The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

September 29, 2012

Tyler upends NEO 65-59 in two OTs

The Joplin Globe

TYLER, Texas — Tyler running back Ryan Young netted only 17 yards on his first 18 carries.

But in the second overtime, Young broke loose for a 25-yard touchdown as the Apaches outgunned No. 9-ranked Northeastern Oklahoma A&M 65-59 Thursday night in a Southwest Junior College Football Conference shootout at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.

The combined 124 points are the most in NEO history. The Golden Norsemen’s first double-overtime game in school history saw NEO give up the most points since a 68-36 loss to Kilgore in 2009.

The Norsemen (4-1, 1-1 league) trailed 38-31 after three quarters but claimed a 52-45 lead on Clayton Mitchem’s 12-yard pass to Garrett Powell with 5:29 left.

Mitchem, who passed for 317 yards and six touchdowns, hit Kameron Doolittle with scoring strikes of 12 and 11 yards earlier in the period.

The Norsemen retained the lead until the final play of regulation when Tyler’s Tyrik Rollison found JaVante Mack in the end zone with a 52-yard pass.

Rollison, who completed 30 of 55 passes for 503 yards and five TDs, hit Tracy Smith with a 25-yard TD strike to start overtime.

But the Norsemen tied it when Mitchem found Doolittle with a 15-yard touchdown strike. Doolittle also caught a 27-yard TD in the first period.

The Apaches’ defense stopped NEO on fourth down-and-1 in the second overtime. Rollison then threw two incomplete passes to begin Tyler’s series before Young scored on a 25-yard burst.

NEO’s Michael Thompson scored twice on 95-yard kickoff returns — the first to end the first quarter and the second just over three minutes into the second period.

The Norsemen have another road game next Saturday at Trinity Valley.