College Football America: National Junior College Update, Aug. 26

Navarro College

A Navarro College player prepares for the season opener on Aug. 24, 2013, in Corsicana, Texas. (RoadTripSports/College Football America photo by Kendall Webb)

It was opening weekend in the junior college world, at least for some of the schools of the NJCAA, and College Football America Publisher Kendall Webb and Assistant Publisher Chuck Cox were on-hand for two games down in Texas. This is Kendall Webb’s weekly wrap-up.

Last Week’s Featured Games

No. 4 Navarro 76, N/R Arkansas Baptist 26

The first game was a 1 p.m. kickoff at Tiger Stadium in Corsicana, Texas, as the Navarro College Bulldogs played host to the Arkansas Baptist Buffaloes at Corsicana High School’s stadium. The game was played in the blazing midday Texas summer heat with temperatures reaching at least 99 degrees. It was much hotter on the artificial turf down at field level, and we were standing next to a girl in the pre-game festivities when she suddenly collapsed due to heat exhaustion. Fortunately, she was okay, but it was in these conditions that the game was played. Arkansas Baptist didn’t want to spring for hotels so the Buffaloes actually left Little Rock at 5 a.m. arriving in Corsicana just an hour or so before kickoff.

Arkansas Baptist actually scored first when Tyrone Carter hauled in a 50-yard pass from Randall Dixon on the third play of the game, and then forced a Navarro turnover on the Bulldogs’ first play and threatened briefly to go up two scores. Navarro’s defense held, however, and then it was over.

Four touchdowns later, the Bulldogs were up 27-6, and it was just the end of the first quarter. By halftime it was 55-6, and Navarro would keep on rolling it up until they had tallied a school-record 76 points. The old record was originally 70 set in 1951 vs. Uvalde, and the Bulldogs matched that total in 2010 against this same Buffaloes squad.

Credit Arkansas Baptist for finding ways to score almost 30 of their own against a talented Navarro squad, but this game was ultimately an epic mismatch, and doesn’t really tell us much other than the fact that the Buffaloes aren’t likely to be much improved over last year’s 1-8 finish. Navarro, meanwhile, did nothing to make us think they aren’t worthy of that lofty No. 4 ranking we gave them, but ultimately we’ll learn more next week when they take a difficult road trip to Hutchinson, Kansas.

Photo Gallery: Arkansas Baptist at Navarro College

No. 1 Iowa Western 24, No. 17 Trinity Valley 17

Our second game of the day found us about 45 minutes away at Bruce Field in Athens, Texas, for the defending national champion Iowa Western Reivers’ visit to our preseason No. 17 Trinity Valley Cardinals. And, man, did this one ever live up to expectations.

The Battle in the Valley as this game was billed went down to the final minute after Trinity Valley had tied the game at 17 with just 6:58 remaining in the contest on a 22-yard Ryan Polite to Tata Green hookup. Looking every bit the part of defending national champions, the Reivers then marched right back down the field with Akise Teague putting his team on his shoulders and carrying them down the field. He did the honors with a 16-yard scoring run to put the Reivers back in front 24-17 with just 3:47 remaining.

And it still wasn’t over.

TVCC marched right back down the field eventually getting inside the Reivers’ 10-yard line with under a minute to play, but in the end a tough defensive stand allowed the defending champs to leave Texas with a hard-fought win.

It’s hard to say where this Reiver team stands yet, as this was an incredibly tough trip, and many of last year’s stars have moved on. Suffice it to say, however, they still showed the mettle of a champion, and they aren’t likely to face another stiff challenge until September 28 when they head south to face the Georgia Military Bulldogs.

Trinity Valley, meanwhile, showed the grit of a team ready to improve upon last year’s disappointing 3-6 finish.

Photo Gallery: Iowa Western at Trinity Valley

This Week in Juco Football

We get our first look at the Mississippi schools on Thursday night. There’s no real marquee matchups on the docket, but that just means the night will be ripe for an upset somewhere.

Game of the Week

The rest of the NJCAA teams in action will play Saturday, and the top matchup is a big one – those same No. 4 Navarro Bulldogs that we saw wipe the field with Arkansas Baptist will face a much stiffer test at No. 14 Hutchinson. It has the makings of a classic, and we won’t be surprised either way. Navarro might have a slight edge with game under its belt, but Hutchinson will feature our preseason All-America quarterback Luke Barnes at the controls.

Other Interesting Matchups

There aren’t any other matchups between ranked opponents, but No. 3 Butler’s trip to Blinn would have been legendary just a few short years ago. Blinn, however, was down so far last year at 2-6 that we don’t even currently have them ranked. No. 6 Snow also has an interesting home game against unranked Georgia Military, but we expect the Badgers to prevail at home.

The CFA Juco Top 30

There are no changes this week. The only ranked team to lose was our No. 17 Trinity Valley, but the Cardinals put up an epic fight against No. 1 Iowa Western indicating that they certainly aren’t any worse than we thought so far – and may actually be better.

1) Iowa Western (LW: 1) 1-0: Defeated No. 17 Trinity Valley 24-17

2) Mount San Antonio (LW: 2) 0-0: IDLE

3) Butler (LW: 3) 1-0: Defeated Dodge City 41-6

4) Navarro (LW: 4) 1-0: Defeated Arkansas Baptist 76-26

5) Mississippi Gulf Coast (LW: 5) 0-0: IDLE

6) Snow (LW: 6) 1-0: Defeated Glendale (AZ) 19-9

7) CCSF (LW: 7) 0-0: IDLE

8) Copiah-Lincoln (LW: 8) 0-0: IDLE

9) Butte (LW: 9) 0-0: IDLE

10) Bakersfield (LW: 10) 0-0: IDLE

11) East Mississippi (LW: 11) 0-0: IDLE

12) Riverside (LW: 12) 0-0: IDLE

13) Arizona Western (LW: 13) 1-0: Defeated Pima 40-7

14) Hutchinson (LW: 14) 1-0: Defeated Coffeyville 44-14

15) Saddleback (LW: 15) 0-0: IDLE

16) American River (LW: 16) 0-0: IDLE

17) Trinity Valley (LW: 17) 0-1: Lost to No. 1 Iowa Western 24-17

18) College of the Canyons (LW: 18) 0-0: IDLE

19) NE Oklahoma A&M (LW: 19) 0-0: IDLE

20) Nassau (LW: 20) 0-0: IDLE

21) Itawamba (LW: 21) 0-0: IDLE

22) Fresno City (LW: 22) 0-0: IDLE

23) College of San Mateo (LW: 23) 0-0: IDLE

24) ASA (LW: 24) 0-0: IDLE

25) De Anza (LW: 25) 0-0: IDLE

26) Fullerton (LW: 26) 0-0: IDLE

27) Ventura (LW: 27) 0-0: IDLE

28) Northwest Mississippi (LW: 28) 0-0: IDLE

29) College of the Siskiyous (LW: 29) 0-0: IDLE

30) Santa Ana (LW: 30): 0-0: IDLE

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