MILLEDGEVILLE — Going 7-3 in the regular season, the Georgia Military College Bulldogs will have the privilege of competing against yet another top five-ranked team Saturday as they travel to Copperas Cove, Texas to take on Navarro College in the C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl.
After just missing post-season play in 2011, the Bulldogs capitalized on one of the toughest schedules in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) to earn their bid to this weekend’s contest.
See video below from earlier in the season.
“It’s tough to make the post-season in junior college because there are not many opportunities,” Bert Williams, head coach, said. “So, I’m proud of them for doing what they needed to do to get this opportunity.”
According to Williams, GMC is not approaching its bowl game any differently though he hopes to take advantage of a healthy group this weekend.
“We’re really not doing a whole lot different. We’re still getting after it and working hard,” Williams said. “We’ve cut back a little bit on the amount of contact. We’re just trying to get everybody healthy and get everybody ready to play their best on Saturday.”
Williams believes his Bulldogs will face one of the best running games in the NJCAA on Saturday against fifth ranked Navarro, a team that averages 315 yards a game on the ground.
“They’re quite good on the defensive side especially. They also run the ball very well offensively,” he said. “They’re definitely one of the best rushing offenses I’ve seen in years. It will be a tough chore to stop them.”
GMC will key off of defensive linemen Jamarlo Alford, Octavius Brown, DaVonte Lambert and Devon Johnson to handle Navarro’s large offensive line.
“They know what’s going to be expected of them. It’s easy to see, especially our defense when they see the monstrous offensive line,” Williams said. “I think the game against Lackawanna was helpful for us to see what it takes to stop a strong running team.”
On offense, the Bulldogs will look to rookie quarterback Clay Chastain to have a strong showing, as well as Akeem Judd and a healthy Mario Alford at the tailback position.
“We do have the benefit of having Mario Alford,” Williams said. “He’s had a good week and a half of practice now.”
The Bulldogs have a simple goal this weekend, as the defense will look to out-muscle Navarro’s physical offensive line up front with hopes of shutting down the run, while GMC’s offense plans to continue to protect the football against a strong defense.
“Defensively, it’s being able to control their running game. If we can control that, then I think it will make it a little easier on our defense,” Williams said. “Offensively, we’ve done a pretty good job of protecting the ball all year.”
Battling the “youth” factor all season, Williams is pleased that the Bulldogs have the opportunity to extend the season and play in the C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl.
“With the youth on the team, it’s been a little bit more of a challenge. I thought it just said a lot about our guys,” he said. “I’m just really excited that they got the opportunity to continue to play this season. I thought they really earned this opportunity and glad it came about.”
Bulldog fans can catch all the action on Saturday by tuning in to the radio at Country 102.3 or AM-1450, as GMC and Navarro will kick off at 11 a.m. CST.