Northeast Mississippi Community College will continue its yearly tradition of paying tribute to some of the most heroic men and women on the planet during its home opener.
Northeast is set to welcome East Central Community College on Thursday, September 7. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. inside the friendly confines of Tiger Stadium.
The game is also Northeast’s annual Military Appreciation Night. Current or retired soldiers and officers from any branch of service may show their military identification to gain free admission to the Tigers’ matchup with the Warriors.
Those that cannot attend Northeast’s first athletic event of the 2017-18 academic year in Booneville can watch it live and in high definition on NEMCCTV. Tune in starting at 6 p.m. for the pregame show by visiting www.nemcctv.com on any computer, smartphone or tablet.
The Northeast Broadcasting Network also includes new radio affiliate WOWL Fun 91. An audio simulcast featuring Jody Presley and Carter Smith, the Voices of the Tigers, can be heard on frequencies 91.9 FM from Burnsville, 92.9 FM from Florence, Ala., and 102.3 FM from Killen, Ala.
Search and follow @NEMCCTigers on Twitter for live in-game updates and interact during the contests by using the hashtag #TigerPower across all social media platforms.
Northeast went through some growing pains one week ago as it opened the new campaign with a heartbreaking 27-21 setback on the road against Pearl River Community College.
The Tigers debuted 42 freshmen and transfers that gradually adjusted to the swift pace of play in the rugged Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) after a rough start that included two lost fumbles in the first quarter.
“It was self-inflicted wounds,” said Northeast head coach Greg Davis. “You saw the mistakes because of the youth and inexperience. I think that we’re coming along and going to be OK. Hopefully we get on track this week.”
The Tigers (0-1) remained in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) rankings despite the slight setback. Northeast checked in at No. 16 in the first poll of the regular season.
Among the newcomers that stood out was defensive back Juwan Taylor. The Provine High School graduate finished in a stalemate for the game-high in tackles with 10 on the dot.
Quentin Frazier of Hernando and Sam Williams from Montgomery, Ala., also stood out in the linebacking corps. The duo had eight and seven tackles, respectively, during their inaugural performances in a black-and-gold uniform.
Philadelphia’s Johnathon Edwards, who already holds offers from the University of Colorado and West Virginia University, had the fourth longest interception return of the first full week of competition across the country with a 57-yard pickoff in Poplarville.
Zac Oden was solid during his initial start behind center for the Tigers. The Montevallo, Ala., native completed nearly 60-percent of his passes for 216 yards with one touchdown to fellow rookie O.D. Wooten of Hernando.
Oxford High School alumnus Kenzie Phillips came extremely close to the second 100-plus yard rushing outing of his career at Pearl River. He ended the evening with 93 yards on a game-best 24 carries with one score as well.
Toreano Miner from New Orleans, La., had five receptions to begin his sophomore season. Ross Painter of Hernando and Wooten followed him with three catches apiece to pace Northeast’s wideouts.
East Central suffered a loss in its first contest of the year as well by a score of 49-14 at Holmes Community College. The Warriors conceded 504 yards of offense to the Bulldogs in that matchup.
Eight different East Central athletes had at least one carry versus the Bulldogs. Donterrius Poe had the most touches with eight while Antonio Gibson compiled the most yards at 56.
Quentin Gibson was 13 of 26 for 141 yards through the air for the Warriors (0-1). His favorite target was Kevontaye Caston, who had seven catches for 65 yards with one touchdown.
Tanner Bullock guided East Central’s defense with 12 tackles, including 10 solo stops. The Warriors had seven total tackles for loss in their opener and lineman Jamari Smith led that effort with two.
Northeast and East Central competed in a thrilling matchup one year ago in Decatur. The visiting Tigers captured a tight 24-21 triumph after current Liberty (Va.) University quarterback Mason Cunningham threw the winning touchdown pass with only 28 seconds remaining.
The Tigers have won the last three meetings on the gridiron between these two institutions dating back to 2010. However, the Warriors have a 21-12 edge in the all-time series.
CUTLINE (PHOTO: Michael H. Miller/Northeast Public Information)
A group of three service men observe warmups during Northeast Mississippi Community College’s 2014 Military Appreciation Night contest against Northwest Mississippi Community College. The Tigers hold their annual tribute to America’s soldiers this Thursday, September 7 as they host East Central Community College.