No. 9 NEO defeats No. 20 Blinn, 35-21, in the conference semis

MIAMI, Okla. — No. 20 Blinn College football fell to the No. 9 Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Norsemen, 35-21, in the Southwest Junior College Football Conference semi-final on Saturday afternoon at Red Robertson Field.

"I am obviously disappointed for the kids because they really played hard, but you can't turn the ball over and have special teams blunders," said Ryan Mahon, Blinn head coach. "I am really proud of the kids for overcoming a lot of things this season such as losing their starting quarterback. They have never given up and played hard until the very end."

The Buccaneers rushed in all three touchdowns that they scored with Carlos Grace leading Blinn's offense with two touchdowns and Brock Landis following with one. 

Blinn and Northeastern Oklahoma A&M played evenly in the first half for the score to be 14-14 heading into the third quarter. However, the Norsemen outscored the Buccaneers 21-7 in the second half for the victory.

The Buccaneers opened the game with a 7-0 lead after Grace rushed the ball in from the 2-yard-line with 5:30 left in the first quarter. Blinn held the lead throughout the entire opening quarter. 

Northeastern Oklahoma A&M landed on the board after scoring with a blocked field goal touchdown to even the score 7-7 with 8:06 remaining in the first half. The Norsemen pulled ahead 14-7 with 4:25 on the clock after scoring on a one-yard rushing touchdown. 

Blinn evened the score 14-14 with 2:14 left in the first half as Grace rushed the ball in from the red zone. 

The game remained tied until the Norsemen returned an interception for a touchdown with 7:30 left in the third quarter to extend their lead to 21-14. A 30-yard touchdown pass allowed Northeastern Oklahoma A&M to take a 28-14 lead with 6:35 on the clock in the third quarter. The Norsemen found the end zone for a third time in the third quarter with a three-yard rushing touchdown to lead 35-14 with 3:18 remaining.

Landis rushed the final touchdown in from the red zone with 14:20 left in the final quarter.

The Buccaneers finished the season with a 6-4 record and ranked No. 20 in the nation. 

"I am very proud of the entire team and how they represented Blinn College throughout the entire season," Mahon said. 

 Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 38 NJCAA national championships since 1987.