Category Archives: Bronco Football
Yesterday was National Signing Day – the first day that an athlete can officially sign a letter of intent to play football for a college affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Since 1982, the date has been set as the first Wednesday in the month of February.
While much of the hoopla centers around the nation’s top high school players and which big-name D1 school they will select, four-year institutions of all levels – D1, D2, D3, NAIA – are increasingly looking at junior college players who can quickly make an impact.
Joe Forchtner, head coach for the Bronco football team here at the New Mexico Military Institute, states it this way without gloss: “The four-year schools want a man who can handle his business, not some boy that they’re going to have to babysit.”
Considering the skillset cadet-student-athletes leave with after attending and playing at NMMI, it’s no surprise how successful the Bronco football program has been at sending players on to play at the next level.
“Last year we had 31 players sign out of here to 4-year schools. We also had 33 players make the Superintendent’s, Dean’s or Commandant’s List. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that those numbers are so closely correlated,” explained Forchtner. “We have a bunch of good kids who work hard and handle their business both on and off the field.”
31 players who moved up and on in a single season is definitely impressive, especially since in order to do that you have to look beyond those playing first-string offense and defense – that only gets you to 22.
But perhaps even more impressive is that the program does this year-in and year-out. The Broncos placed a school record of 41 players at four-year schools in 2015, and have placed between 20-41 players in each of Forchtner’s 10 seasons here at the Institute.
“I think our place produces good young men and has a good reputation with the four-year schools of doing just that, and that’s why we’ve placed 151 players in the last 6 years,” said Forchtner.
This year coach Forchtner believes they will have a similar number of players sign including two to the powerhouse Southeastern Conference: quarterback Jordan Ta’amu to the University of Mississippi and defensive end Nate Anderson to the University of Missouri.
“As far as I know, we’re the only junior college in the nation that put two guys into the SEC this year,” said Forchtner. “And when it’s all said and done, I imagine that we will have somewhere between 25-30 players sign at 4-year schools.”
Quarterback Jordan Ta’amu was named to the 2016 All Region team and All-SWJCFC first team, as well as being picked as the Southwest Junior College Football Conference Player of the Year.
That last award, said coach Joe Forchtner, “is about as big of an honor as you can get. He’s a really good player and he had a really good season, so I thought it was well deserved. He earned it.”
Defensive lineman Nate Anderson also made All Region and First Team, with Diontez Champion on the First Team as a defensive back. Ta’amu and Anderson are in line for All-American status, which will be announced in several weeks.
“I thought we were represented well on the list,” he said. “There’s a lot of good players in that conference. So to get 11 guys on the list is pretty good. And our guys worked hard for it and all the accolades they get are hard-earned and well deserved.”
2016 All Region
Jordan Ta’amu, QB
Nate Anderson, DL
SWJCFC Player of the Year
Jordan Ta’Amu, QB
1st Team, Offense
Jordan Ta’amu, QB
1st Team, Defense
Nate Anderson, DL
Diontez Champion, DB
2nd Team, Offense
Sedarius Young, WR
Edward Taufa’asau, OL
2nd Team, Defense
Randy Hooks, LB
Theo Hyppolite, DB
Honorable Mention, Offense
Trevas Samuel, C
Edward Kea, WR
Honorable Mention, Defense
Kalen Williams, LB
Honorable Mention, Specialists
Nicholas Litang, PK
NMMI Sports Press
With two teams ranked in the top five in the nation in offense set to meet Saturday at Colt Field, the SWJCFC game between NMMI and Tyler Junior College was expected to see a lot of scoring.
And the fans at the homecoming-filled stands weren’t disappointed in that respect, although the Bronco supporters most likely were, as NMMI fell 64-42.
“We just didn’t play good enough to win,” said coach Joe Forchtner. “Those guys are good. They lead the free world in offense and points and yards and they’re good. There’s just no room for errors with guys like that.”
The first quarter actually saw more defense than offense, as the only scoring came from the Apaches with 2:44 remaining in the stanza.
The Broncos got on the board in the second, tying the game at 7-7 on a 47-yard rush by Jalen Jackson just 3:07 into the stanza. The offensive push came after Jonari Brown intercepted a TJC pass at the NMMI 5.
Tyler came back a little more than a minute later on a TD pass, then made it 21-7 with 2:29 remaining before the half.
Not to be outdone, the Broncos scored with just :56 left on a Jarvis Scott carry, closing the gap to 21-14 Apaches. And, with less than a minute remaining, that’s how most folks in the stands thought the half would end.
But Tyler began a drive that took them down to the NMMI 24 where they kicked a 41-yard field goal with just four seconds remaining, making it 24-14. That drive wasn’t without controversy — at least from the crowd — as it appeared Theo Hyppolite had picked off another Apache pass, but with both Langford and Apache CJ Thomas holding on, the call went to Tyler.
And that wasn’t the only play that upset the rowdy Bronco crowd. Almost the same thing happened in the second half when Shamar Busby and Savon Rollison both got hold of a thrown pass.
The Apaches got their second field goal of the game seven minutes into the third quarter to stretch the lead to 27-14, but the Broncos came back with Scott’s second TD carry of the game, a 1-yard plunge with 5:11 left in the quarter to make it 27-21.
Tyler closed out the stanza with two quick TDs: a 3-yard carry at 4:16 and a 35-yard pass with 2:25 showing, making it 40-21 after three.
Once again, though, NMMI wasted no time in scoring in the new quarter, using up only 10 seconds before Jordan Ta’amu passed to Cameron Saunders for a 42-yard TD. And the game ended with the teams trading touchdowns every minute or two, until the Apaches kicked a field goal with 2:57 left, then stopped the final NMMI drive with an interception that led to a TD.
While the loss is hard to take, Forchtner said he saw things he liked.
“I think the energy on the sideline was good,” he said. “The guys are playing for each other. That goes a long way in tight games. So just to see the guys play together I thought was the best thing. We made a lot of mistakes on both sides of the ball that we can’t make. But they’re good. Hat’s off to them. They’re the fifth team in the nation for a reason.”
The Broncos close out the regular season in Corsicana, Texas, vs. Navarro College Oct. 29, and Forchtner knows what he wants to work on prior to the game.
“We’ve just got to clean up a lot of stuff,” he said. “Offensively. Defensively. It’s just little stuff. We’re so close in so many areas and just one little thing that’s preventing us from making a play here or there. A big play on defense or a big play on offense. It’s just continuing to master their craft.”
Brenham, Texas — The Bronco football team got back on the winning track Saturday, outlasting SWJCFC foe Blinn College 45 – 31, using five turnovers created by the NMMI defense – including four interceptions – and a strong offense to secure the win.
The game started slowly, with the Buccaneers going up 10-0 after the first quarter on a field goal and touchdown.
But NMMI quarterback Jordan Ta’amu started the second quarter with a 1-yard touchdown carry, wrapping up a nine-play, 75-yard drive. The NMMI defense then came up big with a blitz that bumped into Blinn’s quarterback during an attempted pass. The ball popped up and in to the hands of defensive lineman Alain Cimankinda at the Blinn 35. He rumbled all the way down to the 1, and Jarvis Scott carried it in on the very next play to make it 14-10 Broncos.
The Buccaneers went up 17-14 on their next possession, but NMMI turned right around and, with 3:24 left in the half, tied it at 17-all on a Nicholas Litang 25-yard field goal.
Four plays later, Blinn had to punt, and NMMI came back with a seven-play, 78-yard TD effort ending with a quarterback keeper with 1:31 left on the clock, and the Broncos never trailed again.
The third quarter started with back-and-forth possessions — Diontez Champion had an interception that ended with NMMI punting — but then the Nate Anderson sacked Blinn QB Aaron Sharp forcing a fumble that was recovered by NMMI at the Broncos’ 47 yard line.
This time the NMMI possession ended in another touchdown, a pass from Ta’amu to Sedarius Young, making it 31-17 Broncos.
The teams then traded TDs — NMMI’s on a carry by Scott — and when the quarter ended, the score had closed to 38-31.
Yet another Bronco interception ended a drive by the Buccaneers early in the fourth and while it didn’t result in a Bronco score — a field goal attempt by Litang missed wide left — Blinn was forced to punt four plays later and the next NMMI drive made it 45-31 on a pass from Ta’amu to Young.
Champion picked off his second Sharp pass with :51 remaining in the game, and two more plays and a knee and the game was over.
NMMI picked up some big numbers on offense — 340 yards rushing and 185 passing, for a total of 525 yards — coach Joe Forchtner was pleased with the outcome.
“They definitely got it done tonight,” he said of his offense. “Defensively, we got some good takeaways and I think it was just an all around solid effort on the road.”
And, the big win was something he challenged the team to do after their loss to Kilgore at home Oct. 8.
“Last week we took all the Grindhouse stuff away – took the Grindhouse banners down, and took all the shirts away. Because the way that we played last week was exactly the opposite of what we’re supposed to be as a team. We took all that stuff away and said they had to earn it, and I feel like we had our best week of practice. We had the best attitudes that we’ve had and I feel like they earned it back. It was a good performance by them tonight.”
And with another tough Southwest Junior College Football Conference game against Tyler College Oct. 22, Forchtner knows to enjoy the victories as they come.
“This league is tough, and this is kind of our baptism into this league,” he said. “So winning a game then having a 10-hour plus bus ride is a heck of a lot easier off a win than a loss.”
NMMI Sports Press
The Broncos looked like they never got off the bus in Saturday’s home SWJCFC contest, and they were playing a home game.
They fell 28-16 to Kilgore College and were never really in the game.
“We were flat,” said coach Joe Forchtner. “The guys didn’t play with any emotion. Any energy. If you come out like that mentally, you can’t focus on your job. You can’t do your job. It’s not all about playing with effort. It’s about playing with effort and focus. And we did absolutely none of that tonight.”
While the Broncos took the first lead, Kilgore came back and never again trailed.
After a back-and-forth first quarter that saw more punts than scoring, the Broncos went up 3-0 on a 44-yard field goal by NIcholas Litang with 1:01 remaining in the stanza.
But the Rangers answered with back-to-back touchdowns in the second quarter, scoring on a Marquis Broussard carry from the 5 with just seven ticks gone in the stanza, then a 9-yard pass from Chandler Eiland to Jarod Wood with 8:52 remaining in the half to lead 14-3.
The Broncos tightened the gap late in the quarter when Jordan Ta’amu capped off a 10-play, 78-yard drive with an 18 yard touchdown pass to Cameron Saunders with 1:18 left until halftime, but that 14-10 deficit was as close as NMMI would get.
Kilgore scored two unanswered TDs in the third — a 1-yard Broussard carry at 9:31 and a 3-yard Eiland QB keeper at 5:59. That put the Rangers up 28-10 with one quarter to go.
The Broncos got a bit closer with 11:43 left in the game when Jalen Jackson plunged in from the 1, but a missed point after attempt left Kilgore with a 28-16 lead.
NMMI had its lowest offensive output of the season, and Forchtner knew just what to blame.
“That’s what happens when you throw six interceptions. You don’t score points,” he said.
The Broncos also missed a field goal attempt and lost several scoring opportunities when they failed to get in from the end zone.
Ta’amu had 204 yards in the air and Jared Hayes 165. Eleven different Broncos were the recipients of those tosses, led by Sanchez Lofton who had 77. Six Broncos had rushing yards, led by Jackson with 54 and a TD.
It won’t get any easier when NMMI (4-2, 2-2) heads to Blinn College Oct. 15, and immediately after the game, Forchtner had no answer as to what to do to stop the Broncos’ two-game slide.
“We’re going to look at the tape,” he said. “I hate to even talk after a game like that because I don’t know. We’re just going to have to look at it. Make the corrections we need to make and go on the road next week.”