Northeast Mississippi Community College football team will look to keep its unblemished record intact when the Tigers take on the Bears of Southwest Mississippi Community College on Thursday, September 8 at Tiger Stadium in Booneville.
Thursday’s game will be a battle of unbeaten in Booneville as Northeast and Southwest both come into the second game of the year off season-opening wins.
Northeast knocked off East Central in front of a packed Tiger Stadium 40-27 behind 14 points from Jeff Carter’s defensive unit while Southwest edged out Holmes 24-21 in double overtime on a Jake Saltalamacchia 26-yard field goal.
While Carter’s defense was able to contain East Central’s air attack, this week’s matchup with the Bears will have to focus on the running game where Southwest racked up 376 yards on the ground against Holmes – compared to just 14 yards through the air.
One key to stopping Southwest will be quieting Bear quarterback Vintavious Cooper who had 239 yards and two touchdowns on the ground against Holmes in the season opener for Southwest.
Bear running back Laderick Turner also broke the 100-yard plateau when the Bear tailback blasted through with 113 yards and a score.
Southwest’s running game will have to contend with Northeast’s defensive front that consists of four sophomores Jeremiah Booth (Kingsland, Ga.), Anthony Brown (Cairo, Ga.), Anthony Payne (Leroy, Ala.) and Pat Moore (Southaven).
Booth and Brown combined for the Tigers safety against East Central while Booth finished with four tackles (two solos and two assists) and Brown had two unassisted tackles against the Warriors in Week 1.
Northeast’s linebacking corp did the heavy lifting for the Tigers in the season opener with sophomore Nick Thomason (Muscle Shoals, Ala.) recording nine stops on the night and Eli Canton (Hernando) coming away with seven stops.
When Southwest decides to go to the air, it will have to contend with a secondary that came away with six pass breakups and three interceptions against East Central.
Devin Lindsey (Baldwyn) led the way for the Tiger defense in the opener with two interceptions and returned a fumble 19 yards for a score against the Warriors. Northeast’s shutdown corners Jeremy Spikner (Olive Branch) and Deion Belue (Tuscumbia, Ala.) finished the night with eight stops on the night while Belue also had four pass breakups.
Northeast’s offense also receives a jolt heading into the second game of the year as sophomore running back Jamarcus Goodloe (Leighton, Ala.) returns for the Tigers.
Goodloe sat out the opener as the Tiger running game accounted for 86 yards on 37 carries with Michael Poole (Ripley) doing most of the damage with an 18-for-55 night in the backfield.
Whether it is Bryan Steele (Olive Branch) or Parks Frazier (Corinth) under center for the Tigers – the duo shared snaps in the opener, either quarterback will have a pair of quick receivers to throw to on offense.
Tres Houston (Atlanta, Ga.) and Donte’ Barksdale (Southaven) both came away with scores in the opener against East Central. Houston hauled in a 24-yard pass from Frazier in the second quarter while Barksdale jetted in from 65 yards out on a toss from Steele.
Northeast will also be looking to avenge a loss to Southwest in Summit during the 2010 season. Cooper brought the Bears back from the brink with a pair of fourth-quarter scores propelling Southwest to a 20-16 win over the Tigers.
In the all-time series, Southwest holds a 14-11-1 advantage in 26 meetings. As the series record indicates, Northeast and Southwest’s 26-game series has been a close one.
Both teams are separated by less than two points in the all-time series average with Southwest turning in 17.5 points a game to Northeast’s 15.9 points a game with only the 1984 score missing from record. Only four times has the point differential been more than 20 points and three of those come in 1988-90. In the last three meetings between the two teams, 13 points have decided the games.
Fans can listen to all the action beginning at 6:50 p.m. by logging onto http://www.teamline.cc/teampage?teamcode=1452, then clicking on football.
Fans can also listen to the live play-by-play from any telephone for $5 per game. Toaccess games via any telephone, dial 1-216-502-3200. Enter teamcode 1452 when prompted. Long distance charges may apply depending on long distance plan or provider.