The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

October 6, 2012

NEO A&M clinches winning season

ATHENS, Texas — Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, ranked 13th by the NJCAA, hiked its record to 5-1 by beating Trinity Valley 24-10 on Saturday at Bruce Field.

The Golden Norsemen, 2-1 in the Southwest Junior College Football Conference, dropped the Cardinals to 2-5 overall and 0-4 in the SWJCFC.

NEO, which clinched a winning season for coach Dale Patterson, entertains league foe Kilgore — ranked seventh nationally — next Saturday with kickoff in the homecoming contest scheduled for 2 p.m. in Miami at Robertson Field.

NEO, rebounding from its 65-59 loss in two overtimes at Tyler, led the Cardinals 10-3 at the half.

The Cardinals opened the scoring on Saul Martinez’ 25-yard field goal early in the game. It capped a nine-play, 75-yard drive that included the longest rushing play of the contest — a 46-yard carry by Andrew Robinson.

But the Norsemen bounced back to take the lead for good in the opening period on a 34-yard field goal by Kevin King, a 6-yard scoring run by quarterback Clayton Mitchem and King’s conversion kick.

The drive that resulted in King’s field goal consisted of 63 yards in nine plays. Mitchem’s TD capped a six-play, 23-yard drive that was set up by Jon Bullock’s fumble recovery.

Mitchem and Michael Thompson hooked up for a 6-yard scoring pass in the third quarter at 8:37. The eight-play, 79-yard sortie included Mitchem’s 46-yard completion to Thompson and a 24-yarder to Trey Stearns.

The Norse’s Gerald Howse, who finished with 132 yards on 23 carries, scored on a 14-yard run early in the fourth quarter to finish a two-play, 26-yard march that was set up by Morris Willis’ fumble recovery of a hook and lateral.

Hunter McCoy and Gary Owens hooked up for a 23-yard scoring pass for Trinity Valley with 11 seconds left in the game.

Mitchem completed 13 of 19 passes for 149 yards for NEO with Kameron Doolittle and Troy Davis combining for seven receptions and 54 yards. McCoy was 24-for-42 for 200 yards for the Cardinals.

Robinson paced Trinity Valley on the ground with 80 yards on 12 carries. Owens and Robinson combined for eight receptions and 68 yards.

NEO, which led 17-14 in first downs, finished with 314 total yards to 313 for Trinity Valley.

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