October 20, 2017

The middle of the Warrior defense teams up to stop a Northwest running back in first half action of the 2017 Homecoming game. (EC Photo)

The No. 6 ranked Northwest Mississippi Community College Rangers lived up to their lofty ranking by spoiling East Central Community College’s Homecoming with a 38-0 win over the Warriors in a non-division football game Oct. 19 at Bailey Stadium on the ECCC campus in Decatur.

It was the third straight week that East Central has faced a ranked opponent, and the fifth time this season. Seven of the eight teams the Warriors have played have been ranked at some point this season.

East Central held its Homecoming activities on a Thursday for the first time in nearly 70 years, and a standing-room-only crowed showed up for the festivities and the football game.

Sophomore physical therapy major Autumn Taylor of Newton was crowned Homecoming Queen during halftime ceremonies, and sophomore business administration major Jessica Everett was named the Maid of Honor.

Those surprise announcements were about all that went right for the Warriors on a perfect night for football.

Northwest, which last week upset No. 1 ranked East Mississippi Community College 61-38, scored on its first three drives of the game to build a 21-0 lead before the first quarter would end.

The Rangers drove 45 yards in five plays to open the game after East Central tried an unsuccessful onside kick. Running back Kevin Perkins scored from the five to give Northwest a 7-0 lead. Perkins scored his second touchdown just moments later on a 59-yard run, and running back Quarderman Sloan bulled in from the one to cap a 12-play, 87-yard drive with 3:59 to play in the opening quarter and Northwest led 21-0.

The Rangers added a 22-yard field goal from Drake McCarter in the second quarter, along with two more scores from Sloan, from two yards and nine yards, to take a 38-0 lead to the locker room at halftime.

Neither team scored in the second half which was played with a running clock.

Northwest controlled the game on the scoreboard and statistically. The Rangers totaled 23 first downs and 492 yards of total offense on the night, including 387 yards on the ground. The Warriors could manage only 70 yards of offense and three first downs against the stout Northwest defense. Northwest ran 75 offensive plays to 34 for East Central.

Defensively for East Central, freshman safety Tre’ Young out of McGill-Toolen in Mobile, Ala., had 12 tackles, including eight solo stops, while freshman linebacker V.J. Swanier out of Pass Christian added nine tackles.

East Central dropped to 1-7 on the season. The Warriors are 0-5 in MACJC South Division play. Northwest improved to 6-1 overall. The Rangers are 5-1 in the North Division.

It was the third meeting between the two non-division foes in less than 12 months, and the fourth meeting in three years. Northwest defeated East Central 20-14 in Senatobia last Oct. 20 in the regular season and then again 21-14 two weeks later in the first round of the MACJC State Playoffs in Decatur. The Rangers also beat East Central 27-20 in Senatobia in the first round of the 2015 state playoffs.

East Central will play its season finale next Thursday, Oct. 26, when Southwest Mississippi Community College visits Decatur. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. at Bailey Stadium. Sophomore football players will be honored before the game.

The East Central vs. Southwest game can be heard on WKOZ 98.3 “The Groove” or via audio stream and live stream video at www.eccc.edu/eccc-media.

Score by Quarter:

Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th  Final
NMCC 21 17 0 0 38
ECCC 0 0 0 0 0