MIAMI, Okla. — — Patrick Sohrt’s 46-yard field goal attempt was just short with 23 seconds remaining as Navarro fell 26-24 to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in the regular season finale for both teams at Robertston Field on Saturday.
The loss for the 7th-ranked Bulldogs (7-2 overall, 4-2 in conference) will send Navarro on the road next Saturday to play at Kilgore (8-1, 5-1) in the first round of the SWJCFC playoffs. Kilgore was the site of Navarro’s other regular-season loss.
Kilgore defeated Tyler (5-4, 4-3) on Saturday to complete playoff schedule. Tyler, which gave NEO (8-1, 5-1) its only loss of the season, will host the Apaches in the other first-round game. NEO holds home-field advantage throughout the playoffs thanks to a 42-24 victory over Kilgore earlier this season.
Navarro trailed the entire game before going ahead on running back Traylon Shead’s third touchdown run at the 3:35 mark of the fourth period. Navarro traveled 75 yards on seven plays, including a 35-yard pass from Stump Godfrey to Jordan Jolly. Shead, who also had a 17-yard run on the series and had more than 100 total yards to eclipse the 1,000-yard barrier, closed the drive with a 4-yard burst up the middle.
NEO quickly went to work on the next possession as Clayton Mitchem fired a 35-yard completion to Michael Thompson and a roughing the passer penalty pushed the ball to the Navarro 13. After an Andre Ross sack of Mitchem, Navarro forced a fourth down. Kenneth King came on for a 34-yard game-winning field goal with 1:54 remaining in the game.
Turnovers and penalties plagued Navarro throughout the game, though it trailed only 6-3 at the half. The tempo picked up in the third quarter as NEO scored on touchdown passes of 10 and 15 yards from Mitchem to Kameron Doolittle.
Navarro kept it within 10 and finally tallied touchdowns on Shead runs of 17 and 5 yards in the third quarter.
Navarro forced three turnovers in the first half and had four trips into the red zone, but came away only with a 32-yard Sohrt field goal in the first period.