The Bulldogs take down nationally ranked Navarro College in a back and forth battle that saw five lead changes in the fourth quarter. A well-executed two minute drill by freshman QB Damekus Taylor led to the final touchdown and 33-30 win for the Bulldogs. In his first Collegiate game Damekus Taylor was up to the challenge. He saw the field well and commanded the offense with confidence. Coach Williams was impressed by his play "Damekus managed the game well and made some big plays." Taylor was supported by an outstanding play from his running backs Darrian Murray and Ty Edwards.
Coach Williams commented "I thought our defense did very well against the run and made some very timely plays against probably the best QB in JUCO football." Williams is referring to 2018 All American, Parker McNeil, who is on the verge of being the #1 passer in Navarro's long and storied tradition. But on this day the Bulldogs put him in a box, holding him to less than his usual numbers.
The game started as one might expect when two nationally ranked teams take the field. They had to fight for every yard and no one was going to lay down. Navarro opened the scoring with a TD pass, but the Bulldogs came right back with a drive that ended in field goal and it was GAME ON! The next 42 minutes of football would be up and down excitement for the crowd of about 600 that filled Davenport Stadium. The first half brought us touch downs through the air and on the ground and even a blocked extra point attempt that Brandon Smith returned 95 yards for two point conversion and the half ended with the score 16-11 Navarro on top.
As the second half started, you could tell GMC was inspired; they came out on fire. The defense made a big stop early which allowed the offense to take advantage of good field position and score a go ahead TD, but Navarro would not go away and McNeil connected on a long strike which set up another touchdown. The Bulldogs looked to climb back on top, but turned the ball over on downs and gave Navarro a short field to work with. McNeil marched his team down the field setting up a 1st and 10 deep in Bulldog territory, but Braylon Peterson intercepted McNeil's pass in the end zone to end the drive. The interception inspired the offense as they scored again on a long pass by Murray. Again, Navarro answered quickly with an excellent kickoff return and a 3 play drive for the go ahead TD.
With 2:06 left on the clock Freshman QB Damekus Taylor assembled his team deep in their own end. He then proceeded to lead them on his first game winning drive of his college career. Highlighted by a long strike to WR Torenio Davis and a short bulldozer- type TD run by Ty Edwards.
With 1 minute left on the clock the prospect of handing the ball back to arguably the best QB in JUCO football gives reason for concern but McNeil would not step on the field again as a pouch kick bounced off a Navarro player and ended up in the hands of Markell Anderson sealing the win for the Bulldogs.
Following the game coach Williams had this to say "I was very pleased with our team's efforts and the way they supported each other, and the vibe in Davenport was great. The crowd and the Cadet Corps really stood behind us and I think that gave us the little edge."
GMC travels to #21 ranked Nassau Community College in Garden City, NY on August 31. Their next home game will be September 7 vs. #13 ranked Northeastern Oklahoma A&M. This will also be GMC Law Enforcement and First Responders Appreciation Day with the recognition of many of our local agencies and members of Law Enforcement and first responders who will get in free with the Badge or ID.