Late turnovers haunt No. 15 Blinn in loss to New Mexico Military, 45-31

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BRENHAM, Texas – Late turnovers and missed red zone opportunities hurt Blinn College football as New Mexico Military Institute took advantage to beat the Buccaneers 45-31 Saturday evening at Cub Stadium.

Blinn’s playoff chances took a hit with the loss as the Buccaneers fall to 5-3 overall and 3-3 in the Southwest Junior College Football Conference. Blinn threw three interceptions and lost two fumbles in the loss.

“Especially turnovers in the red zone are really frustrating because those are the opportunities that we should be taking advantage of,” said Ryan Mahon, Blinn interim head coach.

The Buccaneers had plenty of bright spots on offense as D’Anthony Hopkins rushed for 167 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. Corey Henderson caught 7 balls for 94 yards and a touchdown and Dandre Reed caught a pair of receptions for 48 yards and a touchdown in the loss.

Blinn started off the game fast with a Mike Malone field goal on its second possession from 45 yards out for a 3-0 lead with 7:48 left in the quarter. The Buccaneers added to that lead in the first quarter as Aaron Sharp found Reed for a 34-yard touchdown pass for a 10-0 lead with 34.3 left in the first.

As good as the first quarter was for Blinn, the second quarter was by far the worst quarter for the Buccaneers. New Mexico Military scored three touchdowns and a field goal compared to only one touchdown for Blinn. Hopkins scored from four yards out for the lone score in the second quarter for Blinn but New Mexico Military outscored Blinn 24-7 to own a 24-17 lead at the half.

Blinn and New Mexico Military traded touchdowns in the third quarter, which didn’t help the comeback attempt of the Buccaneers. Sharp found Henderson for a 32-yard touchdown pass for the first Blinn score and Hopkins scored on a 46-yard touchdown rush but New Mexico Military also scored two touchdowns in the third to hold a 38-31 lead after three quarters.

The Buccaneers were unable to score a touchdown in the fourth as their three possessions in the quarter ended with two interceptions and a punt while New Mexico Military added a touchdown late to make the final score 45-31.

Blinn is still in the playoff hunt but will have to travel to beat Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College on Thursday, Oct. 27 at 6 p.m.