The Northeast Mississippi Community College football team had a night for the record books as it wrapped up a three-game road stretch in grand fashion.
The Tigers tied a 35-year-old record for most points scored in a single game during its 55-30 victory over Southwest Mississippi Community College on Thursday, September 22 at John I. Hurst Stadium.
The record was originally set in 1981 when Northeast, which was then under the direction of future National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Hall of Famer W.B. “Bill” Ward, defeated Coahoma Community College by a 55-18 margin.
It is only the fourth time ever for the Tigers to eclipse the 50-point mark. The most recent instance before this was 29 seasons ago in 1987 during a 52-0 blanking by Northeast of Coahoma.
“All the credit goes to the kids,” said Tigers head coach Greg Davis. “We battled back and forth. They knew they could come out and compete. They played extremely hard and did all the work. We’re a family and we’re really excited about this team.”
Northeast (3-1) broke open a tight contest in the second half by limiting the Bears to only 119 yards of offense and seven points. Southwest actually held a 23-20 advantage at the break.
The Tigers erased their deficit with a 13-play, 84-yard drive out of the locker room. Bailey Walker put Northeast ahead for good with a four-yard touchdown run that made the score 27-23.
Peyton McMahon gave the Tigers some breathing room just seconds later. He stripped the pigskin from a Bear running back on the initial play of their ensuing possession and raced 35 yards untouched across the goal line.
It was the first defensive score for Northeast since current Delta State University linebacker Jamel Dennis returned a fumble 96 yards against Pearl River Community College on October 16, 2014. McMahon’s touchdown put the Tigers up 34-23 with 9:29 left in the third quarter.
“I saw (the ball) slipping a couple of times when we were hitting them so I just took my chance and got it,” McMahon said. “That was a great feeling. Coming to the sideline with everybody excited and jumping on you was great.”
Southwest (1-3) closed its gap to 34-30 on a 34-yard screen pass from Casey Haygoood to Mikel Anderson. But Northeast accounted for 21 unanswered points in the final period to pull away from the Bears.
Zeke Liggins blocked a punt late in the third to place the Tigers in prime real estate at the Southwest 26-yard line. Northeast took advantage of the great field position when Toreano Miner made a beautiful catch in the back corner of the end zone that pushed the lead to 41-30.
Brandon Tillman set the stage for the next score with a 50-yard interception return. Mason Cunningham’s second rushing touchdown of the contest extended the Tigers’ edge to 48-30 following Austin Holloway’s true point after attempt.
Kyoshi Agnew capped Northeast’s stellar offensive output with his inaugural touchdown at the collegiate level on a two-yard handoff. It was his first score since the 2013 campaign when he was a senior at Corinth High School.
“I really want to thank God because this was big,” said Agnew. “It’s just now hit me. I didn’t know how to feel at that point, but now it feels good. I’ve cried tears of joy. I’m just proud of my team.”
The Bears actually took the first lead of the matchup on Ruben Maldonado’s 34-yard field goal. But the Tigers responded with one of their longest scoring drives of the night encompassing 10 plays and over three minutes of clock.
Dorian Banks punched the ball in from six yards out for his first touchdown in a black-and-gold uniform. His short scamper gave Northeast a 7-3 advantage just over 10 minutes into the opening quarter.
Cunningham and Walker exchanged quarterback keepers for scores over the next two possessions to increase the Tigers’ lead to 20-9. However, a pair of turnovers just before halftime allowed Southwest to overtake Northeast temporarily.
The Tigers compiled a season-high 442 yards with 231 of those coming on the ground. Kenzie Phillips paced that effort with a career-best 87 yards while Banks tallied a team-high 15 carries for 56 yards.
Cunningham was solid once again behind center for Northeast. He accounted for 219 total yards, which includes his second 200-yard passing performance this year, with three touchdowns.
“We stuck to our strengths and it worked out,” Cunningham said. “The main thing is you can’t score if you don’t have the ball so I try to keep it in our hands as much as I can. I think this was really the first night that we did what we know we can do.”
L.J. Hawkins was the top target for Cunningham for a fourth consecutive game with seven catches and 110 yards. PaDarius Martin added a career-high 57 receiving yards as well for the Tigers.
Miner had his best special teams performance to date with 115 yards in five kickoff returns. Brenden Williams guided Northeast defensively with 13 tackles and a blocked extra point.
Demarcus Rogers registered eight stops and a forced fumble while McMahon concluded his outstanding contest with eight takedowns, 1.5 tackles for loss and two fumble recoveries.
The Tigers went undefeated during the regular season against Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) South Division opponents for just the third time ever. The only other Northeast squads to accomplish this feat were the 1969 and 2005 editions.
It is the best start to a campaign for the Tigers since 2011. Northeast won five straight that year and eventually qualified for the state playoffs as the MACJC North Division runner-up.
Northeast welcomes Coahoma (0-4) for its annual homecoming matchup on Thursday, September 29. Kickoff between the MACJC North Division foes is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Tiger Stadium.
CUTLINE – Northeast Mississippi Community College running back Kyoshi Agnew carries the football during a game last season against Itawamba Community College. Agnew scored his first collegiate touchdown during the Tigers’ 55-30 victory at Southwest Mississippi Community College on Thursday, September 22. (PHOTO: Michael H. Miller/Northeast Public Information)
#NETigerNation’s crowd has increased with the Activity Period rush and it’s STILL a great day in #NETigerNation. #NEMCC’s Sodexo cafeteria has relocated to the quad area around the fountain and Campus Country is providing entertainment to the lunchtime crowd for #NEHOCO2016 (Homecoming 2016). #grownortheast (at Northeast Mississippi Community College)
It’s a great day in #NETigerNation. #NEMCC’s Sodexo cafeteria has relocated to the quad area around the fountain and Campus Country is providing entertainment to the lunchtime crowd for #NEHOCO2016 (Homecoming 2016). #grownortheast (at Northeast Mississippi Community College)
On Monday, September 26, Northeast’s Sodexo cafeteria staff will move its operations out to the quad area surround the fountain for “Lunch on the Lawn” from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. while college’s Campus Country will provide lunchtime entertainment.
Northeast’s SGA keeps things moving that night with ZUMBA in the Claude Wright Room of the Haney Union at 6 p.m. on Monday, September 26 as well.
Northeast’s Student Government Association has gone all out in celebrating Homecoming Week 2016 by encouraging each building on the college’s Booneville campus to decorate in its own unique way to celebrate homecoming and the Haney Union has become Homecoming Central with two large backdrops for faculty, staff, students and fans to stop by, take photographs and celebrate the college’s homecoming.
Northeast’s annual Homecoming dance is scheduled for Tuesday, September 27 from 8-10 p.m. in the Bonner Arnold Coliseum with DJ OZ providing entertainment for that event.
Northeast reaches the homestretch of Homecoming Week 2016 on Wednesday, September 28 with a “See You at the Pole,” event at 7 a.m. and inflatables in the quad area surround the fountain from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Homecoming Queen Anna Claire Ivy of Booneville and the rest of the 2016 Homecoming Court will come together for the first time on Wednesday as the Northeast “Showband from Tigerland” opens up its rehearsal to practice with the homecoming court in anticipation of Thursday night’s event.
Homecoming Day 2016 is jam-packed with happenings starting with the homecoming court’s first official appearance at a pep rally from 12:10-12:40 p.m. in the quad area surrounding the fountain on Thursday, September 29.
In addition to the pep rally, Northeast will hold its annual Alumni and Sports Hall of Fame Dinner at 4 p.m., a tailgating in front of the union at 5 p.m. and a recognition ceremony for the Alumni and Sports Hall of Fame inductees at 6:30 p.m. before kicking off its fifty-ninth Homecoming game at 7 p.m.
Presentation of the Homecoming court is set for halftime.
Coahoma returns as the Homecoming opponent after the Tigers played Mississippi Delta Community College in 2015 for Homecoming. Northeast holds a 32-8 record against Coahoma overall and has taken eight of nine Homecoming contests against the visiting Tigers. Northeast knocked off Coahoma the last time it played Coahoma for Homecoming in 2014 in an offensive shootout 49-35 on September 27, 2014.
Northeast and Coahoma have faced off nine times for Homecoming in Booneville prior to the 2016 Homecoming meeting with the homestanding Tigers holding an 8-1 record in the Homecoming series. Coahoma’s only win came in a four-overtime thriller in 2009 and the visiting Tigers have only tasted victory in Booneville four times in their program’s history – 2009, 1999, 1995 and 1985.
“The event is always very well supported by the community. We’re looking forward to having another great crowd on campus again this year,” director of bands Bryan Mitchell said.
Last fall the Houston High School (Germantown, Tenn.) band claimed the Grand Championship and the 6A/5A/4A (combined) Sweepstakes Winner’s trophy. The 1A/2A/3A (combined) Sweepstakes winner was Boonville High School.
Seventeen area bands are scheduled to begin competition at noon Gates will open at 11 a.m. Admission is $5. Children under kindergarten age will be admitted free. Concessions will be available.
Participating bands include Ripley, Hardin County, Tenn., Booneville, Tupelo, West Point, Columbus, Baldwyn, Calhoun City, Amory, Bruce, Winona, New Albany, Shannon, Aberdeen, Lafayette, Charleston and Saltillo.
Northeast’s “Showband from Tigerland” will perform in exhibition at approximately 7:30 p.m. Following the retreat (band representatives report to the field) and a brief exhibition by the Northeast Drumline, the awards presentation will begin.
For more information contact Mitchell at 662-720-7257 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the Northeast website at www.nemcc.edu.
Northeast’s Iota Zeta chapter was recently named to the Phi Theta Kappa President’s List for 2016, which honors the top 25 chapters in the country with the highest membership acceptance rates.
Phi Theta Kappa released its ratings for the 2014-15 academic year during the summer after compiling the acceptance rates for the previous school year.
Northeast finished sixth in the country with 59-percent of eligible students being inducted into the honor society.
Only five other chapters had higher acceptance rates than Northeast’s 59-percent and those were Beta Delta Chi at the Cabarrus College of Health Sciences in North Carolina (91 percent), Beta Zeta Sigma at Carolinas College of Health Sciences in North Carolina (84 percent), Epsilon at Cottey College in Missouri (78 percent), Beta Sigma Kappa at Southeast Missouri Hospital College of Nursing and Health in Missouri (75 percent) and Omicron Kappa at Marion Military Institute in Alabama (63 percent).
Per its bylaws, Northeast students are eligible for the Iota Zeta chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society if they complete 12 semester hours of an associate degree course work at the college with a grade point average of 3.25 on a 4.0 scale or have a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 and adhere to the schools’ code of conduct and possess recognizable qualities of citizenship. Transfer students are also eligible for the honor society as courses from other institutions will be considered when determining membership eligibility.
According to the national organization, The President’s List serves as a way for all chapters – big, small, urban or rural – to see how their peers are performing and to learn best practices from the top chapters in the country.
During its 2016 spring induction, Northeast Iota Zeta chapter inducted over 300 new members into the honors society and kept its place as one of the top chapters for acceptance rates among Phi Theta Kappa chapters.
In 2016, the local chapter reported that 672 members on its roll and membership fees for the organization are low — $70 – compared to other national honor societies.
To keep its acceptance rate in the Top 10 of Phi Theta Kappa chapters, Northeast’s Iota Zeta chapter has a presence at campus events such as Northeast NOW and Orientation each summer so that incoming freshman know about the organization and the chapter allows senior colleges to actively come and recruit students during its meetings.
Of the 672 members on its 2016 roll, the Northeast Phi Theta Kappa has over 180 active members who participate in the group’s various projects throughout the year.
Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,285 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States, plus Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, Peru, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates and U.S. territorial possessions.
Nearly three million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 131,000 students inducted annually. Phi Theta Kappa seeks to foster the development of leadership and service, to provide an intellectual climate for the exchange of ideas, and to encourage the establishment of scholarships for advanced education.
Northeast’s Iota Zeta chapter has been recognized as a “Five-Star” chapter for 14 straight years, the highest rating given any chapter, has been recognized as an exemplary model as well as a Top 100 chapter nationally and was ranked sixth on the 2016 Phi Theta Kappa President’s List, which lists the Top 25 colleges nationally by their 2015 acceptance rates.
Advisors for the chapter during the 2016-17 academic year are Dr. Ray Harris, Andrea Mathis of Booneville and Carla Falkner, Morgan Ricks, both of Tupelo, and Dr. Deborah Kehoe of Oxford.
Northeast Mississippi Community College’s student body recently elected Booneville’s Anna Claire Ivy to reign as the college’s 2016 Homecoming Queen.
Ivy and the entire 2016 Northeast Homecoming Court will make its first official appearance at a pep rally on the front lawn of the Ramsey Student Services Building on Thursday, September 29 at 12:10 p.m. and will be presented at halftime of the Tigers football game against Coahoma Community College that night.
Northeast’s 2016 Homecoming will mark the second straight Thursday night Homecoming for the college. Since 2010, the college had held Homecoming on a Saturday but switched back to a Thursday night affair for the 2015 season.
Ivy, a 2015 graduate of Booneville High School, is the daughter of Beau and Allison Gross and the late Jason Ivy.
At Northeast, Ivy is actively involved in and outside the classroom as well as being a member of the Northeast cheerleading squad.
Ivy was nominated for inclusion in the Who’s Who Among Students in American Community and Junior Colleges at the culmination of her freshman year at Northeast. Inclusion in the Who’s Who Among Students in American Community and Junior Colleges is for students who exemplify outstanding participations and leadership in academics, extracurricular activities and community service.
Ivy is also an active member of the college’s Iota Zeta chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society where she currently serves as the public relations secretary.
In addition to being a member of Phi Theta Kappa and a cheerleader, Ivy was selected by her peers to be a member of the 2015 Northeast Homecoming Court as a freshman maid and a 2015 freshman Class Favorite.
In the classroom, Ivy excels and has been named to the college’s President’s List, which honors students who have a perfect 4.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.
Following her time at Northeast, Ivy plans to pursue a degree in speech pathology at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss).
Joining Ivy on the 2016 Homecoming Court include sophomore maids Addison Carter of New Albany, Hannah Cox of Columbus, Ashley Flowers of Iuka, Madison Phillips of Olive Branch, Lenzi Sanderson of New Albany and Alissa Ann Williams of Corinth.
Freshmen maids include Julianna Cain of Bruce, Amber Cook of Myrtle, Kaylee Davis of Iuka, Taylor Durham of Rienzi, Marley Long of New Albany and Kristin Nguyen of Iuka.
Northeast Student Government Association secretary Nathan Cleveland of Belmont will serve as escort for Ivy while sophomore escorts are Garrison Howell of Houston, Josh Stillman of Columbus, Drew Marshall of Jumpertown, Ryan Smith of Oxford, Jarrett Walden of Falkner and Chandler Young of Corinth.
Escorting freshman maids will be Colt Chrestman of Starkville, Cade Hall of Ingomar, Ethan Burcham of Kossuth, Austin Burks of New Albany, Tucker Childers of Ripley and Riley Floyd of Corinth.
Kickoff for Thursday night’s homecoming game is set for 7 p.m.
Northeast Mississippi Community College recently held campus-wide elections to select its 2016 homecoming court. Joining 2016 Homecoming Queen (front row) Anna Claire Ivy of Booneville are (second row l-r) sophomore maids Lenzi Sanderson of New Albany and Madison Phillips of Olive Branch, (third row l-r) sophomore maid Alissa Ann Williams of Corinth, sophomore maid Addison Carter of New Albany, freshman maid Kaylee Davis of Iuka, freshman maid Taylor Durham of Rienzi along with (back row l-r) freshman maid Kristin Nguyen of Iuka, sophomore maid Ashley Flowers of Iuka, freshman maid Marley Long of New Albany, freshman Julianna Cain of Bruce, freshman maid Amber Cook of Myrtle and sophomore maid Hannah Cox of Columbus. Ivy and her court will make their first official appearance at a pep rally at 12:10 p.m. on the front lawn of the Ramsey Student Services Building Thursday, September 29 before homecoming ceremonies at halftime that night during the Northeast-Coahoma football game. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
.@nemccfitness director Joseph Pennington talks to Vickie Hopkins’ Medical Assisting Technology (MAT) class at the Burgess Activity Center about how to make changes in a person’s life about becoming healthy and how the medical field is focusing on physical activity and dietary changes. #NEMCC #NETigerNation #grownortheast (at Northeast Mississippi Community College)
#NEMCC’s Holliday Hall workers have gotten into the Homecoming mood by decorating the front of the building in festive fall colors and a football motief to help support the Tiger football team in advance of its Homecoming contest on Thursday, September 29. Each building in #NETigerNation has been charged to help to support Homecoming and to decorate their buildings in their own unique styles. #grownortheast (at Northeast Mississippi Community College)