BRENHAM, Texas — No. 11 Blinn College football (5-1, 3-1) relied on a strong defense and running game in order to upset No. 8 Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, 56-28, Saturday at Cub Stadium.
"We faced a very good team today and I am happy that we showed up and did what we set out to do," said Ryan Mahon, Blinn head coach. "The team went out and executed our game plan across the board. The way that we caused turnovers and capitalized on them is a huge thing."
The win marks the first time Blinn football has defeated Northeastern Oklahoma A&M since 2015.
"I credit the offensive linemen for the numbers we were able to put up tonight on rushing," Grace said. "We have the best offensive linemen in junior college, so running behind those guys is easy. I was so excited to see our offensive lineman Joe Oliver recover a fumble and score."
On defense the Buccaneers came up with three turnovers that all led to touchdowns. Ben Gansallo, Amorama Noel and Deldric Shields each recovered a fumble and Darion Holmes and DeAngelo Alexander each caught one interception.
"This was my first touchdown of the year and it felt really good to take one to the house," Shields said. "Our defense becomes stronger each game and the chemistry continues to build."
Quarterback Daveon Boyd completed 11-of-25 passes for 238 yards and two touchdowns. Corey Henderson received one pass for a 56-yard touchdown, while Corey Smith received two passes for a 16-yard touchdown and a 54-yard touchdown. Brock Landis completed 3-of-5 passes for 82 yards and one touchdown.
Northeastern Oklahoma A&M rushed in a five-yard touchdown with 11:37 on the clock in the first quarter to take an early 7-0 lead. During the Norsemen's next possession, they moved the ball down the field 37 yards in three plays until Blinn's Gansallo recovered a fumble. Blinn's offense took over to move the ball down the field and a 56-yard touchdown pass from Boyd to Henderson allowed the Buccaneers to even the score 7-7 with 5:53 left in the first quarter.
Blinn took a 14-7 lead with 3:07 left in the opening quarter after Boyd delivered a 16-yard touchdown pass to Smith. The Buccaneers didn't surrender the lead for the remainder of the game. Blinn stretched its lead to 21-7 as Grace scampered into the end zone from the seven-yard-line with 13:53 remaining in the first half. With 1:41 remaining until halftime, Shields recovered a fumble and returned it to the end zone for Blinn to lead 28-7.
The Norsemen used a 22-yard pass to score their final touchdown of the first half with 11 seconds remaining.
The score remained 28-14 until 8:48 was left in the third quarter and Grace trotted in the ball from the 45-yard-line for Blinn to lead 35-14. Holmes kept the momentum rolling for Blinn by catching an interception. Offensive lineman Oliver picked up a fumbled ball in Blinn's end zone for the Buccaneers to score and lead 42-14 with 3:34 on the clock in the third quarter.
With 12:28 left, Blinn took a 49-14 lead following a 54-yard pass from Landis to Smith in the end zone.
Northeastern Oklahoma A&M scored with a 54-yard touchdown pass with 12:28 left to trail 49-21.
Blinn scored its final touchdown with 7:54 remaining as McAdoo rushed the ball into the end zone from 64 yards out. The Norsemen got onto the board for the final time with 48.8 seconds remaining for a 56-28 final.
With the win, the Buccaneers remain undefeated at home with a 4-0 record. Blinn will face Cisco College on Saturday, Oct. 13, at 3 p.m. for its final road game of the regular season.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 38 NJCAA national championships since 1987.