CLARKSDALE, Miss. - The Northeast Mississippi Community College football team completes its early season two-game trek by journeying into the delta for the first of two times this year.
The Tigers visit Coahoma Community College on Thursday, September 12. Kickoff for the annual battle of the Tigers on the gridiron is slated for 7 p.m. at James E. Miller Stadium.
It is the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) North Division opener for both teams and the first of four consecutive pivotal conference games for Northeast.
Those that cannot attend the matchup can watch it live and in high definition on NEMCCTV. Tune in starting at 6:30 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.
Northeast is ahead in the all-time series 35-8, but the two squads competed in a tight game one year ago. The Tigers used a pair of field goals from Michael Baugus plus a lengthy touchdown reception by Carson Banks to edge past Coahoma by a score of 20-18.
Both sets of Tigers have matched themselves tit for tat so far this season. Northeast and Coahoma each won home contests to begin the campaign before taking losses on the road last week.
"It's going to be a different environment," said Tigers head coach Greg Davis, "but at the same time, every day is different at the junior college level. Ultimately, you've got to play hard and we all know that."
Northeast's defense has lived up to its billing through two outings this year. The Tigers rank first in the MACJC and ninth overall in the country in yards allowed per game with 151.
Specifically Northeast is fifth in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) with 108 passing yards and seventh at 43 rushing yards conceded on average. The Tigers are also tied for 13th with Monroe (N.Y.) College with 13.5 points allowed each contest.
"We've had a fantastic effort by the defense," Davis said. "Those guys are getting pressure on the quarterback. Great job by the players up front and all the way around. All 11 of them on the field at any time are excellent."
The Tigers have forced four turnovers through two matchups with Cedrick Wilder, Jr., of Pelahatchie and Smith recovering two fumbles apiece. Northeast has broken up seven passes as a unit, but still seeks its initial interception.
Cedric Hillsman of Fort Valley, Ga., and Louisville's Kedarius Shell-Dixon join Joiner and Smith with double-digit takedowns for the Tigers. Northeast has accumulated 19 tackles for loss along with seven sacks.
The Tigers are hoping to take advantage of a Coahoma offense that posts just 205.5 yards per game. The homestanding Tigers accounted for 122 yards, including zero net rushing yards, in its loss at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College one week ago.
Tahj Tolbert has tallied 315 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions as the starter behind center for Coahoma (1-1). His top target by and far is Deldrionn Amos, who has 152 receiving yards and both scores.
Jack Mangel has not been shabby as one of the leaders of Northeast's offensive endeavors. The Athens, Ga., product is among the top 10 quarterbacks in the nation with a sensational 64.1 completion percentage.
Banks, who hails from Northwest Rankin High School, checks in at fourth in the Magnolia State with 11 catches. Thrasher's Shawn Dalton Weatherbee is in a stalemate for 10th in the NJCAA with 6.9 yards per carry.