MIAMI — Being able to sleep in their own beds Friday night might be the medicine that gets Northeastern Oklahoma A&M back on track.
The Golden Norse host No. 10 Kilgore (Texas) Junior College, which had shared second in the national rankings with Butler (Kansas) Community College, but dropped a 38-23 decision to Cisco (Texas) College at home Saturday night.
NEO has been road warriors, traveling to Milledgeville, Georgia, and Athens, Texas for back-to-back games.
“It’s something they are looking forward to,” Allen said of being able to play at home. “It’s been a couple long road trips, but it (the field) is still 110 by 53 1/3. We’ve just got to take care of business.”
Nothing has drastically changed offensively for the Norse despite the struggles.
“We’ve tailored some different things to each individual quarterback (Jack Diamond and Tanner Griffin) now that we have had three games to determine the strengths and weaknesses of each of them,” Norse head coach Zach allen said.
Diamond has completed 34 of 78 (43.6 percent) of his passes for 459 yards and five touchdowns. He’s also carried the ball 16 times for 110 yards.
Griffin has completed 51.5 percent of his passes, 17 of 33 for 201 yards but no scores.
The Norsemen are averaging 426.3 yards per game in total offense, but have mustered just eight points since ringing up 69 in the season opener with Arkansas Baptist.
A third quarter safety snapped NEO’s scoreless streak, then Adrian Wilson had a 74-yard catch-and-run from Diamond in the fourth.
Trinity Valley grabbed a 10-0 lead in the first quarter then carried a 24-0 lead into the half.
After generating 690 yards in a 69-0 blowout against Arkansas Baptist, the Norse have only 589 yards total in the losses to Georgia Military (228, 26-0) and Trinity Valley (361, 27-8).
“We had a physical day yesterday (Tuesday in practice) and planned a physical day today (Wednesday),” Allen said. “That’s got to be a part of how we win ballgames, especially here at home. We need to be tougher than the other team and be more physical than the other team. That’s what we plan to do.”
Kilgore had 514 yards in total offense in the loss to Cisco, including 331 passing as quarterback Jacob Frazier completed all but two of his 22 attempts for 331 yards. Both of his misfires were intercepted.
Through four games, Frazier has completed 76.3 percent of his passes for 1,200 yards and 11 TDs.
He ranks second nationally in touchdowns and third national in yards per game (300.0).
Frazier also has a team-high 202 yards rushing and three scores.
Omar Manning is the team leader with 23 catches for 510 yards and four TDs. Gabe Douglas has accounted for 293 yards and three scores on 17 receptions.
“Their quarterback is throwing for a high percentage and they’ve got two quality receivers,” Allen said. “We’ve got a challenge to make sure we have a plan to stop that and I think we are on the right track. Their guys will be as good as anybody we see all year.
“It will be quite a challenge for our young secondary, but they are up to it.”
Despite losing by 15 points, Kilgore held a 514-448 edge in total yards.
After Saturday’s home game, its back on the road again for the Norsemen, who travel to Corsicana, Texas, to tackle Blinn.