Northeast football improves to 3-0

Northeast Mississippi Community College’s football team kept its unbeaten record intact and opened up North Division play with a 16-3 win over Mississippi Delta in Moorhead, Thursday, September 15.
Northeast (3-0, 1-0 in North Division) used 13-second half points in securing its third victory in a row and will look to keep its unbeaten streak perfect when the Tigers take on Holmes Community College on Thursday, September 22 at 7 p.m. in Booneville.
After both teams battled to a 3-3during the first 30 minutes, Northeast came out with a pair of scores that put the game on ice.
Parks Frazier found Tres Houston on a three-yard strike with 3:55 left in the third and Taylor Earhart, who booted through a 24-yard field goal in the first quarter, was true on the point after try giving the Tigers a 10-3 advantage.
Northeast put the game on ice when Michael Poole found the end zone from three yards out with 6:16 left in the game capping a nine-play, 45-yard drive that ate almost five minutes off the clock.
Early on, the North Division opener for both clubs turned into a defensive struggle with both teams only managing a field goal in the first 30 minutes of the game.
Ridge Rochell staked the host to a 3-0 lead less than two minutes into the contest when the Trojan sophomore punched through a 36-yard field goal with 13:07 left in the opening frame while Earhart matched Rochell’s boot with his 24-yarder on the Tigers ensuing possession.
Northeast’s defense, which had been strong in the first two games of the year, continued to keep the pressure on the opposition holding the Trojans to just 148 yards of total offense on 53 plays and only nine first downs.
Eli Canton led the way for the Tiger defense with 10 stops – all solo tackles – and three tackles for loss accounting for 20 yards and had a half sack for a seven-yard loss against the Trojans.
Northeast racked up 16 first downs – 11 on the ground – en route to 180 yards rushing with Poole leading the way for the Tigers with 65 yards. Jamarcus Goodloe and Garrett Smith both eclipsed the 40-yard mark as Northeast opened up a three-pronged running game against the Trojans.
Justin Leavy, who left last week’s game against Mississippi Gulf Coast with an injury, came back for the Trojans to lead the Mississippi Delta offense in both passing and rushing. Leavy picked up 47 yards on the ground on 11 attempts while completing 10-of-24 through the air for 58 yards.
With the win, Northeast head coach Ricky Smither bypassed Bobby Hall (2001-02) and Charles Borde (1952-54) on the all-time career wins list and is tied with Doug Hamley (1950-51).
“It isn’t something I thought about, we just want to keep winning, but those are some big names and I am honored to be mentioned with these guys,” said Smither.
Smither stands just two wins shy of entering the top five on the all-time career wins list in school history.
“This was a great win for our guys and the coaching staff continues to prepare this team to play every week and we hope to keep this ball rolling,” said Smither.
Northeast’s 3-0 record is the best start to a season for the Tigers since Northeast reeled off seven wins to begin the 2005 season – a year in which the Tigers reached the Pilgrim’s Pride Bowl – and the Tigers have now won their last three North Division openers.