Co-Lin Lowers Boom On NW Mississippi

Christmas is almost four months away, but the Northwest Mississippi Community College Rangers were in the gift-giving mood in their season-opener against the Copiah-Lincoln Wolves.

PHOTO: Northwest Mississippi Community College linebacker Marcus Johnson (bottom) of Courtland tries to take down a Copiah-Lincoln tailback as Fred Akines of Clarksdale and Anton Anderson of Oxford close in. The Ranger defense held the Wolves to 23 yards rushing, but Copiah-Lincoln won the contest 33-7.

Northwest committed five turnovers en route to a 33-7 loss to Copiah-Lincoln Aug. 31 in Wesson.

Four of the Ranger fumbles led to touchdowns for the Wolves who defeated Northwest for the second consecutive season.

"One of the things we talk about all the time is to protect the football," said Ranger Head Coach Randy Pippin. "We put ourselves behind the eight ball with so many mistakes tonight, but they are correctable errors."

Northwest was able to move the ball effectively against the Wolves. The Rangers racked up 194 yards rushing, but kept shooting themselves in the foot with turnovers. Northwest fumbled the ball four times inside Copiah-Lincoln territory.

Three of those miscues led to a 20-7 advantage for the Wolves at halftime.

Copiah-Lincoln quarterback Cedric Johnson, who completed 11 of 16 passes with four touchdowns, connected with receiver Darius Williams on a 53-yard scoring strike with 14:48 left in the first half.

The Wolves added to their lead on the Rangers' next possession when defensive back Clarence Pendleton scooped up a Northwest fumble and returned it 56 yards for a touchdown.

Johnson hooked up with Thomas Hinton on a 28-yard scoring toss to push Copiah-Lincoln's advantage to 20-0.

Northwest's lone score of the contest came with 12 seconds remaining in the first half when sophomore quarterback Robert Glover of Sardis dove into the end zone from two yards out.

Copiah-Lincoln added two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter to put the game away. Johnson threw a 62-yard strike to Hinton, then hit Damoyn Carroll with a 19-yard pass.

"I don't feel good about our performance tonight, but I still feel good about this team." said Pippin. "We have got to put this one behind us and get ready for the next game."

Northwest will host Jones County Thursday, Sept. 7 in Senatobia. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.


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