NW Miss. Knocks Off Holmes 10-7

Two stories - one from Holmes and one from NW Miss. First from Holmes SID, Steve Diffey... GOODMAN --- The Northwest Mississippi CC Rangers drove some 60 yards late in the fourth quarter to knock off the Holmes Community College Bulldogs, 10-7, here Thursday night. With the loss, the Bulldogs fell to 0-2 on the season and 0-2 in the North Division while the Rangers went to 1-0 in the division and 1-1 on the year.

Northwest began a drive early in the fourth quarter at their own 40-yard line and drove some 13 plays to the Bulldog five before Ranger quarterback Larry Henderson as he was going down pitched the ball to Marcus Griffin for the touchdown. Billy Bishop's kick put the Rangers up for good at 10-7 with 3:25 left in the game.

The Bulldogs got on the scoreboard first early in third quarter as Bulldog sophomore quarterback Jerimy Watson found a streaking Jeremy Packer down the visitor's sidelines for a 50-yard touchdown. Matthew Powell's extra point put the Bulldogs up 7-0 with 14:20 left in the third quarter.

Northwest's Bishop answered the Bulldog score later in the quarter with a 32-yard field goal inching the Rangers closer at 10-3 with 2:44 left in the third.

Watson finished 17-of-35 for 236 yards, a touchdown and four interceptions on the night. Da'Varius Jackson led the Bulldogs in receptions with seven for 126 yards. Jeremy Packer had four catches for 75 yards and the touchdown.

For the Rangers, it was all on the ground led by Terrance Jackson's 78 yards on 14 carries. Curtis Steele had 62 yards on 17 carries while Griffin had 36 yards on nine carries and Henderson had 34 yards on 17 carries. The Rangers had 62 carries for 239 yards.

The Bulldogs return to action on Thursday night, Oct. 6 versus Itawamba in Fulton. Game time is 7 p.m.

STORY 2 - From NW Miss. SID, Brett Brown

The game-winning play the Northwest Mississippi Community College Rangers used to knock off the Holmes Bulldogs 10-7 Sept. 29 in Goodman didn't go exactly the way the coaching staff drew it up.

In fact, it almost looked like a play used in many backyards after school.

Trailing 7-3 and facing fourth-and-goal at the Holmes' five-yard line, Northwest decided to go with an option. Ranger quarterback Larry Henderson of Hernando sprinted right, but got wrapped up by a Bulldog defensive end.

Henderson improvised and made an overhand lateral to tailback Marcus Griffin of Courtland who dashed into the end zone with 3:25 remaining to lift Northwest to victory.

"Our offensive coordinator David Thornton saw that Holmes' guys were falling in on our inside running game and thought we could get something on the corner," said Ranger Head Coach Randy Pippin, who earned his first win at Northwest. "It just turned out to be a wild play, but the the guys found a way to get the ball into the end zone when we had to have it."

Northwest, which is 1-0 in the MACJC north division, evened its overall record at 1-1.

The Ranger defense was solid all night by limiting Holmes to 12 yards rushing and registering six quarterback sacks.

Northwest also recorded four interceptions, including three by sophomore cornerback Zach Britten of Abbeville.

After a scoreless first half, Holmes used a 50-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jerimy Watson to receiver Jeremy Packer to claim a 7-0 lead with 14:20 left in the third period. Packer caught a short pass from Watson, but out-ran the Ranger defense to the end zone.

Northwest placekicker Billy Bishop of Raymond booted a 26-yard field goal, the first of his collegiate career, with 2:44 remaining in the third quarter.

The Rangers moved the ball effectively against Holmes especially in the fourth period, but penalties hurt Northwest's chances of scoring more points.

The Bulldogs had a chance to add to their 7-3 advantage in the fourth quarter, but Ranger linebacker Andre Reese of Seville, Fla., blocked Holmes' 42-yard field goal attempt.

"The way the kids performed tonight made the win even sweeter," said Pippin. "They had plenty of chances to lay down, but we kept playing good defense and running the ball which allowed us to win this game in the fourth quarter. That's what champions are made of and I believe we have some championship caliber kids on this team."

Northwest continues division play Thursday, Oct. 6 by traveling to Scooba to face East Mississippi.

PHOTO: Northwest Mississippi Community College linebacker Cory Lattimore of Homestead, Fla., sacks the Holmes quarterback during the Rangers' 10-7 victory Sept. 29 in Goodman.


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