BOONEVILLE, Miss. - The Northeast Mississippi Community College football program has a big night planned for its final home contest of the regular season.
The Tigers welcome archrival Northwest Mississippi Community College on Thursday, October 17. Kickoff is slated for 6:30 p.m. at Tiger Stadium.
The matchup serves as Northeast's annual Pink Out Game. Fans of both the Tigers and the Rangers are encouraged to wear pink items of clothing to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Northeast will wear special pink adidas jerseys against Northwest as well. These customized uniforms will honor the friends or family of people in the local community or members of the football team with their names on the back.
A portion of the money raised through this endeavor goes directly to research and treatment at the City of Hope, which is one of just 49 comprehensive cancer centers in the country as recognized by the National Cancer Institute.
"This is a special event that we've started," said Tigers head coach Greg Davis. "It's touched a lot of people that we've been around in the community. It's just a good thing to have yearly."
It is also Northeast's sophomore recognition night. A group of 25 phenomenal student-athletes will be recognized on the field at approximately 6:10 p.m. during the pregame activities.
"It's really touching because they've put a lot of hard work into getting us back to being competitive and where we need to be," Davis said. "They've pushed really hard and I'm really proud of the way they just excel every week.
"I saw them grow and get tougher. I think the thing that everybody has seen this year is the heart and the effort that these guys have put in. We've got a great group of kids."
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 Fire 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.
This is one of the two longest played series in program history. Northeast's thrilling victory over Itawamba Community College last month was also the 60th all-time meeting on the gridiron between those two longtime foes.
The Rangers, who are ranked No. 2 in the latest National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) poll, feature a balanced offense that averages 216.7 yards per game through the air and 210.4 yards on the ground.
Chris Calvert-Thomas, Urriah Shephard and Jaquerrious Williams all have over 350 yards rushing to pace Northwest (6-1, 3-1). Cam White is the Rangers' top defender with 37 tackles, including two for loss.
The Tigers continue to sit inside the top 10 nationally with just 244.6 yards allowed each game. Northeast's 23 sacks as a unit is tied for second best in the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC).
Linemen Cedric Hillsman of Peach County (Ga.) High School and Darius Shipp from Lewisburg High School pace that effort with four and 3.5 sacks apiece. The Tigers have forced 14 turnovers, including three fumble recoveries by Saltillo's Jamarcus Smith.
Sophomores Carson Banks and Montel Gladney from Northwest Rankin High School plus Xavier Malone of Lake Cormorant High School all have over 20 catches and 225 yards to guide Northeast (3-4, 2-2) offensively.
Five of the Tigers' seven outings this year have ended up as tight one possession affairs. The lone exceptions have been Northeast's nine-point win at Coahoma Community College and last week's road loss to Jones College.