MIAMI — Things didn’t start well offensively for Northeastern A&M: quarterback Jack Diamond threw an interception on the very first offensive play.
That was about the only thing that didn’t go right for NEO the rest of the night as they routed Arkansas Baptist 69-13 at Red Robertson Field.
Eight different players had touchdowns for the preseason No. 13 Norsemen.
Beating ABC for the sixth straight time, Northeastern A&M cranked out 682 yards in total offense — the second most ever.
That was just 8 yards shy of the school record — set in a 74-6 drubbing of the Buffaloes in 2016.
Of the total, 415 came on the ground (fourth most ever) and NEO added another 267 on the arms of Diamond and Tanner Griffin.
Diamond, a redshirt from Shawnee, went to DJ Wagoner for 27 yards, Dallas Daniels for 36 and Johnny King for 17, helping the Norsemen open up a 27-0 lead.
“He looked a little nervous,” NEO head coach Zach Allen said. “He’s a real good quarterback. He was dealing with some cramping issues later, but we all were.”
Tanner Griffin, another redshirt from Bixby, added a fourth TD strike, teaming with Bryce Alonzo on a 38-yard play to finish off the scoring with 9:42 still remaining.
Despite the fact that the first quarter was played entirely on the NEO side of the field, the score was 41-0 at the half and 55-13 heading into the fourth quarter.
On the ground, Carl Garmon had TD runs of 1 and 23 yards and Danuel Oscar went 14 and 2 yards.
NEO’s fifth rushing touchdown of the night came on a 1-yard run by Lewis Shepherd in the fourth quarter.
The 69 points was the most in an opener for the Golden Norse in its modern era.
In 1922, the School of Mines crushed Oswego Military 113-0.
It’s also the most points scored in a game by NEO since a 74-6 romp over Arkansas Baptist in 2016.
The Norse now have outscored the Buffaloes 255-43 in the last four meetings.
“We played consistent all the way through,” Norse head coach Zach Allen said. “I wouldn't say clean by any means. Consistency all the way through is going to be fun to watch.”
About the only other things that went wrong for the Norse was they lost a fumble, had an extra point blocked and drew 18 penalties for 189 yards.
Each team returned a blocked PAT for a touchdown, but each was negated by a penalty — the Norse for an illegal block and ABC because of an offsides call.
Making it even more bizarre was the fact that they came on consecutive scoring drives.
“Those are some more fixable things than maybe cultural things that we struggled with last year,” Allen said. “The false starts, the holdings — those are just about understanding the speed of the game and the tempo in which we want to play. Yeah, we had a couple personal fouls, but they weren’t the stupid kind; more the aggressive kind.
“That just goes back to finishing games strong and understanding everything that is asked of them.”
Diamond completed 10 of 19 passes for 149 yards and Griffin was 9 of 13 for 118 yards.
Sophomore Carl Garmon was NEO’s leading rusher with 103 yards, followed by Shepherd with 73, Friday, 70, and Oscar, 53.
The Norsemen travel to Milledgeville, Georgia next Saturday to face Georgia Military.