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Skies were clear and calm in Scooba Thursday, October 7 but Northeast Mississippi Community College’s football team let loose a rushing storm on East Mississippi and captured sole possession of second place in the North Division.
Northeast’s running duo of Jaquise Cook (Ripley) and Jamarcus Goodloe (Leighton, Ala.) accounted for 349 yards on the ground and five scores as the Tigers knocked off the defending Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) state champions 49-42 in an offensive storm.
Cook unleashed a torrent of yardage on the Lions as the sophomore running back broke free for a career-high 267 yards and four scores.
Goodloe, who is known as the thunder to Cook’s lightning, tallied 82 yards and a score for the Tigers, who moved to 4-2 on the season and 3-1 in the North Division.
Coming into Thursday’s affair, Northeast and East Mississippi (2-4, 2-2) were tied for the second spot in the North Division behind undefeated Northwest. Northwest remained undefeated on the year after knocking off South Division foe Southwest 24-7 but saw the Tigers gain a half-game on the Rangers with the division win.
Northeast (4-2, 3-1) wasted little time in making a 7-0 East Mississippi lead disappear on the Tigers second and third possessions of the game.
Goodloe rumbled in from two yards out with 11:11 showing in the first and Cook followed his thundering teammate with a 13-yard flash to pay dirt just over two minutes later as the Tigers captured a 14-7 advantage.
After East Mississippi tied the game at 14-all when Brad Henderson connected with former Northeast Tiger Andre Taylor on a 7-yard strike with 7:41 to go in the second quarter, Northeast starting quarterback Bryan Steele (Olive Branch) carried the Tiger offense down the field on Northeast’s ensuing drive.
Steele, who picked up the win in his first collegiate start, brought down the steel curtain on the Lion defense when the 6-3, 215-pound freshman crashed in from seven yards out with 3:15 left in the first half--giving the Tigers a 21-14 advantage at the break.
East Mississippi wasted little time in tying the contest at 21-all as the Lions capped 7-play, 61-yard half-opening drive when Trayshun King bulled his way in from two yards out with 12:42 left in the third.
Cook continued his record night when the 5-9, 205-pound Ripley native pushed the Tigers back to a seven-point advantage with is second score of the night this time jetting in from 27 yards out. However, Northeast’s lead was quick lived as J.J. Harbin hauled in a 63-yard scoring strike from Henderson less than a minute later and knotted the game at 28-all.
Northeast took a 35-28 lead into the final stanza when Jonathan Johnson (West Helena, Ark.) came around on the reverse and found open ground for a six-yard score as the quarter expired. Taylor Earhart (Olive Branch) was true on his fifth extra point of the night as the Tigers took a seven-point lead into the final 15 minutes.
King knotted the game back up at 35-35 with 11:53 remaining in the contest before “Lightning” struck twice in capping the Tiger victory.
Cook finally gave the Tigers a lead they would never relinquish when the sophomore rumbled in from 25 yards out and then finally quieted the storm with a three-yard run with 2:29 left in the game that gave the visitor’s a 49-35 advantage.
East Mississippi tried to rebuild from the storm when Rodney Davis hauled in a 37-yard pass from Henderson cutting the lead to 49-42 but the ensuing onside kick went out of bounds and Cook struck once again on the Tigers final drive as the sophomore zapped deep into Lion territory before Northeast finally ended the deluge.
On the night, Cook rushed 35 times for 267 yards and hauled in one pass for 18 markers accounting for 295 yards and four scores for the Tigers while Goodloe, who came into the night as the team’s leading scorer, bumped his season tally up to six on the year only to see Cook surpass him with his career-night.
Northeast looks to hold onto its place in the division when the Tigers take on Coahoma Community College for Homecoming 2010 “Coming Home: Tiger Style” on Saturday, October 16 at Tiger Stadium in Booneville. Kickoff for Northeast’s game against Coahoma is set for 2 p.m.