The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

October 29, 2012

NEO A&M draws Tyler in conference football tournament

By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer

— Semifinal pairings in the Southwest Junior College Football Conference postseason playoffs were announced on Monday.

Northeastern Oklahoma A&M (8-1, 5-1), the No. 1 seed, will entertain fourth-seeded Tyler (5-4, 3-3) at 2 p.m. on Saturday in Miami at Robertson Field.

 Third-seeded Navarro (7-2, 4-2) visits No. 2 Kilgore (8-1, 5-1) at 3 p.m. in the other semifinal.

The championship game will be held on Nov. 10 on the home field of the highest remaining seed.

NEO, which lost 65-59 in two overtimes on Sept. 29 at Tyler, received the No. 1 seed because of its 42-24 victory against Kilgore on Oct. 13.

NEO and Kilgore finished 5-1 in the league last Saturday with respective wins of 26-24 and 45-24 against Navarro and Tyler.

“I can’t express how proud I am of this group of players and our coaching staff,” NEO coach Dale Patterson told Monty Franks of the Miami News-Record. “When I came back last year all I heard from some people was that we needed to get out of the Texas conference because we couldn’t win with Oklahoma players.

“Not only did we win in two years, but we did it with only four out-of-state players on our roster,” Patterson said. “Our work isn’t done. We still have more goals in sight that we want to achieve.”

NEO NOTES: Veteran quarterback Clayton Mitchem has become NEO’s all-time leader for season touchdown passes with 22. The previous record was 15 by Mike Hale in 2002 and Brent Scott in 1992. ... Golden Norsemen leaders on defense against Navarro included sophomore middle linebacker Jon Bullock (seven solos, five assists, one quarterback sack, one tackle behind the line of scrimmage) and veteran end Alex Villarreal (four solos, seven assists). Freshman strong safety Devron Moore had his team-leading sixth interception and returned it 39 yards. Freshman free safety Keishawn Richardson recovered his team-leading third fumble. ... Ticket prices on Saturday will be $5 and $3.