Senatobia, Miss. - The Northeast Mississippi Community College football team is heading back on the road for the final time during the 2018 regular season to meet its second straight top 10 adversary.
The Tigers travel to rival Northwest Mississippi Community College on Thursday, October 18. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Bobby Franklin Field.
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.
This game will also air on WADI and WXWX The Bee, which are sister stations of Northeast's usual radio affiliate in WOWL Fun 91. An audio simulcast featuring Jody Presley, the Voice of the Tigers, can be heard on frequencies 95.3 FM from Corinth and 96.3 FM from Marietta.
Northeast and the Rangers will meet for the 59th time on the gridiron. That brings Northwest back into a tie as the Tigers' most common opponent in program history along with Itawamba Community College.
This is the first meeting between the two long time foes in Senatobia since a highly touted matchup of two top 10 teams in 2016. The Rangers won one year ago at Tiger Stadium by a 32-0 margin.
"They're going to try to test us and hit us with deep balls. We've got to be able to defend that," said Northeast head coach Greg Davis. "Hopefully we're able to move the football against their defense. We're very similar as far as stopping the run. However, they're a little bit different in the coverage aspect."
The Tigers (1-6, 1-3) look to build off a stellar second half against 7th-ranked Jones College last week. Northeast outscored the Bobcats 27-16 and outgained them 281-199 in the final two quarters.
Zac Oden of Montevallo, Ala., has eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the season. He is the fifth straight Tiger quarterback to throw for over 1,000 yards in a single campaign going back to current professional football standout Brett Thompson in 2014.
His top target Kortlon Hubbard from Jackson has three consecutive 100-plus yard receiving performances. He set a new career-high of 143 yards on just six receptions versus the Bobcats.
Sixteen different Tigers have now recorded at least one catch after Sam Williams added his name to that list with a four-yard touchdown reception against Jones. Hubbard has a team-best 29 catches while Northwest Rankin High School's Carson Banks is second with 22 snags.
The aforementioned Williams, who is committed to the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), has dominated defensively and currently leads the entire country in tackles for loss with 21.5, sacks at 13.5 and forced fumbles with four.
Northeast also boasts the top two tacklers in the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) in University of Houston (Texas) commit Terrance Edgeston and Provine High School alumnus Juwan Taylor.
Edgeston is fifth in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and tops in the Magnolia State with 76 stops while Taylor is one spot back in both the national and state rankings at 73 takedowns.
"Both of those guys are phenomenal football players," Davis said. "Juwan is going to force everything off the edge while Terrance is going to scrape and make plays. Both do a great job in pass coverage and stepping up for the run. They're great leaders and great people."
Noxubee County High School graduate Terry Joiner has performed admirable in the middle of the campaign. He has 31 tackles over the last four weeks and is currently fourth on the squad with 35 total stops.
Jacob Free guides Northwest, which is No. 5 in the latest NJCAA poll, and leads the MACJC with 1,444 passing yards plus eight scores. Chris Calvert has a team-best eight rushing touchdowns.
The Rangers (6-1, 3-1) are paced on defense by Jerrick Reed's 55 tackles. Northwest has forced 14 turnovers as a unit, including Brandin Echols' league-leading five interceptions.
The Tigers return to the City of Hospitality on Thursday, October 25 for their final home game this year versus East Mississippi Community College. Northeast will recognize and honor its sophomore class prior to the 6:30 p.m. start.