Northeast takes undefeated record into division play
Northeast Mississippi Community College’s football team will take its unbeaten record into its first road game of the year as the Tigers make the trek to Moorhead to battle Mississippi Delta Community College in the North Division opener for both schools.
Northeast (2-0, 0-0) enters Thursday, September 15’s contest with back-to-back wins against South Division opponents East Central and Southwest.
Northeast dispatched East Central 40-27 behind three scores from the Tiger defense.
In the season opener, Northeast’s defensive unit returned two fumbles for scores and picked up a safety after a 39-yard Parks Frazier (Corinth) punt in the second quarter.
Courtney Sutton got the ball rolling when the Southaven native rumbled in on a 16-yard fumble return with 8:53 left in the first quarter and Devin Lindsey (Baldwyn) answered with a 19-yard fumble return for a score with 12:53 to go in the third quarter. Lindsey also finished the night with two interceptions and six tackles for the Tigers.
Northeast’s defense accounted for 14 points when Anthony Brown (Cairo, Ga.) and Jeremiah Booth (Kingsland, Ga.) broke through the Warrior offensive line with 1:25 to go in the first half for a safety.
Northeast’s defense continued its effort against a high-powered Southwest offense that racked up 390 yards in its double-overtime opener against Holmes.
Sutton helped lead the Northeast defense with an interception that led to a score and Frazier threw three touchdown passes against the Bears in the 32-9 decision.
Frazier connected with Markie Dukes (Oxford) on a 6-yard strike with 11:49 left in the first, a 10-yard laser to Tres Houston (Atlanta) as the first quarter expired and found Michael Poole (Ripley) on a 3-yard flip with 3:27 left in the third quarter.
For his effort during the 40-27 win, Frazier was named one of the Offensive Players of the Week for the Mississippi Association of Community/Junior Colleges (MACJC) when the league statistics were released on Monday. Brown was named a Defensive Player of the Week for his effort against the Bears. The Northeast sophomore finished the night with seven tackles, two tackles for a loss and a pair of sacks against Southwest.
Northeast will have to contend with a scrappy Mississippi Delta squad that almost shocked Mississippi Gulf Coast in Moorhead last week.
Mississippi Delta (0-2, 0-0) stayed with Mississippi Gulf Coast 17-14 before two scores in the final eight minutes decided the contest.
Mississippi Delta will also be in the midst of a three-game homestand that opened with the Mississippi Gulf Coast contest.
Northeast will look to contain the two Trojan quarterbacks. Everyday starter Justin Leavy was forced to leave the Gulf Coast game after completing just 2-of-6 passes for 20 yards with an injury.
Delta native Jeremy Collins came on in place of Leavy and sparked the Trojan offense with a 6-of-12 performance for 60 yards and was the team’s second leading rusher with six carries for 29 yards against the Bulldogs.
Chris Bolton, who saw a 51-yard score called back against Jones County in the opener, was the Trojans leading rusher with nine carries for 43 yards in week two.
Northeast enters the division opener with an explosive offensive attack that has averaged 36 points in its first two games.
Poole leads the Tiger running game with 109 yards of Northeast’s 211 while Jamarcus Goodloe (Leighton, Ala.) is second on the team with 47 markers after not playing in the season opener.
Through the air, Northeast has collected 361 yards between Bryan Steele (Olive Branch) and Frazier with Frazier connecting 23 times on 41 attempts and Steele hitting with a 20.2 yards per pass average.
Donte’ Barksdale (Southaven) and Dukes are neck-and-neck for the team lead in receiving with Barksdale holding a slim five-yard advantage on seven catches for 110 yards. Dukes is right behind with six catches for 105 yards while Houston has 82 yards on eight catches.
Northeast defensive secondary will look to thwart any Mississippi Delta air attack with the Tiger defense coming away with six interceptions in two games including two from Frankie Lee (Charleston) and Lindsey. Deion Belue (Tuscumbia, Ala.) has defended six passes for the Tigers in their first two games as teams continue to throw away from the lock-down corner.
In the last 10 meetings between the two teams, fans have been entertained with an offensive showcase that has seen Northeast and Mississippi Delta average 38.8 points a game since 2001.
Mississippi Delta leads the all-time series 29-17 but the last 10-game series is tied at 5-5 with Northeast capturing three of the last five contests including a 26-13 decision in Booneville during the 2010 season.
About Chris Elkins
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