Clarksdale, Miss. - It was a night of firsts for the Northeast Mississippi Community College football program as it reached the midway point of the 2015 campaign.
Three players scored their inaugural touchdowns and Greg Davis captured his initial victory as head coach of the Tigers in a 42-14 decision over Coahoma Community College on Thursday, September 24 at James E. Miller Stadium.
"The kids played extremely well," said Davis. "We executed and that was the number one thing we saw all night. We started out from the beginning with the running game. Everything clicked offensively."
Northeast set the tone on the opening possession of the contest after winning the coin flip and electing to receive the pigskin. The Tigers quickly went 65 yards downfield on only four plays.
Back-to-back runs by Tiberias Lampkin pushed Northeast into enemy territory less than one minute into the matchup. Kendrick Doss then sprinted 23 yards into the end zone to give the Tigers an early 7-0 advantage.
The homestanding Tigers brought the game into a temporary stalemate early in the second quarter after Greg Johnson made a diving one-handed catch on a pass from Rodney English for a touchdown.
But Doss gave Northeast the lead for good moments later on a seven-yard quarterback keeper. It was the team-high fifth rushing score of the campaign for the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) transfer.
The Tigers (1-4, 1-2) added some padding to their advantage just before the break with a beautiful 80-yard drive that took just two minutes and 13 seconds off the clock.
Doss connected with Cameron Montgomery, who slashed through the middle of Coahoma's defense for a 34-yard score that gave Northeast a 21-7 lead at halftime. It was only the second catch of the year for the Shannon High School graduate.
"When they called my number, I just knew that I was going to be open. I had to catch it and make the play," Montgomery said. "This is a big motivational push for me. Now I've got to keep making things happen for my team."
Northeast capitalized on the outstanding effort by the defense with another brisk scoring spurt. A lengthy dash by Doss set up Lampkin's 14-yard scamper across the goal line that lifted the Tigers ahead 28-7.
Chester Lewis recorded his first touchdown with the Tigers at the 7:19 mark on a four-yard carry. The Germantown High School alumnus had a season-best eight touches on the evening.
"It's another milestone gone," Lewis said. "It just feels great. I knew I had to get in because hard work pays off. Without my o-line and coaches, I wouldn't have been able to do it."
Bailey Walker tallied his inaugural score at the collegiate level as well with a 60-yard jaunt. It concluded the stretch of 35 straight points by the guests and is currently the longest rush from scrimmage by any Northeast athlete this year.
Dominic Marino accounted for the lone score of the fourth on a 36-yard run for the host Tigers. Coahoma (0-5, 0-3) was held to just 222 yards, which was their second lowest total of the season.
Doss had his best performance to date for the Tigers. The Florence, Ala., product completed 16 of 28 passes for 197 yards and also contributed 73 yards on the ground.
"We said in the locker room that we were going to come out here and do whatever it takes to win," Doss said. "Everybody had a big game. I'm real excited and proud of all of them."
Lampkin notched a new career-high with 114 yards on 15 rushes while Armstrong had a game-best 66 receiving yards. Austin Holloway was perfect on six point after attempts as well.
Terrance Lindsey, Woodrow Prince, Demarcus Rogers and Ladarius Townsend were knotted for the most overall tackles for the Tigers with five apiece. Brady Smith grabbed the initial interception of the campaign for Northeast midway through the fourth.
The Tigers more than doubled the amount of the first downs compiled by their opponent with 30. The 530 yards of offense was the most for Northeast since it registered 533 yards in a triumph at rival Northwest Mississippi Community College on September 19, 2013.
The 42 points is tied for the 19th highest total for a single game in school history. It was also the largest score for the Tigers since defeating Coahoma 49-35 in Booneville one year ago.
Northeast welcomes Mississippi Delta Community College (1-4, 1-1) on Thursday, October 1 for its annual homecoming contest. Kickoff of the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) North Division matchup is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Tiger Stadium.