BRENHAM, Texas – It wasn't pretty by any means but Blinn College football was able to hold on for a 36-26 homecoming victory over Arkansas Baptist College Saturday afternoon in Cub Stadium.
With the win, the Buccaneers improve to 5-2 overall with the non-conference victory and stay at 3-2 in the Southwest Junior College Football Conference.
"I was really pleased with the secondary play today," said Ryan Mahon, Blinn interim head coach. "I think one thing we learned is that we can't overlook a team, ever."
In an ugly win, Blinn was able to pick off five passes from Arkansas Baptist but the Buccaneers also threw five interceptions in a rough offensive showcase. Dominique Harrison picked off two passes for Blinn while Jermel Adams, Corrion Ballard and Nate Betts each intercepted a pass for a solid defensive effort.
"Our secondary is our strength and we work real hard to no get beat with the passing game," Harrison said. "We knew that we had to go after the ball with the offense struggling a bit."
Kentory Matthews was one of the few bright spots on offense in carrying the ball 26 times for 185 yards and a touchdown. D'Anthony Hopkins and Quantonio Williams each scored a touchdown on a ground while Aaron Sharp and Corey Henderson connected for a 55-yard touchdown on the second series for the Buccaneers in the win.
Blinn did get that Sharp to Henderson connection on the second drive and then added a one-yard touchdown run from Hopkins on the following drive to take a 13-0 lead with 4:31 left in the opening quarter. Arkansas Baptist did score back-to-back touchdowns to pull within 13-12 of Blinn with 8:15 left in the half.
Matthews added a touchdown from one yard out to give the Buccaneers a 20-12 lead with 6:13 left in the second quarter but that lead disappeared after an Arkansas Baptist touchdown tied it up at 20-20 with 1:51 left in the half. Blinn was able to cruise down the field in the final 1:51 and set up for a 20-yard field goal from Ryan Buckley for a 23-20 halftime lead.
Blinn came out strong in the third quarter as Williams scored a touchdown from four yards out to cap a 76-yard scoring drive to start the half for a 30-20 lead. Stephen Johnson tacked on a field goal from 45 yards to give the Buccaneers a 33-20 lead as Blinn outscored Arkansas Baptist 10-0 in the third.
Arkansas Baptist scored a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to get within 33-26 but that would be as close as the game would get the rest of the way. Mike Malone added a 31-yard field goal for Blinn with 2:22 left to give the Buccaneers a 36-26 lead that would hold up until the clock ran out.
Competition will get a little more difficult as Blinn will host No. 11 New Mexico Military Academy on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 5 p.m. This game against New Mexico Military will be the Military Appreciation Day game.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 34 NJCAA national championships since 1987. For more information, visit www.buccaneersports.com.
About Blinn College
With an enrollment of 19,422 students, Blinn ranks among the nation's leaders in transferring students to leading four-year universities and has received national recognition for affordable educational excellence. For more information, visit www.blinn.edu.