Tigers Pickup First Win Against Top 20 Itawamba on Homecoming
A packed James E. Miller Stadium, on hand to celebrate Coahoma Community College’s Homecoming Saturday afternoon, held out through some wet weather and was rewarded by the Tigers who earned their first win of the season in a double-overtime thriller against the nationally-ranked Itawamba (No. 19) Indians.
On fourth down, with one yard to go for a first down in the second overtime, ICC running back Tobias Lofton was crushed in the backfield by CCC defensive lineman Keeland McElrath forcing the Indians offense off the field. The Coahoma offense scored three plays later when Christian Williams scampered in from two yards out, for his second rushing touchdown of the day, giving the Tigers the 47-41 victory.
“We played well, but we have actually played better and lost this season then we played on Saturday and won,” said Head Football Coach Freeman Horton. “We capitalized on the opportunities that we had and when we had a chance to make plays, we made them. I’m very proud of the effort and belief that our kids have shown in our system, they’ve had every chance to give up, but they’ve kept believing in the things that we are trying to do and that says a lot about our kids.”
Tigers quarterback Quaintavous Peterson had his best game of the season throwing three touchdown passes to three different receivers. Damico Ewing hauled in the game’s first score on a 6-yard pass from the Tiger QB, and he followed with a 62-yard pass to receiver Kshun Evans and another 15-yard strike to Anthony Williams. The Tigers offensive attack was balanced-out by good performances from both running backs Tiberas Lampkin and Williams. Lampkin scored in the third quarter from ten yards out, and Mitchell’s first score came from five yards out – also in the third quarter.
“(Peterson) played they way that we all knew he was capable of playing,” Horton said. “He executed the offense well and he made great decisions which was something that he hadn’t been doing.
“Our whole team played better, we caught the ball and didn’t drop many passes, we ran the ball well, and on defense when we needed to make a big play, we raised up and made some stops when we had to.”
One of the standout defensive plays came early in third quarter with Itawamba driving. ICC quarterback Griff Loftis targeted a receiver in the front corner of the end zone and CCC safety Dalvin Gates made an acrobatic interception to stop the drive. The Coahoma offense then proceeded to put together nine-play, 98-yard touchdown drive capped off by Lampkin’s TD run.
Another huge defensive stand came late in the fourth quarter when Itawamba was trying to drive and take the lead trailing 34-31. On third down and two, defensive lineman Robert Mondie burst through the line for a crucial sack, and then on fourth down and eight, McElrath came through with another clutch tackle on an ICC screen to stop the Indian drive and give the ball back to the CCC offense.
After moving the ball and running out the clock, CCC had a big miscue when a third down snap shot between the quarterback and running backs forcing CCC to punt. However, punter Cody Spears booted his best effort of the night pinning ICC deep in its own territory. The Indians’ offense was only able to gain enough yardage to produce a field goal and send the game into overtime.
Coahoma took the ball first and scored quickly when Peterson hit Williams with a perfectly thrown fade route from 15 yards out. ICC responded quickly with a 25-yard TD pass on its first play to tie things back up, 41-41.
CCC’s defense would hold on the next series of overtime, and Williams would punch it in for the Tiger win after some help from an ICC pass interference penalty.
“This win was a complete team effort, and I’m very proud of our guys in believing in what we’ve been trying to do all season,” said Horton. “We’ve gotten better ever week that we’ve been playing, the thing is that we get started so late, by the time our team gets to where we need to be, our season’s over. We really need the opportunity to start preparing earlier because that will make a big difference, our kids just now are starting to understand the things that we’re trying to do.”
Coahoma (1-6) travels to Mississippi Delta this Saturday and finishes out its season on Oct. 24th at home against Holmes Community College. There is still a chance that CCC could sneak into the MACJC Playoffs if a few MACJC North teams pickup losses, but Horton says he wants to focus on playing solid and picking up the next two wins.
“We have a great opportunity to finish our season with two more wins, and that’s all that we’re concentrating on right now,” Horton said. “We are focused on the things that we can control, and that’s winning the next two games.”
Scoring by Quarters
1st Qtr: 0:25, CCC Quaintavous Peterson 6-yard pass to Damico Ewing, Cody Spears kick good, 7-0
2nd Qtr: 9:59, ICC Tobias Lofton 2-yard run, Emmitt Dendy kick good, 7-7
2nd Qtr: 8:20, CCC Peterson 62-yard pass to Kshun Evans, Spears kick good, 14-7
2nd Qtr: 7:57, ICC Griff Loftis 63-yard pass to Shante Rogers, Dendy kick good, 14-14
2nd Qtr: 1:29, ICC Loftis 9-yard pass to Rogers, Dendy kick good, 21-14
3rd Qtr: 9:05, CCC Tiberas Lampkin, 10-yard run, Spears kick failed, 21-20
3rd Qtr: 6:25, ICC Loftis 5-yard pass to Anfernee Brand, Dendy kick good, 28-20
3rd Qtr: 3:55, CCC Christian Williams 5-yard run, Spears kick good, 28-27
3rd Qtr: 1:55, ICC Jeb Millender 33-yard field goal, 31-27
4th Qtr: 6:35, CCC Anthony Mitchell Jr., 2-yard run, Spears kick good, 34-31
4th Qtr: 0:07, ICC Millender 47-yard field goal good, 34-34
1OT: CCC Peterson 15-yard pass to Anthony Williams, Spears kick good, 41-34
1OT: ICC Loftis 25-yard pass to LaDarrell Hunt, Dendy kick good, 41-41
2OT: CCC Williams 2-yard run, FINAL 47-41