Northeast Mississippi Community College sophomore safety Devin Lindsey of Baldwyn and freshman quarterback Parks Frazier of Corinth made the most of their opportunities in the Tiger season opener against East Central on Thursday, September 1.
Lindsey helped key a stingy Northeast defense while Frazier shared snaps with starter Bryan Steele (Olive Branch) as the Tigers opened up the 2011 season with a 40-27 win over East Central in front of a packed Tiger Stadium.
Lindsey, who replaced Troy University signee Brynden Trawick, came away with two interceptions, five tackles and a 19-yard fumble recovery for a score to help Northeast secure the victory.
Lindsey’s ‘scoop and score’ put the Tigers up for good with 12:53 left in the third quarter as the Northeast sophomore picked up the loose pigskin and rumbled 19 yards down the visiting sidelines for the tally.
Lindsey not only kept the Tiger defense going but also helped Northeast’s defense come away with eight turnovers – three interceptions, five fumbles and three scores in the victory.
Frazier came on strong and was an instrumental piece of the Tiger offense and special teams in the season opener.
Frazier was 8-of-17 for 85 yards but tossed a pair of touchdown passes in limited time under center.
With 10:08 to go in the first half, Frazier dropped a 24-yard scoring strike to Tres Houston (Atlanta) in the home corner of the north endzone and then found Markie Dukes (Oxford) on a 7-yard route with 27.1 seconds left in the third to give Northeast a 40-20 advantage.
Not only did Frazier toss a pair of scores, the freshman signal caller set Northeast’s defense up for a safety in the second quarter.
After seeing the Tiger drive grind to a halt at the Warrior 41, Frazier dropped back in punt formation and angled a kick that sailed out of bounds at the two setting the Tiger defense up in prime location.
Northeast took advantage of Frazier ‘coffin corner punt’ as Anthony Brown (Cairo, Ga.) and Jeremiah Booth (Kingland, Ga.) were able to break into the Warrior backfield for the safety with 1:25 left in the first half.
Brown and Booth’s safety marked the second Tiger defensive score of the night as the Tiger defense broke open the scoring when Courtney Sutton (Southaven) scampered home from 16 yards out with a fumble recovery with 8:53 left in the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter, Northeast jumped out to a 14-0 lead when Steele hit Donte’ Barksdale (Southaven) on a 65-yard touchdown pass after creating space for himself on the play. Steele avoided a tackler, rolled out to the visiting side and found Barksdale on a stop-and-go route that gave Northeast the 14-point cushion.
Following Steele’s TD pass, East Central cut the lead in half when Mitch Manley found Jimmie Broomfield on a 46-yard touchdown pass but the Tigers reeled off 19 straight points that included a Taylor Earhart (Olive Branch) 20-yard field goal with five seconds left in the first half along with Houston’s score, the Tigers safety and Lindsey’s return in the third quarter.
East Central made a game of it in the third quarter as Broomfield jaunted in from 25 yards out with 10:02 left and less than three minutes later, Manley hit Reggie Hall on a 28-yard strike with 7:51 showing in the third cutting the Tiger lead to 33-20.
Frazier’s strike to Dukes gave the hosts a 20-point lead heading into the final quarter and East Central could only manage Manley’s third TD pass of the night with 11:29 left in the game to cut into the Tigers lead.
Northeast will continue its two-game homestand to begin the season when the Tigers host Southwest (a 24-21 2OT winner Holmes) on Thursday, Sept 8 at 7 p.m. in Booneville.