By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal
There is light at the end of the tunnel for the Northeast Community College football in 2012.
But it’s pretty dim at the moment.
A disappointing season for the Tigers will conclude today as they travel to face Mississippi Delta for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
“We knew we were going to take some bumps this season,” Northeast head coach Ricky Smither said. “But not like this.”
Northeast (2-6, 1-4) is coming off its third straight loss to Itawamba, a 36-15 setback Saturday.
And like against East Mississippi the game before that, four first-half mistakes against Itawamba led to four first half touchdowns that had Northeast in a hole it could not crawl out of.
“We just didn’t play,” Smither said. “There were way too many mistakes on the offensive side of the ball.
“The offense is just not productive.”
But the Tigers still have a chance to conclude the season on a positive note against Delta (1-7, 1-4).
“They have a new staff that is trying to get things established,” said Smither of Delta. “Their last game, they put up 34 point against a good Coahoma team.”
That last game for Delta was a 34-0 victory over Coahoma.
Smither indicates he plans to give freshmen a chance to produce on the offensive side of the football, like quarterback Matt Lipham from Slidell, La., and running back Pascal Desir from Jackson.
Lipham threw for 74 yards against ICC, splitting time with sophomore Nolan Genovese.
“We’re going to play all our freshmen, putting pressure on players like Matt Lipham and our offensive line,” Smither said. “And we’ll put the ball in the hands of Pacal Desir, who’ll have to carry the load for us.”
Inconsistency has not been the trouble for the Northeast defense, which should have its No.1 unit on the field to begin the Delta contest.
“Defensively, we’ll continue what we’ve been doing,” Smither said. “Lavon Hooks, Nick Thomason, and Brian Walker will have to have good games for us.
“The defense has played well enough for us to win. Giving the other team a short field, that’s been points in the bag for them.”