MIAMI — Zach Allen was not a happy man.
Sure, his fourth-ranked Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Golden Norsemen rallied for a 14-10 victory over Georgia Military College here Saturday, Sept. 8.
But it was the post-game that had his blood boiling.
As the game was winding down, players from both teams got into a scuffle that evolved into a full-scale brawl in the south end of Red Robertson Field.
Once players were corralled, Allen spent considerable time addressing the matter to the team.
“Obviously it was not a good situation,” Allen said. “We are lucky that at least we are on the winning side of this deal. This is not how we want to portray ourselves. This community doesn’t deserve it. The school doesn’t deserve it. I’d like to just officially apologize to the couple-thousand people at the game tonight that support us. They don’t deserve to hear and see the things they saw at the end of the game.
“We will get those things corrected and do everything we can do to prevent it from ever happening again.
Allen said he had no idea as to what ignited the ruckus.
“It was a chippy game and I was actually proud of us in the second half,” he said. “We let them have the penalties. This team has a lot of fire and we have to learn to play it the right way. You might as well point to the scoreboard and jog off to your locker room Hopefully we’ll do that the next time.”
Like Allen, Georgia Military head coach Bert Williams had no idea of what caused the brawl.
“I don’t even know how it got started, other than we were shaking hands,” Williams said. “I saw a group of blue (NEO players) — our guys generally will shake and we go to the end zone.
“I don’t know. I don’t know if we were talking to them or they were talking to us. I just saw a group heading that way (pointing to the end zone area).”
Both coaches plan on viewing video of the altercation before doling out any penalties, if there are any.
“We will handle this one as we see fit,” Allen said.
Georgia Military had a chance to go into the half with a 13-0 advantage but a long field goal try as time ran out sailed wide right.
The score remained 10-0 until late in the third quarter, when the Norsemen got both of their touchdowns in the span of 1:34, compliments of back-to-back turnovers by GMC.
A fumbled punt set up a 48-yard touchdown strike from Clayton Sims to Adrian Wilson at 3:33 of the third.
The Bulldogs ran two plays before NEO cornerback Javion Sanders intercepted a pass and rambled 36 yards before being pulled down.
Following an incomplete pass, running back Darran Williams pushed his way into the end zone.
The PAT kick by Grove sophomore Tommy Henderson staked the Golden Norse to a four-point cushion.
Georgia Military had chances down the stretch, turning the ball over on downs at the Norse 36 and 47.
“They are 0-3 and easily could be 3-0,” Allen said. “We tried to get them at least to 1-2. We were fortunate enough to win. There are so many guys that deserve to be so proud. The offensive line battled a great defensive front on a defense that does a great job.
“They kept it multiple and used a bunch of fronts. They showed us a few things that we hadn’t even seen on film. We had to adjust.”
NEO finished with 267 yards in total offense.
Sims completed 7 of 21 passes for 141 yards. He had one touchdown and two interceptions.
Marcheenan Hair was on the receiving end of three of Sims completions for 62 yards.
Tariq Bitson had two receptions for 20 yards and Wilson and Juwan Johnson each had a catch.
Williams ran the ball 17 times, netting 74 yards while Garmon had eight carries for 72 yards.
Gervarrius Owens was NEO defensive leader with 10 solos and five assists.
Taquelin Harris was in on 12 tackles while Devodric Bynum and Patrick Rosette had 10 each.
The Bulldogs have lost all three of their games by a combined total of nine points
“We left a lot on the field, which has kinda been our story so far this year,” Williams said. “We seem to be finding ways to shoot ourselves in the foot.”