BOONEVILLE – Northeast Mississippi Community College sophomore running back Jeremy Cannon (New Albany) joined rare company in the Tigers’ season finale on Saturday, October 24.
Cannon entered Northeast final game against Northwest Mississippi Community College in Senatobia needing 23 yards on the season to break the 1,000-yard mark.
Cannon accomplished the feat with a three-yard gain with 5:27 left in the second quarter. The sophomore running back got the milestone run on an unfortunate play for the Tigers offense as Northeast was penalized for a holding call three yards past the line of scrimmage. Cannon’s rush counted to the point of the penalty giving Cannon 25 yards on his eighth carry of the day and 1,002 yards on the season.
“It would have been nice to get the win,” said Cannon, “but getting 1,000 yards is special.”
Northeast ended its season with a 17-14 loss to the Rangers to cap a 2-7 season for the Tigers where Cannon was the driving force for the Northeast offense.
Cannon tallied 430 yards during the Tigers first three games of the year – including a 142-yard showing against rival ICC as Northeast upended the Indians 28-21 at Keenum Stadium on September 10.
After a 38-yard showing against Mississippi Delta, Cannon got back on track rushing for 367 yards in the Tigers next two contests.
The sophomore running back hit Holmes for 130 yards on 27 carries as the Tigers earned their second win of the year but it was Northeast’s week six game at East Central is where Cannon put the 1,000-yard mark in his sights.
Cannon hit the Warriors with a career-high 237-yard effort on 33 carries, which put him at 835 yards with three games to go in the season.
Cannon continued his march toward the milestone as he chipped away at the 1,000-yard plateau with a 46-yard game against North Division champion East Mississippi and then almost collected his sixth 100-yard game of the season with a 94-yard effort against Coahoma Community College on October 15 in an epic four-overtime homecoming affair.
Cannon actually broke the 1,000-yard barrier twice against the Rangers. Cannon tallied a four-yard run on his fifth carry of the contest to hit the mark on the nose but a holding call negated the play and the gain leaving the sophomore four yards short of the mark.
Home games were where Cannon cashed in – averaging over 124 yards per game compared to an 84-yard performance per game tally during the Tigers five road games this year.
Cannon was quick to say that the accomplishment was not his alone.
“I have to give credit to my offensive line,” Cannon said. “They are the ones that opened the holes for me.”
Cannon’s milestone put him in rare running back company at Northeast. The last Northeast running back to break the 1,000-yard mark was Ricky Andrews of Colquitt, Ga., during the 1991 season when he broke loose for 138 yards in the season finale against East Central to lead the Region XXIII in rushing with 1,017 markers.
The last Northeast running back to come close to the 1,000-yard marker was Cameron Montgomery (Mobile, Ala.) who tallied nearly 950 yards during the Tigers’ Hurricane Katrina-shortened season in 2005. Montgomery led the Tigers to a perfect 7-0 record during the regular season but saw his shot at the 1,000-yard marker end in the Pilgrim’s Pride Bowl against Trinity Valley (Texas).
Other Tiger running backs who had their sights set on the 1,000-yard mark but could not accomplish what Cannon did include Cederian Drew and Kevin ‘Thump’ Belton. Both were set to make a run at the mark but saw their season totals only tally in the mid-600s for the Tigers.
Northeast made a name for itself in the running back department during a five-year stretch in the late 1970s when the Tigers produced All-Americans Larry Parker (Lauderdale County) and Anthony Norman (Morrow, Ga.).
Parker, a native of Lauderdale County, carried the load for the Tiger football team during the 1976 and 1977 football seasons toting the ball an average of 23.5 times during his tenure at Northeast averaging over 100 yards a game for the Tigers. Parker carried the ball 469 times during his two years at Northeast, accumulated 2,232 yards and registered 16 touchdowns during the 1976 and 1977 seasons.
Norman accomplished All-American running back honors while only playing nine games of an 11-game season in 1980 for the Tigers. Norman led Northeast to a 9-0 record before succumbing to an injury before the final regular season game and was forced to sit out the final two games of the year for the Tigers – a loss to Pearl River and a setback to Jones County in the first-round of the state playoffs.
NEMCC Media Relations