Itawamba upsets nationally ranked Tigers
With a playoff berth essentially on the line for sixteenth ranked Northeast, the Tigers dropped a 28-18 heart breaker to arch rival Itawamba on Thursday night at Tiger Stadium.
Northeast (6-2, 4-2) entered the match-up knowing a win would clinch the North Division number two spot and a playoff berth for the Tigers, but Itawamba (4-4, 4-1) took advantage of four turnovers to pull off the upset and kept the playoff scenario still up in the air.
Coach Smither’s offense looked good on its opening drive, scoring on a one play 56-yard touchdown pass to WR Tres Houston from QB Parks Frazier to go up 7-0 after the Taylor Earhart PAT.
Itawamba would respond scoring on a miscue from the Tiger punting unit in the second quarter when a bad snap sailed over the head of punter Jonathan Harrison and the Indians LB Matt LeFlore recovered the football for a touchdown. The Indians tied up the ball game 7-7 after the PAT by Will Goodwin with 5:02 left in the first half.
With 1:33 remaining in the second frame Northeast’s Earhart put the Tigers on top by nailing a 34-yard field goal to give Northeast a 10-7 cushion heading into intermission.
However, the third quarter belonged to the Indians. Midway through the quarter Northeast’s Frazier was intercepted by ICC’s Martrez Townes giving the Indians the football deep in Tiger territory. After the turnover, Indians QB Canden Dallas capped off the four play 17-yard drive by plunging into the end zone from two yards out for the TD to put Itawamba up 14-10.
The Indians didn’t look back from there and would eventually add to their lead with 1:45 left in the third on a eight play, 83-yard drive that took three minutes off the clock when RB Deshawn McGaughy powered in from two yards out. After the Goodwin PAT the Indians took a commanding 21-10 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
In the final period, Northeast responded with its own nine play 82-yard drive that ended with RB Jamarcus Goodloe scoring from two yards out. The Tigers’ two-point conversion was successful as Goodloe once again powered his way into the end zone to make it a 21-18 ball game with 5:15 left in the game.
Northeast’s defensive unit came up big on the Indians next possession by forcing Itawamba to punt with approximately 1:45 left in the contest.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, Frazier was intercepted on a second down play by Townes who returned the pick down to the Tiger one yard line with 1:12 left on the clock. Dallas put the exclamation mark on the Indians victory with another rushing TD from one yard out for the final score of 28-18 after the PAT by Goodwin.
Northeast last game of the regular season will kick-off at 7 p.m. in Wesson as the Tigers take on Copiah-Lincoln Community College.
About Chris Elkins
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