Northeast set to renew rivalry with Trojans in home opener
Northeast Mississippi Community College has only played three teams more than it has played Mississippi Delta Community College.
Northeast and Mississippi Delta are set to renew their rivalry when the Tigers open up the 2010 home campaign against the Trojans on Thursday, Sept. 16 at Tiger Stadium in Booneville.
Northeast (1-1) has played Itawamba and Northwest 50 times with the 2010 meetings being the 51st meeting for both teams. Northeast has matched wits with East Mississippi 49 times while Mississippi Delta and Holmes have been Northeast’s opponents in 45 of the previous 50 years.
While Mississippi Delta holds a 29-16 advantage in the rivalry, Northeast enters the home opener as one of only three North Division teams to score a win on the young season.
Northeast picked up its win in the program’s 500th game as the Tigers knocked off East Central 34-6 in Decatur on Thursday, September 2.
Northwest and Coahoma are the only other North Division squads to have a check in the win column.
Northwest started the year off 2-0 after knocking off Pearl River 27-17 in Week 1 and East Central 41-16 in Week 2. Coahoma came away with a victory during Week 2 to join Northeast and Northwest in the win column when the Tigers were able to claw out a 26-24 decision against Jones County on Thursday, September 9.
All the other North Division teams have found the first two weeks of the season hard as East Mississippi, Holmes, Itawamba and Mississippi Delta have failed to register a victory this season.
Mississippi Delta (0-2) has seen its offense become non-existent against two tough opponents to start the year. The Trojans have only managed a field goal as their lone offensive score and that came in Week 1 in a 34-3 loss to Jones County. Week 2 was not as nice to the Trojans as Mississippi Delta fell to Mississippi Gulf Coast 52-0 where the Bulldogs held the Trojans to just 150 yards on 70 plays.
The road does not get any easier for the Trojans as Mississippi Delta comes into Booneville to face the third-ranked Northeast defense. Northeast’s defense has only allowed 434 yards on the year and 26 points – second fewest in the entire Region XXIII.
Leading the way for the Tiger defense is linebacker Anthony Brown (Cairo, Ga.), who recorded 13 tackles in a Week 2 loss to Southwest and had two tackles for a loss against the Bears. For his effort, Brown was named one of seven defensive players of the week for the Mississippi Association of Community/Junior Colleges (MACJC)/Region XXIII.
However, to get to Brown, the Mississippi Delta offense must get through the Tigers defensive line that is anchored by McAurther Leatherwood (Ripley), who had eight tackles, two for loss and two sacks in the Tigers season-opening win against East Central.
Another threat to the Trojan offense is linebacker Trey Pegues (Oxford), who alongside Brown leads the Tiger defense in tackles. Pegues has recorded 12 solo stops on the season and had a hand in seven assists while Brown checks in with 11 solo tackles and eight assists.
Mississippi Delta’s offense has only managed 379 yards of total offense in its two games against Jones County and Mississippi Gulf Coast. The Trojans are about even yardage wise with their air attack attributing 204 yards and the ground game pulling up 175 yards.
While the yardage might be close, the play calling favors the run game in over a 2-to-1 fashion with the Trojans taking 90 plays to get their 175 yards and only 41 attempts through the air for their 204 markers.
On defense, Mississippi Delta has allowed 11 scores — seven coming on the ground and four through the air but the Mississippi Gulf Coast game took a toll on the Trojans with the Bulldogs running for 295 yards and five scores in the 52-0 win.
Overall, Mississippi Delta has allowed just over 800 yards total on 115 plays and ranks in the middle of the pack in the MACJC/Region XXIII standings.
Northeast quarterback Clint Wilson (Olive Branch) has thrown for nearly 500 yards in the Tigers first two games with the sophomore signal caller connecting on 37-of-77 pass attempts for 493 yards and four scores – a 246.5 yard per game average.
Wilson has spread the ball out with Josh Jarboe (Atlanta) pulling down 13 of Wilson’s passes and Donte Barksdale (Southaven) hauling in 12 of Wilson’s completions while five other Tiger receivers have caught passes this season.
Jarboe has 195 yards receiving on the year – 15.0 yards per catch and a pair of scores — while Barksdale is right behind Jarboe with a 14.6 yards per catch average and 176 yards and a score on the year.
Jarboe also ranks second in the MACJC/Region XXIII standings in kick returns averaging 32 yards per kick return on his three attempts on the season.
Northeast is looking to reverse a trend in the series against Mississippi Delta. After taking three from the Trojans from 2005-2007, Northeast has seen Mississippi Delta capture the last two contests including last year’s 14-7 decision in Moorhead.
Listen to all the action beginning at 7 p.m. by logging onto http://www.teamline.cc/teampage?teamcode=1452, then click on football. Listen to the live play-by-play from any Telephone for $5 per game. To access the Northeast football games via any telephone just dial 216-502-3200. Enter teamcode 1452 when prompted. Long distance charges may apply depending on your particular long distance plan or provider.
At approximately at 8 p.m. the game will be joined live in progress on the 96.3 FM “The Ticket” immediately following “Dawgs Talk with Dan Mullen” Fan can also watch the game with live audio and video (home games only) at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/avs-productions.
About Chris Elkins
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