Navarro Football: Bulldogs fall short in Coffee Bowl | Sports

Qua Gray threw a career-high five touchdown passes but it wasn’t enough as Navarro’s Bulldogs came up short in a 53-34 loss to Garden City in the Scooter’s Coffee Bowl Saturday in Garden City (Ks.).

The Bulldogs came back all season, erasing the memory of a 1-3 start, storming back to win four of their last five games to earn their first bowl berth since 2018, but Garden City, the preseason No. 2 team in the nation, was too much to handle in its home stadium.

Gray, who was the top-ranked quarterback in NJCAA Division I play most of the season, finished his career at Navarro with another brilliant performance, but GC’s 12th-ranked Broncos had a balanced offense (618 yards) and rode the arm of quarterback Rhett Ricedorff, who completed 23-of-31 passes for four touchdowns and 394 yards.

The Broncos (8-3), who jumped out to a 14-0 lead, never trailed and the closest Navarro got all day came in the second half when Gray connected with Jeremiah Aaron for a 43-yard TD pass and then ran for a two-point conversion to close the gap to 36-28 with 7:32 left in the third.

Ricedorff and the Broncs answered two minutes later with a 59-yard TD pass to David Elder to push the lead 43-28, and GC scored again when Dedrick Talbert scored on a 3-yard run to take a 50-28 lead into the fourth quarter.

Gray threw touchdown passes to Brandon Hawkins (64 and 22), who made four receptions for 103 yards, Karl Reynolds (13 and 25), who led the Dawgs with 134 yards on six catches, and Aaron, who caught four passes for 65 yards. Quinton Lee had seven receptions for 77 yards.

Gray finishes the season after completing 193 passes for 3,204 yards and 24 touchdowns. He threw four TD passes in a 69-57 loss at Tyler.  

The Bulldogs finish the season at 5-5, and yet Scott Parr’s team once again proved to be as stubborn and resilient as anyone, storming back from a tough 1-3 start and winning four of their final games with one dramatic comeback after another to win their final three conference games, including a 21-point fourth-quarter in a 35-30 win over Cisco on the strength of the arm of backup quarterback Jack Turner, and Louis Moore’s unbelievable 39-yard fumble return with 1:15 left in the game.

Parr called the ending “Unreal.”

But his Bulldogs are as real as it gets, battling all season and earning a bowl bid that looked as impossible as Moore’s TD. 

The Dawgs pulled off both of them. They came up short in Kansas on Saturday, but the ride was inspiring … 

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