Category Archives: Bronco Football

Incredible Bronco comeback thwarted in OT

NMMI sophomore defensive end Steel Willis just misses getting a quarterback sack in the first half vs. Navarro College. The Broncos came back to force overtime with Institute QB Cody Frampton moving his team 78 yards for the tying TD with less than 33 seconds left in regulation. But Navarro scored on their opening play in OT (alternate possessions from their opponent’s 25-yard line) while NMMI’s counter was halted on a failed pass attempt into the corner of the end zone on a 4th & goal from the nine yard line.

NMMI Sports Press

NAVARRO, TX – An improbable comeback bid by the New Mexico Military Institute Bronco football team [3-4, 1-4] fell just short, with Navarro College earning a win in overtime, 56-49.

A Bulldog touchdown late in the fourth quarter put Navarro ahead 49-35 with less than three minutes remaining.

But the NMMI offense that could, did. Sophomore quarterback Cody Frampton, who earned NJCAA Player of the Week honors for his 6 TD performance (3 rushing, 3 passing) against Cisco College last week, led the Bronco to two quick scores, forcing play into overtime.

The first score came with 1:56 left on the clock. A pair of Frampton scrambles moved the ball down to the Navarro 32, before Frampton hit WR Quantavius Moore for the touchdown.

After a failed onside kick, the Bronco defense made a crucial stop, getting the ball back to the offense at the NMMI 22 with 33 ticks left to play.

Five Frampton passes later, helped by a 15-yard unsportsman conduct penalty on Navarro, and NMMI had the ball first and goal from the Bulldogs five with seven second remaining. After a failed pass attempt and five-yard false start penalty, Frampton’s pass to Clarence Williams in the corner of the end zone was good to push the game into extended play, 49-49.

Navarro scored a touchdown on their opening play in OT (alternate possessions from their opponent’s 25-yard line) while NMMI’s counter was halted on a controversial interception call on a pass to Kaleo Piceno in the back corner of the end zone on a 4th & goal from the nine yard line. Piceno appeared to have made the catch, but the Navarro defender ended up with the ball after both fell down and rolled over each other.

“I’m happy with our heart and with our effort,” said head coach Joe Forchtner after the game. “It’s hard to talk about [this game] because our effort, at the end especially, was incredible. We had no business being able to comeback like that against a team like that. You look at those [Navarro] guys – they’re huge, HUGE and they’re fast and athletic.”

Coach Forchtner wasn’t as pleased with a few of the calls that didn’t go the Broncos’ way, but said that it was other mistakes that hurt the most.

“Twice we ripped the ball out [for a fumble] on defense. One of those would have been a touchdown for sure. I disagree with that one – can’t wait to see the film on it. The call at the end – simultaneous catch – it’s tough when a game ends on a 50-50 call like that. But we put ourselves in a position where I don’t think we probably should have been: we didn’t play very well on defense except for in spots; we turned the ball over a couple of times in the first half and gave them really short fields. And in games like this, it’s the early mistakes that bite you.”

Frampton passed for 319 yards and 5 TDs in the loss, rushed for another TD and 92 more yards, but also had three INTs.

Moore hauled in two of those TD passes, four catches total for 96 yards, to lead the Bronco reception crew. Tyreik Campbell also had four catches for 76 yards; Piceno 4 grabs for 61 yards and a TD; Kendarius Moore 3 catches for 47 yards and a TD; Clarence Williams 3 receptions for 26 yards and a TD. Fred Jackson had the remaining catch for 13 yards and also had six rushing attempts for 26 yards.

“I think the offense has kind of found their identity over the last couple of weeks,” said coach Forchtner. “Sometimes that’s hard in junior college, because you’ve got a whole new cast and you’re re-asking the question “What are we really good at?” It’s just a constant learning experience, for both the players and coaches, to try and figure out what your identity is when probably 70% of your team is new.”

“We kind of thought after playing Trinity Valley, where we threw four or five picks, that we’re not going to throw the ball,” continued Forchtner about the offense. “Then we go to Kilgore and we’re really heavy on the run, and we probably didn’t throw the ball enough; maybe a bit too conservative, trying not to turn the ball over – but were we really trying to score?

“So it’s been a process of continual evolution. Now Cody can run it and a quarterback run-threat adds a whole extra dimension that you have to account for. With that in the game, we can do a whole lot of stuff off of play action, and that’s where a lot of our [offensive yardage] has come from.

“You can kind of see how the passing game has improved from that last drive. We had less than 40 seconds and no time outs. And, they knew that we were going to throw. That was a perfect drive. We run that situation every week; Drew [Thatcher] knows how to call it, the kids know how to run it, and it was good to see it all pay off.”

On defense, DB Enoch Makonzo was the top tackler with 12, five solo and seven assists, including a pair of TFLs totaling nine yards. Two Bronco had eight tackles: DB Joshua Kelly (2 solo, 6 assists) and DE Steel Willis (5 solo, 3 assists). Two players recorded sacks, one each for DL Siliato Tuia (11 yards) and Ben Aumavae (4 yards).

“I’m super proud of the guys,” finished Forchtner. “We’ve got stuff to clean up but we’re just going to keep working and trying to get better. We’re not going to hang our heads about it or feel sorry for ourselves. We’re just going to go back to work and get ready for NEO next week.”

That game on Oct. 20 @ 2:00 pm vs. Golden Norsemen will finish off a number of athletic events scheduled for NMMI’s Homecoming Week, which runs from Oct. 15-22.

Offensive outburst gives Broncos first conference win

Sophomore QB Cody Frampton had a breakout performance for the Broncos in a 55-38 win at home against Cisco College. He rushed for 132 yards and three TDs, then passed for another trio of touchdowns and 324 more yards.

NMMI Sports Press

The Bronco football team earned their first Southwest Junior College Football Conference win over visiting Cisco College, 55-38, in a Saturday match delayed by a brief thunderstorm.

NMMI struck just as quickly as the lightning which came down and forced an extended halftime, with freshman Fred Jackson taking back the opening kick for a 102-yard touchdown.

“The kickoff return to start the game was huge,” said head Bronco coach Joe Forchtner. “That’s coach [Drew] Thatcher’s baby – he always tells us that we’re undefeated when we run the opening kickoff back for a touchdown. That really set the tone for the game – nothing gives instant energy like taking back the initial kick for a score. Of course, credit to Fred for a great run-back, but he had a lot of good blocks that helped spring him.”

That spark gave life to the entire team, especially soph QB Cody Frampton and the Institute offense. They flashed up and down the field for almost 500 total yards of offense on the night, seemingly able to score at will.

After marching midway into NMMI territory, the Bronco ‘D’ put an end to the Wrangler’s opening drive, as freshman linebacker Jaren Banks intercepted a Cisco pass at the NMMI 25 and returned it 33 yards to the Cisco 42.

Five plays later, Frampton picked up his first of the three rushing touchdowns he’d record in the game, a 15-yard scamper into pay-dirt to put NMMI up 14-0 with 8:12 still left in the first quarter.

Cisco immediately struck back, however, managing their own 7-play 65-yard drive to make it 14-7 with 4:59 remaining in the initial period.

NMMI countered with a 14-play, 57-yard combo, resulting in a 35-yard field goal by freshman placekicker Roland Tyson – NMMI up 17-7, with 13:40 still to go in the second.

The two teams then traded field goals to round out the scoring before the end of the half: The Wrangler’s FG came after they blocked a Bronco punt, making it a one-score ballgame, 17-10; Tyson’s second attempt was from 20 yards and put NMMI back up 20-10.

After nature’s fireworks left the eight-mile safe zone, the second half began, resulting in a little over an hour delay. But despite the postponement, or perhaps even because of it, NMMI outscored their opponents 21-7 in the third quarter.

“The way we came out after the lightning delay was huge as well,” stated Forchtner. “Our defense came in and got us three straight stops, and our offense came out and scored three touchdowns. We had two lightning delays this week during practice, which I think made ready.”

The first of the trio of Bronco touchdowns came at the 11:15 mark in the third. The Bronco defense pinned the Wranglers back at their 16 and forced a three-and-out, giving NMMI possession at the Cisco 47 after the punt. After a pair of short runs, Frampton collected his first of three touchdown passes, connecting with soph WR Kaleo Piceno on a 44-yard middle slant.

After another 1-2-3-punt performance by the Black Swarm ‘D’, NMMI again scored. This time the Bronco offense needed just a single play, with Frampton hitting freshman WR Quantavious Moore on the fly route, good for a 63-yard touchdown.

Cisco then scored on an eight-play, 75-yard drive to make it 34-17 with 5:23 remaining in the third quarter.

The Institute’s final score in the period came on a 26-yard rumble into the end zone by Frampton, capping an 11-play, 72-yard series. NMMI up 41-17 with 2:03 left.

Cisco immediately countered with two straight touchdowns, again making it a close two-score game, 41-31. The first Wrangler score spanned the remainder of the third and beginning of the fourth quarters, 11 plays and 75 yards for the touchdown. The next TD came less than two minutes later, after a 58-yard punt return.

NMMI put the game out of reach, however, by scoring on their next two possessions. The first came on a short hot-route pass from Frampton to Jackson. Jackson juked his way downfield for the 56-yard touchdown. The second was another Frampton rushing TD, this time from 18 yards out, finishing an 8-play, 51-yard drive that ate up four minutes of the clock.

Cisco managed one final TD at the tail end of the game – 2:59 left on the clock – to complete the scoring for the contest.

“Cody did great; our receivers, including Quantavious Moore, made some incredible catches; the O-line played great and blocked well,” explained Forchtner about the 497 yard of total offense garnered by his offense.  “Every single person on our offense did their job tonight. And that’s what happens when we do that: we get 500 yards of total offense. We need to have that happen again next week. It’s nice when everything is executed the way to want it. Our offense, they just did a very good job. Cisco blitzes a lot and so we knew it was going to be boom or bust – knew that they were going to make some tackles for losses but that we just had to keep working – and fortunately it was more boom for us tonight. We didn’t drop back as much with our passing game, because we knew they blitzed so much. A lot of our passes came off of motion or play action, to help try and keep from having seven of their guys rushing into the pocket.”

Frampton’s performance was electrifying. He rushed for 132 yards and three TD on 19 carries, then passed for 324 more and another 3 TDs on 16 completions and 25 attempts. Moore had two catches for 87 yards and the afore-mentioned TD; Clarence Williams had 5 receptions for 85 yards; Jackson caught three passes for 70 yards and the TD; and Tyreik Campbell hauled in three tosses for 21 yards.

While exceptionally pleased with the offensive outburst, coach Forchtner mentioned a few miscues his team needs to fix before their next game, on the road vs. Navarro College on Sat. Oct. 13 at 3 pm CDT.

“That punt return was inexcusable,” noted Forchtner. “We had six guys within two yards [of the ball-carrier]. So that play’s not sitting real well with me.”

“Also, you shouldn’t ever be able to block a punt through the center of the back shield,” continued Forchtner, “but we had two new guys back there and we messed up. But our defense actually came up with a huge stop, allowing only a field goal. I thought our defense played well, executed what we needed to, and made some key stops when we had to. But we didn’t finish the plays with tackles very well – just gave up too many extra yards. That something we’ve been working on and I guess we just continue to keep working on it, but we’ll get it fixed. “

A win at Navarro next week, and again at home vs. Northeastern Oklahoma A&M the week thereafter, could put the Broncos right in the middle of the playoff pack.

“This league is crazy – no undefeated teams and everyone beating up on everyone else,” explained Forchtner about the standings in the SWJCFC. “You can draw about five circles describing who’s beaten who, and it just goes around and around. But Navarro next week will be tough. They’re good and probably the most athletic team we’ll face this season.”

Broncos grind out win in OT versus Huskies

Kendarius Poullard with a run in the first half. Poullard rushed for 87 yards on six attempts including a 56 yard touchdown

NMMI Sports Press

The New Mexico Military Institute Bronco football team improved to 2-2 on the season with in an overtime thriller victory over the Air Force Prep Huskies (0-2) 42-35 at Colt Field on Saturday evening.

AFP struck first with a field goal to go up by three, but on the last play of the first quarter Gavin Hardison scored a touchdown on a quarterback keeper to put the broncos up 7-0.

After the Huskies scored a touchdown and converted the two point conversion the Broncos, again on the last play of the quarter, scored a touchdown. Hardison threw a strike to Tyreik Campbell who maneuvered around the Husky defense for the touchdown to end the half up 14-11.

Head Bronco football coach Joe Forchtner  said, “We were expecting to get five yards since they had three backs deep across the back and then try and kick a field goal, but somehow Tyreik got it across the goal line – you just can’t give him that much room, he is too good.”

Air Force Prep once again scored a field goal before the Broncos responded with a touchdown. Fred Jackson found the end zone from the one yard line after a 42 yard carry the previous play to put the Broncos up 20-14 after the missed extra point. On the next drive with 2:22 left in the third quarter Kendarius Poullard broke a 56 yard run to the end zone to put the Broncos up 27-14.

The Broncos answered a touchdown by Air Force Prep with a touchdown and two point conversion of their own. Campbell ran it in for one yard on a fourth and goal from the one yard line. Campbell also caught the two point conversion from Hardison to put the Broncos up 35-21 with 6:14 left to play.

Coach Forchtner on the decision for going for it on fourth down instead of kicking the field goal. Our offensive line came off the field during the timeout and said ‘Coach trust us.’ And I was kind of debating about going for the touchdown anyway, thinking if we can’t get a yard then we don’t deserve to win, plus if we didn’t get it then they were going to have to drive the length of the field anyway.”

AFP went on a 15 play drive that covered 75 yards for a touchdown with 1:52 left to play to trail 35-27 after the extra point was blocked by NMMI. The Huskies recovered the onside kick and scored a touchdown with five seconds left to play. They also converted the two point conversion to tie the game 35-35 and head into overtime.

The Broncos were the first to get the ball in overtime and Hardison found Quantavius Moore in the end zone for a nine yard touchdown pass.  The Broncos defense would hold and not allow the Huskies into the end zone for a 42-35 NMMI victory.

Coach Forchtner on the victory tonight. “I’m proud of the guys, we had lots of opportunities to hang our heads. Air Force Prep had all the momentum at the end – they had just scored twice – but it didn’t matter. We came out and got a touchdown on the first series and then got the stop. Just very proud of our guys – we fight.”

Forchtner on the bye week coming up for the Broncos. “We got banged up tonight, though. A bye week cannot come at a better time. Air Force is always super, super physical and that’s what happens when you play physical teams. We need to get healthy this week and hopefully get some guys back.”

NMMI’s next game will be in Tyler, TX as they face Tyler Junior College on September 29th at 7 PM central time.

Broncos fall to conference foe Trinity Valley

Former Hobbs Eagle Gavin Hardison throws for his first colligate touchdown, a 27 yard strike to Quantavius Moore.
Photo Courtesy Shutternut

NMMI Sports Press

The New Mexico Military Institute Broncos [1-1] dropped their first conference game of the season against the Trinity Valley Community College Cardinals [1-1] by a final score of 39-7 at Colt Field on Saturday.

The Broncos struck first for their only score of the game on a 27-yard toss by Gavin Hardison to wide receiver Quantavius Moore. This put the Broncos up 7-0 with 39 seconds left in the first quarter.

The next two scores were posted by Trinity Valley, first a touchdown after a nine-play, 84-yard drive to tie the score up 7-7. Then with 36 ticks left in the first half, the Cardinals added a field goal to head into the locker room up by three, 10-7.

In the second half it was all Cardinals as they scored 29 unanswered points in route to a 39-7 victory.

“They are a really good team,” said head Bronco coach Joe Forchtner about the Cardinals. “We knew we would have to play very good football to win and we just didn’t. I think it was a wake-up call for our guys and what can happen if you don’t play well.”

Despite the score, TVCC had less than 70 more yards of total offense than NMMI: 402 vs. 337. The difference in the score was more than the result of the turnover category – NMMI had five turnovers while TVCC had just two.

“We turned the ball over too many times and got a little sloppy on defense. You can’t get away with that against good teams. We didn’t turn the ball over once last week – that’s got to be the recipe for us, taking care of the ball.”

The top ball carrier for the Broncos was Tyreik Campbell – he had 55 yards on 12 attempts – and the top receiver for the Broncos was Fred Jackson who caught five passes for 38 yards.

Two bright spots on the defensive side for the Broncos were defensive end Aaron Donker and linebacker Jarod Banks. Donker had four tackles behind the line of scrimmage for a total of 28 yards including three sacks; Banks lead the Broncos in tackles with four solo and eight assists, and also had a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Next up for the Broncos will be another conference match, this time on the road against Kilgore College. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 pm CDT on Saturday September 8th.

“They are one of the best coached teams in the league,” said coach Forchtner about Kilgore. “They play really hard and they also have a really good defense. We have got to have a better week of practice if we want to be successful.”

Broncos upset #3 Arizona Western in Yuma

Renell Guerrier makes a tackle against Arizona Western running back John Oliver.

NMMI Sports Press

The New Mexico Military Institute Bronco football team faced No. 3 Arizona Western College for their first contest in the 2018 season, and handed the Matadors their first loss in the regular season since October 31, 2015 by a score of 32-30.

The Institute won the coin toss at Yuma Catholic High School in Yuma, AZ, and elected to receive.  The Broncos scored just four plays later with a two-yard TD pass from Cody Frampton to Tyrik Campbell capping a 75-yard drive, giving the Broncos a 7-0 early lead. The Matadors responded with a touchdown to tie the game at 7-7.

The next series, NMMI’s defense forced a safety on an intentional grounding penalty in the end zone to again put the Broncos back up, 9-7. On the last play of the first quarter, however, AWC took a 14-9 lead after a pick-six by the Matador defense.

NMMI’s first possession of the second quarter ended with more points. A 41-yard field goal by Alex Alhomsi put the Broncos back to within two, 14-12.

Arizona Western answered back with their own 41-yard field goal to give them a 17-12 lead, then collected another field goal with 40 seconds remaining in the half for a 20-12 lead.

The Broncos went into their two-minute offense and ran down the field scoring a touchdown on a last second play with no time left on the clock on a Cody Frampton keeper to bring the Broncos deficit to just one, 20-19, at the half.

In the third quarter start, the Bronco defense forced Arizona to punt, then the NMMI offense mounted a 70-yard drive to put the Broncs back in front, 25-20. Cody Frampton punched the ball into the end zone on a keeper to finish the 5-play series.

Arizona Western would answer with a field goal to cut the Bronco lead to 25-23 heading into the fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter the Broncos scored on a 39 yard touchdown run from Fred Jackson to give them a 32-23 lead.

Arizona Western made the last few minutes interesting getting a one yard touchdown run to put them within two, but it was not enough as the NMMI defense stood tall and the offense ran out the clock in victory formation for the 32-20 upset over the third-ranked Matadors.

Bronco Head Coach Joe Forchtner said they had a goal for the game and they executed it well.

“Our goal was to just play hard and grind them down throughout the game,” said the coach.

The Broncos did just that on offense, rushing the football for 359 yards on 41 carries, along with 466 total yard in 64 plays.

Cody Frampton was the leading rusher for the Broncos gaining 170 yards on 16 carries, along with two touchdowns. The quarterback also threw for another, giving him three total touchdowns in the victory.

“Cody is the definition of a grinder, said coach Forchtner. “He is deceptive and works hard. He has come a long way throughout the off season, becoming a good leader. He has deceptive speed for a 230 pound quarterback. He made good decisions tonight and that was huge for the win. “

Coach Forchtner did have some things he would like to see improve during the win.

“We missed some tackles I think we should have made,” he explained “We also had too many guys diving at ball carriers.”

The Broncos field goal unit was not at its best either as Arizona Western blocked three kicks throughout the game.

Forchtner said, “We had three kicks get blocked, not because the protection was bad, but kicks were eight feet off the ground. That needs to change because this should not have been a two point game. Those kind of things bite you in the end of games.”

Next up for the Broncos is Trinity Valley Community College – their first conference game of the season  – on September 1st at 5 PM here at NMMI.