CORSICANA, Texas – Blinn College football was unable to keep up with No. 13 Navarro College and lost its first conference game 54-38 Saturday night in Corsicana.
The Buccaneers started out fast and even held a 16-14 lead after the first quarter but Navarro started to grab the momentum in the waning moments of the first half and then knocked the wind out of Blinn by outscoring the Buccaneers 20-0 in the third. With the loss, Blinn's overall record drops to 2-1 and 1-1 in the Southwest Junior College Football Conference.
There were plenty of bright spots for Blinn in the game and most of those bright spots came with the connection of Aaron Sharp to Earnest Patterson. Patterson was able to catch six balls for 263 yards and three touchdowns. Sharp went 12-of-32 for 302 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
Sharp found Patterson on the third play of the game for a 78-yard touchdown reception to give Blinn a 7-0 lead in just over a minute into the game. Mike Malone added a 39-yard field goal on the following Buccaneers possession to give Blinn a 10-0 lead with 9:08 left in the first quarter.
After Navarro scored a touchdown, Blinn was able lean on a trusty connection as Sharp found Patterson again, this time for 68-yard touchdown to give Blinn a 16-7 lead with 3:32 left in the first. Navarro later added a touchdown to add to the shootout that saw both teams combine for 30 points and Blinn holding onto a 16-14 lead after one.
Navarro took a brief 21-16 lead early in the second quarter but Kendall Sheffield took the ensuing kickoff for Blinn 89 yards for a touchdown to give the Buccaneers a 23-21 lead with 11:51 left in the half.
After Navarro reclaimed the lead it was Blinn taking it right back with another Sharp to Patterson connection. Patterson caught the Sharp pass and scampered 73 yards to give Blinn a 30-28 lead with 9:07 left. Unfortunately, that would be the final points for Blinn until the fourth quarter.
Navarro scored six points in the remaining minutes of the first half and then 20 more to score 26 unanswered points to take a 54-30 lead after three quarters.
Caleb Hill was able to come in late in the fourth to orchestrate a drive and score on a seven-yard scramble to get Blinn within 54-38 but that would be as close as Blinn would get as Navarro held on for the conference victory.
The road doesn't get any easier for Blinn as the Buccaneers will travel to face No. 1 Trinity Valley Community College on Saturday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 34 NJCAA national championships since 1987. For more information, visit www.buccaneersports.com.
About Blinn College
With an enrollment of 19,370 students, Blinn ranks among the nation's leaders in transferring students to leading four-year universities and has received national recognition for affordable educational excellence. For more information, visit www.blinn.edu.