- — Navarro College opened the Brian Mayper era with a resounding 40-0 victory over Arkansas Baptist at Quigley-Cox Stadium on Saturday.
The 12th-ranked Bulldogs were never threatened by the Buffaloes, rolling to a 19-0 lead at the half despite playing without starting quarterback Stump Godfrey, who was reportedly held out due to academic procedural issues.
Navarro quarterbacks never missed a beat thanks to a devastating ground game that kept Arkansas Baptist backpedaling much of the day.
Freshman quarterback Riley Toler gave Navarro a 7-0 lead just 1:31 into the game when he fired a 16-yard strike to Tony Drake.
Kicker Patrick Sohrt made it a 10-0 lead with 6:57 left in the half on a 27-yard field goal.
After a safety, Navarro upped the lead to 19-0 on running back Tyler Middleton’s 13-yard pass reception from quarterback James Jordan.
Navarro made it 26-0 with 4:45 left in the third period when fourth-string running back Tarlandus Mitchell blasted over from 10 yards.
The defense forced the first of two turnovers on the ensuing series when defensive tackle Arnold Blackmon stepped in front of a swing pass in the backfield and raced 37 yards untouched for a 33-0 lead.
Navarro’s final score came at the 12:22 mark of the final quarter when starting running back Traylon Shead eased around left end for 10 yards and a score. Shead had two other touchdowns erased because of penalties and Navarro had a total of three called back.
Navarro’s first and second defenses were stifling, allowing Arkansas Baptist only one sustained drive the entire game. The Buffaloes reached Navarro territory once in each half.
Toler, Jordan and Alex Allen rotated throughout the game at quarterback, each leading the Bulldogs to touchdowns.
Middleton unofficially had 92 yards rushing and caught three passes, and Shead added 63
Corsicana was well represented in the victory. Backup running back Cameron Washington relieved Shead and Middleton in the second half, rushing three times for 23 yards. Freshman Dominic Kelly, who was moved to fullback late in preseason practices because of so much depth at linebacker, got his chance to play defense in the fourth period. Kelly shot through the line and nailed an ABC running back for a four-yard loss on an unassisted tackle and knifed inside two plays later to stop a third-and-short opportunity.