MIAMI — Post-season bowl appearances that were once a common staple for the Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Golden Norsemen football program have been few and far between since the start of the millennium.
After winning a share of the Southwest Junior College Football Conference crown and capturing the conference post-season championship, the fourth-ranked Golden Norse face No. 7 Independence (Kansas) Community College in the inaugural Midwest Bowl Classic, at 2 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 3 on Red Robertson Field in Miami.
Second-year head coach Clay Patterson and his staff guided the Golden Norse to a 5-2 record in the conference and a 9-2 season mark.
Also in his second-year with the Independence Pirates, Jason Brown and his coaches led the Pirates to the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference with a 6-1 mark and a 8-2 overall record.
Last Bowl Game
Under the direction of current athletic director Dale Patterson (Clay’s uncle), the Golden Norsemen last appeared in a bowl game in 2012.
NEO faced the College of DuPage, Illinois, in the fourth-annual Citizens Bank Bowl at Pittsburg State University's Carnie Smith Stadium.
Dale Patterson's Norsemen entered the bowl with a 9-2 season record while the DuPage Chaparrals of Glen Ellyn, Ill., were 8-2 on the year.
Buried by a 14-point flurry in the final three minutes of the third quarter, the ninth-ranked Golden Norsemen suffered a 42-29 upset at the hands of 15th-rated College of DuPage.
Immediately after the game, Dale Patterson resigned as head coach to become athletic director while DuPage head coach Gary Thomas resigned to become head coach at Dodge City, Kansas.
Under Dale Patterson's two terms as head coach (2011-12 and 1995-2004) the Golden Norsemen have a 3-2 record in bowl appearances.
“Every Southwest Conference regular season and post-season championship NEO has won since 1996 has the ‘Patterson’ stamp on it,” Dale Patterson said.
During the 93-year history of the Golden Norse football program, NEO has appeared in 17 different post-season bowl games. The Norsemen have compiled a 18-14-1 mark in bowl action. Nine of the 17 junior college classics have been discontinued.
While the participation in the Midwest Classic Bowl does not involve the National Junior College Athletic Association national championship, the Golden Norsemen have ended the season ranked No. 1 an unprecedented eight times. NEO has won six outright NJCAA Championships since 1957.
NEO's last national championship came in 1991 after coach Mike Loyd's Golden Norsemen defeated Northwest Mississippi 49-21 at the Mid-American Bowl at Union Tuttle Stadium in Tulsa.
The Golden Norse have also made three appearances in the now-defunct Junior Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
First-year head coach Rob Green guided the 2005 Golden Norse to a 21-19 upset over ninth-ranked Mississippi Gulf Coast in the fourth-annual Dalton Defenders Bowl in Coffeyville, Kan. NEO finished ranked sixth with a 9-3 record.
Twice during the 2005 game at Coffeyville's Veterans Memorial Stadium, play was stopped because of lightning.
The Norse grabbed the lead on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Robert Treadwell to wide out Jake Manning and the extra point by Paul Kinman.
Only 39 seconds later, Mississippi Gulf Coast tied the game on a 17-yard run by Dantrell Savage and the point-after by Trey Read.
A 26-yard field goal by Read gave the Bulldogs a 10-7 lead with 3:29 left in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs added a safety to carry a 12-7 cushion into the second quarter.
Once the ends were switched, NEO benefited from a 40 mile-per-hour southerly wind as the ball sailed over Read's head and out of the end zone on a punt to produce a 12-9 deficit.
The Golden Norsemen used a trick play as Treadwell handed off to wide receiver Terrance Barnett on an apparent reverse play. Barnett hit wide out Curtis Tucker in stride for a 50-yard TD pass play. Kinman missed the PAT for a 15-12 Norse lead.
Bulldog quarterback Eric Walden threw a 10-yard TD pass to Savage with 8:15 left in the second quarter as the Bulldogs clung to a 19-15 margin.
With just 9 seconds before half, Treadwell hit Barnett for a 13-yard touchdown as the Norse carried a 21-19 lead to the locker room at halftime.
Treadwell earned MVP honors after completing 16 of 28 passes for 163 yards and two TDs without an interception.
NEO's initial appearance in the Dalton Defenders Bowl was in 2003 against the host Coffeyville Community College Red Ravens. Once again, the Golden Norse escaped the bowl with a 30-27 victory over the Red Ravens.
The Norsemen finished ranked second in the nation with a 10-2 record.
After defeating Trinity Valley, Texas, 14-7, for the SWJCFC title in 2002, the Golden Norsemen squared off against Eric, New York, in the Red River Bowl at Bedford, Texas. Following a 21-21 tie in regulation, the Golden Norse escaped with a 27-21 overtime win. NEO finished second in the nation with an 11-1 record.
During the 2000 Red River Bowl, the Golden Norsemen suffered a 23-21 loss to Tyler, Texas, for the SWJCFC title. The Norse finished 12th nationally with an 8-3 mark.
Following a 28-25 win over Navarro College for the 1998 SWJCFC crown, the Golden Norse posted a 31-0 shutout over Coffeyville in the Red River Bowl at Bedford. NEO finished ninth in the country with a 9-3 record.
The Golden Norse traveled to Tyler, Texas, for the 1994 Texas Shrine Bowl and dropped a 21-17 decision in overtime to Trinity Valley, Texas. The Norse finished ranked second behind Trinity Valley with a 9-1 mark.
Traveling to Excelsior Springs, Missouri, in 1993, the Golden Norsemen edged past Butler County, Kansas, 52-50, in the Mineral Water Bowl. Coach Loyd's Norse posted a 10-1 record to finish ranked third nationally.
Squaring off against Northwest Mississippi in the 1992 Tulsa Mid-America Bowl, the Golden Norse suffered a 34-0 loss during an ice storm in the national championship game. NEO compiled a 9-1 record to finish second.
The two teams had met in the previous year with the fortunes reversed in Loyd's first year as head coach.
Making the long trek to Dixie, Utah, in 1989, hall of fame coach Glen Wolfe's Golden Norse dropped a 42-21 verdict to host Dixie in the Dixie Rotary Bowl. The Norsemen finished ninth with an 8-2 record.
A 34-27 loss at Tyler, Texas, the fourth game of the 1988 season cost Wolfe's Golden Norsemen an NJCAA National Championship after NEO defeated Lees-McRae, North Carolina, 36-7 in Tulsa's Coca-Cola Mid-America Bowl. NEO finished second with a 9-1 mark.
Appearing in the 1987 Coca-Cola Mid-America Bowl, the Golden Norse defeated Hinds, Mississippi, 26-11, to finish sixth nationally with a 9-2 record.
Wolfe captured his second NJCAA championship in 1986 with a perfect 11-0 record after the Golden Norsemen defeated Montgomery, Maryland, 42-21, at Tulsa's Chamber of Commerce Mid-America Bowl.
Facing Snow, Utah, in the inaugural Mid-America Bowl in 1985, the Norse dropped a 29-14 decision to finish eighth nationally with a 7-3 mark that included a forfeit because of an ineligible player.
NEO traveled to Garland, Texas, in 1983 and escaped with an 11-10 victory over Henderson County, Texas (Trinity Valley) in the Garland-Shriners Bowl. The Norse finished ninth with an 8-1-1 record.
Crossing the Red River in 1982, the Norsemen shut out the Kilgore Rangers 13-0 in the Garland-Shriners Bowl to place second in the nation with a 9-1 record.
Playing Butler County, Kansas, for the 1981 national championship in the Arkansas City, Kansas, Rodeo Bowl, the Golden Norse suffered a come-from-behind 21-14 loss to the Grizzlies to finish 9-1 and second.
Under Wolfe's guidance, the 1980 version of the Golden Norse completed a perfect 10-0 season and a NJCAA national championship as quarterback Tod Weder led NEO to a come-from-behind 21-14 victory in the inaugural Garland (Texas) Chamber of Commerce Bowl.
NEO traveled to Garden City, Kansas, in 1979 and earned a 30-24 victory over Scottsdale, Arizona, in the Beef Bowl. The Norse finished 8-2 and fifth in the nation.
Coach Rube Berry guided the 1976 Golden Norse to Garden City's inaugural Beef Bowl. The Broncbusters handed the 7-3 Norsemen a 28-13 loss before a large partisan crowd.
Berry's first season after serving as head coach at Missouri Southern College in Joplin, the Golden Norsemen tied Iowa Central 14-14 in the Hutchinson (Kansas) Mid-America Bowl. NEO finished 10-1-1 and fourth in the nation.
Hall of Fame head coach Chuck Bowman guided the 1971 Golden Norse to a 32-7 drubbing over Chicago Wright College in the Green Country Bowl at Tahlequah. NEO finished eighth in the nation with an 8-2 record.
Bowman, who won NJCAA national championships in 1967 and 1969, directed NEO to a 20-6 victory over Arizona Western in the 1969 Shrine Bowl at Savannah, Georgia. The Norse won the national title with a perfect 10-0 record.
Playing before a nationally televised audience in the 1967 Savannah Shrine Bowl, the Golden Norsemen defeated Lees-McRae, North Carolina, 35-13, to finish 9-1 and win the national title in Bowman's first year as head coach. Picher product Douf Mathews was selected offensive MVP.
Three weeks after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, hall of fame coach S.A. (Red) Robertson took a team which finished 9-0 in the regular season to the 1963 Junior College Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. The Norse suffered a 20-0 shutout at the hands of Orange County, California, in the fifth-annual Rose Bowl. NEO was denied the national championship because the NJCAA does not sanction California teams.
The Golden Norsemen defeated Texarkana, Texas, 10-7 in the 1959 Pine Bowl at Texarkana to win the NJCAA national championship with a 9-1-1 record.
Hall of fame offensive guard and linebacker John Tiger earned MVP honors.
Once again, because Robertson opted to take his undefeated No. 1 ranked Golden Norse to the 1958 Junior Rose Bowl, the NJCAA denied the Norsemen a national title. Sporting a 20-game winning streak and playing before 50,797 fans in Pasadena, the Norse sustained a 30-12 loss to Santa Monica, California.
NEO's first trip to the Junior Rose Bowl was in 1953 after going undefeated during the regular season. Bakersfield, California, handed the Norse a 13-6 loss.
Traveling to the Texas Rose Bowl in Tyler in 1951, the Golden Norsemen dropped a 27-14 decision to Kilgore to finish 9-1 overall under Robertson.
The Golden Norsemen dropped a 33-28 decision to host Hutchinson Junior College in the 1949 Salt Bowl at Hutchinson, Kansas, to post a 7-4 record.
Playing Trinidad, Colorado, in the 1948 Papoose Bowl in Oklahoma City, coach Robertson's Norsemen defeated Wentworth (Missouri) Military Academy 32-14 to finish 8-3 overall.
Prior to the start of World War II, the JayCeer's under coach Lyle Yarbrough lost 19-6 to Cameron Junior College in the 1939 Eastern Bowl at Lawton.