Rivalry action lies in wait for the Northeast Mississippi Community College football program as it reaches the halfway point of the 2019 campaign.
Northeast entertains Itawamba Community College on Thursday, September 26. Kickoff for the 60th edition of this storied series is slated for 6:30 p.m. at Tiger Stadium.
This concludes a season-long two-game homestand for Northeast. The Tigers are on the road for three of their final four contests beginning next Saturday, October 5 at Mississippi Delta Community College.
The first 500 fans through the gates will receive a free t-shirt and complimentary pom pom courtesy of the Northeast Development Foundation as part of the Tigers’ annual “Black Out Game.” A fireworks show will take place at halftime prior to the band performances as well.
Northeast also welcomes SportsTalk Mississippi to campus as part of the pregame festivities. Michael Borkey, Richard Cross, Brian Hadad and Brian Scott Rippee will host the statewide show from 3-6 p.m. in the quad area between McCoy Hall, Ramsey Hall and the Haney Union.
Those that cannot attend the matchup 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.
Amazon and Roku television subscribers can also view the Tigers’ pigskin contests all year by searching for “Northeast Mississippi Community College” on each respective app.
The Northeast Broadcasting Network also includes 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 throughout the event by using the hashtag #TigerPower across all social media platforms.
This is one of the two longest played series in program history. Northeast’s matchup with Northwest Mississippi Community College next month is also the 60th all-time meeting on the gridiron between those two adversaries.
The home team has won each of the last three games between Itawamba and the Tigers. The Indians have captured two-in-a-row in Fulton, but Northeast was victorious in the last contest in the City of Hospitality by a score of 30-12 in 2016.
This series has witnessed multiple high scoring affairs over the last several seasons as well. The triumphant squad has tallied fewer than 35 points just once in the last seven meetings.
“The number one key is never quit. Our kids are going to be up for this game,” said Tigers head coach Greg Davis. “Itawamba’s going to come after us. We’ve got to limit their big plays on offense. If we do that we’re going to be OK.”
The two foes feature opposite strengths. Northeast’s defense is fifth in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) by allowing just 185.5 yards per outing while the Indians are third in the Magnolia State and among the top 20 squads in the country with an average of 391.3 yards.
Linebackers Jamarcus Smith of Saltillo and Macon’s Terry Joiner pace the Tigers’ sensational defensive effort. The dynamic duo has combined for 66 takedowns, 10.5 tackles for loss and four sacks.
Cedric Hillsman from Fort Valley, Ga., has a team-best six tackles for loss while Choctaw County High School’s Isaiah Hunt, DaMarion Parham of Oxford High School, Joiner and Smith all have two sacks apiece.
A big part of the offensive production for Itawamba (1-3, 1-0) comes through the air. Quarterback Clark Mills already has more than 1,000 passing yards with eight touchdowns compared to four interceptions.
Northeast (2-2, 1-1) counters with Athens, Ga., native Jack Mangel, who continues to rank among the top 15 signal callers in the nation with a completion percentage of 61. He averages just under 200 yards per game with four touchdowns.
Corinth’s Michael Baugus has helped the Tigers shift field position throughout the year. He averages 40.2 yards each punt, which is third best in Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) and tied for seventh countrywide.
Three of Northeast’s four outings so far this season ended up as tight one possession games, including their heartbreaking homecoming loss to Holmes Community College one week ago. All four contests have been decided by less than 10 points.
CUTLINE (PHOTO: Michael H. Miller/Northeast Public Information)
Northeast Mississippi Community College defensive players Chaokang Brooks (#29), Darius Shipp (#99) and Kedarius Shell-Dixon (#16) signal that the Tigers recovered a fumble during their homecoming matchup with Holmes Community College last week. Northeast completes a two-game homestand by welcoming rival Itawamba Community College on Thursday, September 26 at 6:30 p.m. inside Tiger Stadium.