The MACJC north division victory improved Northwest's record to 3-1 overall and 1-1 in the division, while Itawamba fell to 0-4 and 0-2.
After the Indians tied the contest at 24-24 with 3:23 left in the game on a four-yard run by tailback Chourse Young, the Ranger offense moved the ball down the field behind the running of tailbacks Moore of Calhoun City and Quterria Tunstall of Olive Branch. Northwest burned a timeout with the ball resting at the Itawamba 15. Then, on the next play, Moore found a hole in the Indian defense and scored the game-winner. Moore finished the night with a career-high 179 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries.
"When we took the timeout, we asked our placekicker where he wanted the ball spotted so we could get into position for a field goal," said Franklin. "We wanted to make sure that we didn't turn the ball over, and that the field goal would be the last play of the game. Moore saw a huge gap in their defense and took advantage of it."
Just like the other three games this season, the Rangers fell behind early as Itawamba claimed a 10-0 lead in the first quarter on a 27-yard field goal by Rob Miller and a one-yard touchdown run by quarterback Andy Johnson.
Northwest answered with a couple of touchdown passes from quarterback Bobby Robison of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., to receiver Durell Robinson of Lyman, S.C. With 1:52 left in the first period the duo hooked up on an 11-yarder, then opened the second quarter with a one-yard touchdown play. The second score was set up by a blocked punt by Ranger Colby Simmons of Lithia Springs, Ga., which he recovered at the Indian one.
A miscue by Northwest allowed Itawamba to reclaim the lead at 17-14. Ranger punt returner Enrique Reese of College Park, Ga., bobbled a punt, which the Indians recovered at the Northwest 45. Five plays later, Itawamba's Johnson scored from one-yard out. The Rangers responded with 11 seconds left in the half behind the first of Moore's two touchdown runs, this one from a yard out to give Northwest a 21-17 halftime advantage.
A 32-yard field goal by Ranger placekicker Brent Smith of Byhalia was the only score of the third period, but it stretched the Northwest lead to 24-17 and set up Moore's heroics to give the Rangers the win.
NW Mississippi Rushes to Win Behind Moore
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