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Buccaneers face NEO with postseason berth at stake

Blinn could qualify for conference playoffs under several scenarios
Credit: Blinn Athletics, KAGS-TV

BRENHAM, Texas —

Blinn College’s football game at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College isn’t just another road game for the Buccaneers. 

“It’s a business trip,” sophomore quarterback Logan McDougald said. “We’re going up there to get done what we need to get done to keep playing after this game.” 

As far as scenarios go, a win would be the simplest outcome for Blinn heading into its Southwestern Junior College Football Conference clash with the Norsemen at 1 p.m. Saturday at Miami, Oklahoma.  

Victory for the Buccaneers (5-3, 3-3 SWJCFC) would increase their shot at a spot in the conference playoffs, needing only Kilgore to lose to Tyler at home. In that situation, Blinn could either finish third or fourth in the conference pending the result of the Trinity Valley-New Mexico Military Institute matchup in Roswell, New Mexico. Blinn owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over Trinity Valley, while Kilgore holds that edge over the Buccaneers and would jump them in the SWJCFC standings should Blinn, Trinity Valley and Kilgore each emerge victorious this weekend.  

In the event of a loss to Northeastern Oklahoma on Saturday, the Buccaneers could still sneak into the playoffs if Trinity Valley and Kilgore also lose, and in that scenario, Kilgore and Blinn would advance while the Cardinals’ season would end.  

Mahon spent Wednesday morning behind a computer inside the Blinn football building with his coaching staff close by as they mapped out their team’s possible routes to the postseason. But the sixth-year head coach said that keeping in mind the many other ways in which the Bucs could -- or could not -- qualify for the postseason, the plan was always to control the controllable first, then hope for a little help. 

“We have to take care of our own business before we can start worrying about anything else,” Mahon stated. “If we don’t then things get even trickier, and we don’t want to be in that situation. 

“So, it starts with us. And getting into the playoffs would be huge. It’s how we start our season off -- we talk about making the playoffs. We don’t talk about national championships; we talk about playoffs. It’s a major goal of ours, I think the kids know that and it’s what we’re playing for … accomplishing that goal would be a great thing.” 

NEO welcomes Blinn to town after compiling a 3-5 overall record and a 1-5 mark in the SWJCFC, but has shown life in four of its losses, all of which were decided by 17 or fewer points. The Norsemen fell to conference-leading New Mexico Military Institute, 17-7, at home last week. 

“That place is always hard to travel to, it’s always hard to play there,” Mahon said of the nine-hour trip to the NEW campus. “They’ve got a great advantage, but the good thing is that our kids who are older and a little more mature, they can explain to our young guys what this road trip is all about and what this game means for us. They know what it entails and what it takes to win there, so now we just have to put together a good week of practice.” 

Blinn bounced back from a road loss to Tyler on Oct. 23 with a 65-6 non-conference rout of Rezolution Prep Academy at home on Oct. 30. In that game, McDougal tossed five first-half touchdowns, while the Buccaneers were able to stuff the stat sheet on both sides of the football. 

“It was a reset and now we have a clear mind and clear focus going into the game this week,” McDougald said. “We have to rebuild what we started here and keep this train rolling.” 

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