Northeast Mississippi Community College’s football
game with Northwest Mississippi Community College lived up to its
billing as jucoweekly.com’s ‘Game of the Week’ for the first 52:27 of
the pair’s matchup at Tiger Stadium in Booneville Thursday night.
Northwest (5-0, 3-0 in North Division) tacked on a Kevin Buford
27-yard field goal and got a tipped pass touchdown by Xavier Lee when
the 5-8 sophomore used all 5-feet, 8-inches to haul in a 12-yard pass
as the Rangers tacked on 10 points late in the 26-6 win.
Northeast’s defense held the high-powered Northwest offense in check
until late in the game by forcing the Rangers to settle for three
Buford field goals and a 15-yard score by Jay Jones in the first 50
minutes of the contest.
Northeast (3-2, 2-1) stayed in the contest as Taylor Earhart (Olive
Branch) returned for a leg injury to boot through a pair of field
goals – 38 and 20 yards – in keeping the Tigers within striking
Buford gave Northwest a 6-0 lead in the second quarter when the
sophomore knocked through a 26-yard field goal with 14:21 remaining in
the first half and then nailed a 45-yard boot with 9:41 showing.
Earhart responded for Northeast as the two kickers battled it out in
the first 30 minutes when the Northeast freshman kicked through a
38-yard field goal with 7:12 left in the first half that cut the
Ranger lead in half at 6-3.
Buford added the first half’s fourth field goal when he gave the
Rangers a 9-3 halftime advantage with a 30-yard field goal with 1:48
left in the half.
Northwest scored the game’s first touchdown when Brent Osborn hooked
up with Jay Jones on a 15-yard touchdown pass with 12:17 left in the
third quarter that staked the Rangers to a 16-3 lead over the Tigers.
Not to be outdone, Northeast forced its way down the field against the
Northwest defense and got a 20-yard field goal out of Earhart – the
games fifth – as the Tigers cut the lead to 16-6 with 5:33 left in the
third. Earhart’s second field goal of the game was set up when the
Tigers went for a fake punt on fourth-and-four and punter Steve Davis
(Tishomingo) found linebacker Anthony Brown (Cairo, Ga.) for a 32-yard
pass inside the Ranger 10.
Northeast snuffed out Northwest’s ensuing drive when Tarondal Phillips
(Holly Springs) came away with an interception. However, Northeast’s
drive ended soon after as Sam Small stepped in front of a Tiger pass
for his second pick of the night.
Buford tacked on the game’s sixth field goal with 7:33 left in the
game as the Rangers tacked on 10 points late in the contest.
Northeast looks to bounce back next week when the Tigers head to
Scooba to take on East Mississippi Community College. Kickoff is set
for 7 p.m.