October 31, 2016
The East Central Community College Football Warriors will host the defending national champion and No. 5 ranked Northwest Mississippi Community College Rangers in the semifinals of the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges state playoffs Saturday, Nov. 5.
Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. at Bailey Stadium on the East Central campus in Decatur. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students.
East Central earned the right to host by winning the MACJC South Division title. The Warriors finished the regular season 5-4 overall and 5-1 in division play.
Northwest is 8-1 overall and finished second in the North Division with a 5-1 record. Their only loss was to No. 3 East Mississippi Community College.
The two teams met last season in the semifinals of the MACJC state playoffs, with the Rangers taking a 27-20 home win in a game played in Senatobia. Northwest went on to beat Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in the state championship game and then No. 2 Rochester Community and Technical College in the Mississippi Bowl to claim the national championship.
East Central and Northwest are not strangers this season. The teams met in Senatobia on Oct. 20. The Rangers jumped out to a 20-0 halftime lead and held on to beat the Warriors 20-14.
East Central last beat Northwest in the 1997 season 28-27 in a game played in Decatur.
East Central claimed its first-ever MACJC South Division title Oct. 29 with a 42-13 win over Southwest Mississippi Community College in Summit. East Central did win a North Division title in 1970.
The last time an East Central football team competed in the state playoffs two years in a row was 40 years ago in the 1975 and 1976 seasons.
The East Central vs. Northwest game can be heard on the radio at WKOZ “Cruisin” 98.3. The radio broadcasts will also be streamed online on the ECCC website at www.eccc.edu/eccc-media and at www.kicks96news.com.