By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal
The game on the schedule this weekend for the Itawamba Community College football team is the Northeast Tigers.
In this corner of the state, that makes this matchup Saturday at 3 p.m. at Northeast more than just a game for Itawamba.
“This is a junior college version of the Egg Bowl,” Itawamba head coach Jon Williams said. “It doesn’t get more heated than this.
“One of us could be 7-0, the other 0-7, and I think you would have to flip a coin to pick the winner. So much pride goes into this game, you don’t want to lose it.”
The most recent match-ups, including last season’s 28-18 victory by the Indians, had North Division playoff implications. Not so much this time around with ICC 4-3 and 2-3, and Northeast 2-5 and 1-3.
ICC enters the contest on a positive note, having edged Coahoma 31-28 last week on a last-second field goal by Lafayette’s Tyler Jackson.
“I think the biggest thing from last week is that we established the running game,” Williams said. “And we threw for about another 240 yards.
“The whole thing we try to do offensively is with balance.”
Turning in the best rushing performance of the season for ICC was Olive Branch’s Courtney Gladney. The sophomore, after missing the three previous games, totaled 158 yards on the ground with two touchdowns.
That went hand-in-hand with the 258 yards passing by Mooreville freshman quarterback Griff Loftis.
And Williams is certainly hoping this balance carries into Saturday’s contest.
“I think this game is going to come down to turnovers and explosive plays; plays of 20 yards or more,” Williams said. “It’s all about who shows up on game day.”