The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

November 28, 2012

NEO preps for Citizens Bank Bowl

— Northeastern Oklahoma A&M football coach Dale Patterson said Wednesday that College of DuPage — NEO’s opponent on Sunday in the fourth annual Citizens Bank Bowl at Pittsburg State University — has several NCAA Division I prospects.

The ninth-ranked Golden Norsemen (9-2) and the No. 15 Chaparrals (8-2), from Glen Ellyn (Ill.), are scheduled to clash at 1 p.m. on Brandenburg Field at Carnie Smith Stadium.

The College of DuPage prospects, according to Patterson, include freshman running back Tyreis Thomas (5-foot-11, 200-pounder) and sophomore wide receiver Johnny Holton (6-3, 190).

Plus, Patterson said, the Chaparrals, whose head coach is Gary Thomas, depend on two impressive veterans at quarterback.

“No. 17 — that’s Byron Dawkins — is more of a thrower,” Patterson said. “No. 9 — Patrick Ivy — is more of a runner. Both quarterbacks are capable and have made big plays. Thomas is averaging nearly 7 yards a carry. Their receivers really can run.”

Thomas has rushed 106 times for 720 yards and nine touchdowns. Holton has 23 receptions for 549 yards and seven scores.

Dawkins (6-2, 185) has completed 88 of 153 passes for 1,251 yards and 13 TDs. He’s been intercepted 10 times. Ivy (6-4, 220), who’s 45 of 94 passing for six TDs, has rushed for 208 yards.

“It’s a good team,” Patterson said. “They will be ready. We’ll have to play well.”

Ailing Norsemen

Patterson expects 6-2, 220 veteran running back Gerald Howse (ankle) will be ready Sunday.

Patterson isn’t that confident about 6-3, 305 freshman offensive lineman Derrick Crawford (knee).

“Gerald is close to full speed,” Patterson said, “We probably won’t know about Derrick until Friday.”

Howse, from Murfreesboro, Tenn., has rushed for 756 yards and 10 TDs on 166 carries. Crawford is from Tulsa East Central.

Common opponent

Ellsworth, Cedar Falls, Iowa, is the only common foe for NEO and College of DuPage.

NEO defeated visiting Ellsworth 48-19 on Sept. 8 in Miami. Tailback Howse rushed for 120 yards and two TDs on 24 carries,

The Chaparrals traveled to Iowa Falls three weeks later for a Midwest Football Conference and lost 49-42.

Thomas sparked the Chaps with 126 yards and one touchdown on 18 carries. Dawkins threw for 156 yards and two TDs.

DuPage journeyed to Little Rock on Oct. 20 and beat former NEO opponent Arkansas Baptist 24-14.

Ticket prices

Tickets/information is available by calling the NEO business office at (918) 640-6327.

Prices are $15 for chair-back reserved seats, $10 for general admission seating and $5 for students (K-12).

A tailgate party will be held from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Sunday in Gorilla Alley on the east side of the stadium. Those tickets are $5 per person.

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