The Blinn Buccaneers' first season under head coach Keith Thomas came to a close with a 66-43 loss to Navarro Saturday at Cub Stadium.
The Buccaneers came into the game with an opportunity to secure a spot in the Southwest Junior College Football Conference playoffs, but a potent Navarro running game proved too much in a match-up of high-scoring offenses.
The Buccaneers finish the season 4-4 on the season and 2-4 in the SWJCFC, while Navarro nabs a playoff spot with the win, improving to 7-2 on the year and 4-2 in league play.
Quarterback Jake Hubenak threw five touchdowns, connecting with Damion Ratley for three touchdowns and Dede Westbrook for two more scores. DeVante Mays scored one rushing touchdown and Eric Piccione added a 38-yard field goal as the Buccaneers finished with more than 500 yards of offense.
De'von Hayward intercepted a pass for the Buccaneer defense.
Navarro took a 42-24 lead into halftime after the Buccaneers fumbled the ball in the Navarro end zone and the Bulldogs returned it all the way inside the Buccaneer 5-yard line to set up a touchdown with less than a minute remaining in the half.
"You hate to end on a loss like that, but the kids played hard," Thomas said. "Now it's time to go to the offseason and lift weights and get bigger."
The Buccaneers will also go into recruiting season, with national signing day taking place in February. Approximately 10 Buccaneers already have offers to play for four-year universities, Thomas said.
"This sophomore class bought into me and my system, was very disciplined and had great character," Thomas said. "I was really proud of the way the sophomores handled the coaching change. They've done everything I've asked."
About Blinn College
Founded in 1883, Blinn is a comprehensive community college committed to educational excellence and to individual and community enhancement. With an enrollment of 19,317 students, Blinn ranks among the nation's leaders in transferring students to leading four-year universities and has received national recognition for its affordable educational excellence.
As part of its commitment to student success, Blinn is implementing a Quality Enhancement Plan titled "Destination Success: First-Year Focus," which utilizes learning communities to support first-year college students.
For enrollment information and to learn about financial aid opportunities, visit: www.blinn.edu.