MIAMI — Concluding the home portion of the regular season in front of a homecoming crowd of 2,347, the Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College Golden Norsemen defeated the Cisco (Texas) College Wranglers, 42-9, at Red Robertson Field.
With the victory the Golden Norse are 4-2 in both the Southwest Junior College Football Conference and on the year. The Wranglers slip to 1-4 in the conference and 2-4 overall.
NEO takes a break from SWJCFC action the next two weeks. The Golden Norse make the 52-mile trek to Coffeyville (Kansas) Community College at 7 p.m. next Saturday at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Members of the Kansas Jayhawk Junior College Conference the Red Ravens were 1-4 on the season and 1-2 in the conference. Coffeyville trailed Garden City, Kansas, 35-32, with 10 minutes left in the third quarter.
The Golden Norsemen travel to Little Rock on Oct. 21 for a 1 p.m. non-conference game with the Arkansas College Buffaloes. ABC stands 0-5 on the season following a 56-33 loss Saturday to Blinn College at the Verison Wireless Field at historic Central High School’s Quigley Cox Stadium.
After neither team found the end zone in the first quarter, the Wranglers drove 69 yards in six plays before Ignacio Correa connected on a 38-yard field goal at the 13:38 juncture.
Following a 53-yard punt return by Cisco’s Duntayviun Gross, the Wrangler offense stalled and Correa trotted onto the field for a 25-yard field goal attempt. The kick sailed wide left with 10:06 until halftime.
Pinned deep in their own territory on the next series, NEO marched 85 yards in five plays to grab the lead for good.
Playing his last regular season game at home, redshirt sophomore wide out Marguan Greene hauled in a 30-yard TD pass from redshirt sophomore quarterback Wyatt Steigerwald with 6:12 showing on the clock. Riley Hawthorn kicked the first of six extra points to produce a 7-3 Norse lead.
Redshirt sophomore tight end Jace Sternberger ran a post pattern and Steigerwald hit him in stride for a 22-yard TD pass play. Hawthorn’s PAT with 2:13 until intermission created a 14-3 Norse cushion.
Following another solid performance by NEO’s defense, the Norsemen took control at the Cisco 42-yard line.
Steigerwald found redshirt freshman Kobe Bryan open on the edge for a 15-yard touchdown pass. The point-after by Hawthorn with 0:45 second left allowed NEO to carry a 21-3 margin to the locker room at halftime.
A terrible snap at the 11:26 mark of the third quarter sailed way over Hawthorne’s head on a 4th-and-18 play was recovered by the NEO kicker at the Cisco 4-yard line.
Cisco’s Andre Johnson took the direct snap and scored from 4-yards out on the Wrangler’s first play. The extra point kick went wide left as Cisco trailed by a 21-9 deficit.
NEO marched 66 yards in nine plays before freshman wide out Joe Combs caught a 5-yard TD pass from Steigerwald with 6:41 showing on the clock. Hawthorn’s PAT gave the Norsemen a 28-9 advantage.
Faced with covering 93 yards on their next possession Steigerwald threw five straight passes before finding Marquan Greene streaking down the left side for a 46-yard TD pass. The extra point by Hawthorn at the 2:05 juncture gave NEO a 25-9 margin entering the fourth quarter.
With time winding down in the game, redshirt freshman Darwin Thompson split the Wrangler’s defense for a spectacular 63-yard touchdown run. With 5:05 left in the game, Hawthorn nailed the point-after.
Thompson paced the Golden Norseman ground game with 122 yards on 11 carries while Steigerwald added 40 yards on six attempts.
NEO amassed 287 yards on 34 carries with their ground game.
Steigerwald completed 19 of 27 passes for 252 yards and five touchdowns without and interception. He came within one TD of tying the late Bubba Dudley for NEO’s single game touchdown record of six set in 1967 against Marion (Alabama) Military Institute.
Eleven members of the 1967 National Championship team were on hand to celebrate their 50th anniversary.
Nic Burns completed 3 of 5 passes for 32 yards without a turnover.
The Golden Norse defense limited Cisco to 105 yards on 25 carries and 133 total yards passing.