NJCAA Game of the Week

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – With the 2012 NJCAA football regular season drawing to a close, the road is getting rougher for the nation's top programs. Three matchups featuring ranked opponents are on tap this week, while several teams try to capitalize on their opportunity to clinch regular season conference titles and playoff berths...

#5 Northwest Mississippi (6-0) at #3 East Mississippi (7-0)
Thursday, 7:00 p.m. (CT)

The highly-anticipated matchup between No. 5 Northwest Mississippi and No. 3 East Mississippi will finally kick off Thursday night with the MACJC North title on the line. Defending national champion East Mississippi will put their 19-game win streak up against the Rangers who are on a 10-game win streak of their own.

Last season, it was the offense that led the Lions to their first ever national championship. In 2012, it has been the East Mississippi defense that has anchored the team's 7-0 start. The Lions defense is holding opponents to just 174 yards and 6.4 points per game, recording three shutouts in their last four outings. East Mississippi's offense is directed by freshman quarterback Quez Johnson who has thrown for 1,731 yards and 20 touchdowns, while rushing for 185 yards and six touchdowns in 2012. Facing only their second opponent of the year with a winning record, the Lions finally have a chance to prove themselves against a quality opponent when the Rangers come in.

Having played a lackluster schedule themselves, the Northwest Rangers are looking forward to proving that they deserve their place atop the MACJC North standings. Northwest Mississippi will utilize a stout run defense of their own that is giving up only 83 yards per game on the ground. The Rangers have shown their ability to score with the offense on the sidelines this year, ranking third in the nation with four defensive touchdowns. Sophomore quarterback Domonique Harris (right) has been consistent for Northwest Mississippi, completing 60.1 percent of his passes for 1,332 yards and eight touchdowns.


Other Games to Watch

#11 Mississippi Gulf Coast (6-1) at #14 Copiah-Lincoln (6-1)
Saturday, 3:00 p.m. (CT)


While this week's MACJC North matchup garners most of the national spotlight, the MACJC South will have a key game of their own when Copiah-Lincoln hosts Mississippi Gulf Coast. The Wolves of Copiah-Lincoln can clinch the division championship with a victory, while a Bulldogs' win would throw both teams into a virtual three-way tie with Jones County. With a strong but inconsistent offense, the Wolves will look to capitalize on defense where they lead the nation with 19 interceptions this season. Mississippi Gulf Coast boasts their own robust defense that is holding opponents to 269.1 yards per game.

#20 Dean (5-2) at #6 Nassau (7-0) Saturday, 12:00 p.m. (ET)

The battle for supremacy in the NFC continues this weekend as Nassau tries to defend their perfect record against visiting Dean. The Nassau Lions have been one of the country's most dominant programs in 2012, outscoring their opponents 296-69. Five of Nassau's seven opponents have been held to single-digits in scoring and only one team has come within two scores of the Lions. Relying almost exclusively on their passing attack, the Dean Bulldogs will need a top-notch performance from freshman quarterback Trevor Vasey.

Iowa Central (5-2) at #1 Iowa Western (7-0)
Saturday, 2:30 p.m. (CT)

With Iowa Western's game next week determining the regular-season conference champion, the Reivers will try to avoid an upset in Saturday's trap game against Iowa Central. Continuing to lead the country in scoring with 67 points per game, Iowa Western will continue to rely on its deadly sophomore combination of quarterback Jake Waters and wide receiver Deon Long. Waters is on pace to break the NJCAA-record for completion percentage, while Long leads the nation in receiving touchdowns with 15. Coming off a disappointing loss to Ellsworth, Iowa Central will look to sophomore running back Jontel Clayton to keep the Reiver offense off the field.


This Week in the Top 20

1. Iowa Western (7-0) vs. Iowa Central (5-2) Saturday, 2:30 p.m.
2. Butler (7-0) vs. Coffeyville (5-2) Saturday, 7:00 p.m.
3. East Mississippi (7-0) vs. #5 Northwest Mississippi (6-0) Thursday, 7:00 p.m.
4. Arizona Western (5-0) vs. Mesa (4-3) Saturday, 7:00 p.m.
5. Northwest Mississippi (6-0) at #3 East Mississippi (7-0) Thursday, 7:00 p.m.
6. Nassau (7-0) vs. #20 Dean (5-2) Saturday, 12:00 p.m.
7. ASA (7-0) vs. Erie (2-5) Saturday, 12:00 p.m.
8. Navarro (6-1) vs. Blinn (2-4) Saturday, 3:00 p.m.
9. NE Oklahoma A&M (6-1) at Cisco (2-5) Saturday, 2:00 p.m.
10. Snow (6-1) at New Mexico Military (4-3) Saturday, 2:00 p.m.
11. Mississippi Gulf Coast (6-1) at #14 Copiah-Lincoln (6-1) Saturday, 3:00 p.m.
12. Hutchinson (6-1) at Fort Scott (3-4) Saturday, 1:00 p.m.
13. Kilgore (6-1) vs. *Southeast Prep Saturday, 3:00 p.m.
14. Copiah-Lincoln (6-1) vs. #11 Mississippi Gulf Coast (6-1) Saturday, 3:00 p.m.
15. Central Lakes (7-1) vs. Minnesota West (5-3) Saturday, 1:00 p.m.
16. Louisburg (5-1) vs. Hudson Valley (1-6) Saturday, 12:00 p.m.
17. Rochester (7-1) vs. Ridgewater (5-3) Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
18. Jones County (5-2) vs. Southwest Mississippi (0-6) Saturday, 3:00 p.m.
19. College of DuPage (5-2) at Arkansas Baptist (1-6) Saturday, 12:00 p.m.
20. Dean (5-2) at #6 Nassau (7-0) Saturday, 12:00 p.m.


Complete NJCAA Football Schedule (Oct. 18-21)

Thursday, Oct. 18
MCAC Playoffs
(Minnesota College Athletic Conference)
Itasca (2-6) at Northland (5-3) – 12:00 p.m.

MACJC
(Mississippi Assoc. of Community & Junior Colleges)
Pearl River (2-5) at East Central (3-4) – 6:30 p.m.
#5 Northwest Mississippi (6-0) at #3 East Mississippi (7-0) – 7:00 p.m.
Hinds (3-4) at Holmes (3-4) – 7:00 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 19
Non-Conference
Dakota-Bottineau (0-6) at *Mayville JV – 6:00 p.m.

MCAC Playoffs
(Minnesota College Athletic Conference)
Vermilion (1-7) at Fond du Lac (5-3) – 4:00 p.m

Saturday, Oct. 20 MCAC Playoffs (Minnesota College Athletic Conference) Minnesota West (5-3) at #15 Central Lakes (7-1) – 1:00 p.m.
Ridgewater (5-3) at #17 Rochester (7-1) – 1:30 p.m.


Non-Conference
Alfred State (3-2) at *Apprentice School – 1:00 p.m.
#19 College of DuPage (5-2) at Arkansas Baptist (1-6) – 12:00 p.m.
*Atlanta Sports Academy at Georgia Military (4-3) – 2:00 p.m.
Globe (5-2) at *Army Prep – 2:00 p.m.
*Southeast Prep at #13 Kilgore (6-1) – 3:00 p.m.


KJCCC
(Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference)
#12 Hutchinson (6-1) at Fort Scott (3-4) – 1:00 p.m.
Dodge City (0-7) at Garden City (5-2) – 7:00 p.m.
Coffeyville (5-2) at #2 Butler (7-0) – 7:00 p.m.

MFC
(Midwest Football Conference)
North Dakota SCS (3-3) at Ellsworth (4-2) – 1:00 p.m.
Iowa Central (5-2) at #1 Iowa Western (7-0) – 2:30 p.m.

MACJC (Mississippi Assoc. of Community & Junior Colleges)
Mississippi Delta (0-7) at Coahoma (1-6) – TBA
Itawamba (4-3) at Northeast Mississippi (2-5) – 3:00 p.m.
#11 Mississippi Gulf Coast (6-1) at #14 Copiah-Lincoln (6-1) – 3:00 p.m.
Southwest Mississippi (0-6) at #18 Jones County (5-2) – 3:00 p.m.


NFC
(Northeast Football Conference)
Hudson Valley (1-6) at #16 Louisburg (5-1) – 12:00 p.m.
#20 Dean (5-2) at #6 Nassau (7-0) – 12:00 p.m.
Erie (2-5) at #7 ASA (7-0) – 12:00 p.m.
"1"Monroe (2-5) at Lackawanna (4-3) – 2:00 p.m.
"1"Doesn't count toward conference records

SWJCFC
(Southwest Junior College Football Conference)
#9 NE Oklahoma A&M (6-1) at Cisco (2-5) – 2:00 p.m.
Blinn (2-4) at #8 Navarro (6-1) – 3:00 p.m.
"2"Trinity Valley (3-5) vs. Tyler (4-3) – 3:00 p.m.
"2"Played in Lindale, Texas

WSFL
(Western States Football League)
#10 Snow (6-1) at New Mexico Military (4-3) – 2:00 p.m.
Phoenix (2-4) at Eastern Arizona (3-4) – 6:00 p.m.
Pima (1-7) at Glendale (4-2) – 7:00 p.m.
Mesa (4-3) at #4 Arizona Western (5-0) – 7:00 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 19
Non-Conference
*Benedictine JV at Highland (1-6) – 4:00 p.m.


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