CCC Looks Good Early But Can’t Finish Strong at NEMCC
BOONEVILLE — Things looked good early for Coahoma Community College Saturday afternoon, and all signs pointed to the Tigers picking up their first win of the season on the road. CCC led early, and took the lead into the locker room at half. However, a huge penalty at the start of the third quarter allowed Northeast Mississippi to continue the drive that led to the go-ahead touchdown that would prove to be the difference maker.
Leading 17-13 to open up the second half of play, CCC’s defense stopped Northeast cold forcing a punt after three plays and no yards gained. However, on the ensuing punt, Coahoma’s Devin Williams made contact with NEMCC’s punter Chris Cooper soliciting the “roughing the kicker” penalty that extended the drive and put Northeast at midfield.
Five plays later, NEMCC quarter Jeremy Liggins hit Jerrard Randall on a 16-yard scoring pass that would put Northeast ahead for good, 20-17. The Tigers from Booneville would add another touchdown as time was running out in the third, the 1-yard dive by Matthew Belue would give the game its final tally after the PAT, 27-17.
“I was proud of how we responded after the game the week before, they were focused and came out and played well early,” said CCC Head Coach Freeman Horton, referring to the 90-7 loss to East Mississippi on Oct. 5. “We just bogged down in the second half, and turned the ball over, and the turning point was the roughing the kicker penalty we got early in the third. That really hurt the momentum.”
In the early going, CCC’s offense was clicking on all cylinders. They picked up three first downs on its initial drive, and after a missed 56-yard field goal by Northeast, the Tigers responded putting together an 11-play, 61-yard drive that was capped off by freshman Christian Williams 1-yard touchdown run. Cody Spears added the extra point and Coahoma was up early, 7-0.
Northeast answered on the next possession with a 45-yard field goal.
In the second quarter, CCC quarterback Quaintavous Peterson was flushed out of the pocket and scampered for a 16-yard touchdown run that padded the Coahoma lead, 14-3. But, following a kickoff out of bounds, Northeast put together a 5-play, 65-yard touchdown drive that ended with Liggins scoring on a run from 11 yards out. The PAT would close the gap, 14-0.
With 4:11 left on the clock in the second quarter, Northeast’s Cooper would add his second field goal of the afternoon (35 yards) to pull NEMCC within one point, 14-13. However, Coahoma managed to drive the ball down to the Northeast 13-yard-line and Spears was able to squeak through the 23-yard field goal, after a bad snap, to put the Tigers ahead at the half, 17-13.
The Tigers offense was stagnant in the second half going three-and-out twice, in the third quarter while also turning the ball over deep in Northeast’s territory. After a botched field goal attempt, CCC took possession on Northeast’s 20-yard-line with 6:56 left in third quarter. But on second and seven, from the NEMCC 17-yard-line, Peterson attempted a pass that was tipped by a Northeast offensive lineman and intercepted.
Coahoma (0-6, 0-3 in the MACJC North) had other opportunities in the fourth. After driving to the Northeast 20-yard-line, CCC attempted a 30-yard field goal that was pulled left by Spears with 11:56 to play in the game. And then, following a shanked punt by Northeast, Coahoma took possession on the NEMCC 37-yard-line. But another Peterson pass found its way into the arms of a defender on the first play of the series.
“Our defense, it played really well, it followed the game plan perfectly,” said Horton. “We had some great opportunities and a great chance to win, but we’ve just got to eliminate the errors.”
Coahoma will return to James E. Miller Stadium this Saturday for it Homecoming matchup with Itawamba. Ranked No. 4 in last week’s NJCCA poll, Itawamba (5-1, 2-1 in the MACJC North) was defeated by No. 9 Copiah-Lincoln, 48-7 for its first loss of the season.
The game is scheduled for a 2 p.m. kickoff this Saturday at Coahoma Community College.
Scoring by Quarters
1st Qtr: CCC — Christian Williams 1-yard run, Cody Spears kick good, 4:29 — 7-0
1st Qtr: NEMCC — Chris Cooper 45-yard field goal, 1:41 — 7-3
2nd Qtr: CCC — Quaintavous Peterson 16-yard run, Spears kick good, 8:53 — 14-3
2nd Qtr: NEMCC — Jeremy Liggins 11-yard run, Cooper kick good, 7:25 — 14-10
2nd Qtr: NEMCC — Cooper 35-yard field goal, 2:31 — 14-13
2nd Qtr: CCC — Spears 23-yard field goal, 0:04 — 17-13
3rd Qtr: NEMCC — Liggins 16-yard pass to Randall, Cooper kick good, 11:32 — 20-17
3rd Qtr: NEMCC — Matthew Belue 1-yard run, Cooper kick good, 0:05 — 27-17