will be fun to see it all come together. It’s been a long spring and a long summer.”
NEO held 20 workouts in the spring, capped by the Blue-White Scrimmage, spent July working on fundamentals and academics and held 12 practices before heading into game-week preparation.
“I think the offense is ready to root for our defense instead of going against them every day and I think the defense is ready to see our offense go against somebody else,” Allen said.
Clayton Sims, a 6-1, 190-pound redshirt sophomore from Edmond Deer Creek will get the nod at quarterback.
“Clayton has earned the shot to be No. 1,” Allen said. “We’re really looking at the back-up quarterback spot. The guys have really stepped up.
“We will start Clayton as the 1 and hopefully we can solidify that second and third spot before Thursday. It’s something we need to have in place.”
Josh Shim (6-0, 200, redshirt sophomore, North Gwinnett, Ga.), Guy Myers (6-6, 205, redshirt sophomore, Woodbridge, Va.) and Jack Diamond (6-1, 190, sophomore, Shawnee) are in the picture for those spots.
The Norsemen host Georgia Military College on Saturday, Sept. 8 in a 6 p.m. game at Red Robertson Field.