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Northeast Mississippi Community College’s football team stayed perfect on the year in front of another packed Tiger Stadium on Thursday, September 8.
Northeast (2-0, 0-0) used a stout defensive effort and a three-touchdown performance from Parks Frazier (Corinth) in knocking off Southwest 32-9 in Booneville.
Northeast’s defense held the high-powered Southwest offense to just 86 yards of total offense and contained Bear quarterback Vintavious Cooper limiting the sophomore signal caller to just 25 yards on the ground and a 3-of-14 performance through the air for nine yards.
Previously, Cooper had been able lead the Bear offense to 390 yards – 376 on the ground – in a 24-21 double overtime win against Holmes in the season opener.
Northeast’s defense held Southwest to just 70 yards rushing on 24 attempts and thwarted the Bear air attack, which finished 4-of-16 for 16 yards and three interceptions.
Northeast’s defense kept a tight lid on Southwest and did not allow the Bears to complete a pass until just over 12 minutes left in the game when Cooper hit Donnell Dunigan on a 6-yard pass with 12:11 left in the fourth quarter.
Frazier came out hot for the Tigers quickly passing the 100-yard passing plateau on a 4-of-5 showing including a 63-yard pass to Markie Dukes (Oxford) that set up the Tigers first score.
Frazier found Dukes on a slant route with 11:49 left in the first quarter and staked the host to a 6-0 advantage.
Northeast threatened again driving to the Bear 5 before Brennan Dunklin stepped in front of a Frazier pass and rumbled 101 yards for the tying score for Southwest with 4:42 left in the quarter.
Not to be outdone, Frazier rallied the troops and capped the drive as the quarter ended hitting Tres Houston (Atlanta, Ga.) on a 10-yard touchdown strike.
Over the next two frames, the game turned into a defensive struggle as both teams thwarted scoring opportunities.
Northeast was able to add to its 13-6 lead with a pair of Taylor Earhart (Olive Branch) field goals in the second and third quarters.
Earhart connected on a 41-yard field goal with 5:10 left in the first half and staked the Tigers to a 19-6 advantage with his 31-yard effort with 11:32 left in the third.
Northeast finally broke from the special teams scoring with an 11-play drive that ground almost seven minutes off the clock in the third quarter.
After Deion Belue (Tuscumbia, Ala.) gave the host good field position with a 30-yard punt return, the Tigers took the next 6:42 to drive 36 yards before Frazier found Michael Poole (Ripley) on a 3-yard screen for his third touchdown pass of the night.
However, the drive tried to stall out at the Bear 28 before Frazier extended it by finding Houston on a 15-yard pass to the Bear 13 on fourth-and two.
A Tiger turnover gave Southwest its final score of the night but the Northeast defense kept the Bears of the end zone.
Following a Tiger fumble, Southwest picked up good field position at the Tiger 28 but could not break through the defense and had to settle for a 31-yard Jake Saltalamacchia field goal with 8:03 left in the game.
Courtney Sutton, who had a fumble return for a score in the season opener against East Central, put the game on ice for the Tigers on the Bears next possession. The sophomore from Southaven hauled in a tipped shovel pass and rumbled his way to the Bear 8 yard-line.
Sutton’s interception allowed Jamarcus Goodloe (Leighton, Ala.) to bull his way in from three yards out with 4:27 left in the game giving the Tigers a 32-9 advantage.
Northeast will look to keep its perfect record intact next Thursday, September 15 as the Tigers open up North Division play in Moorhead against Mississippi Delta (0-2, 0-0). Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m.
Fans can listen to all the action beginning at 6:20 p.m. by logging onto http://www.teamline.cc/teampage?teamcode=1452, then clicking on football.
Fans can also listen to the live play-by-play from any telephone for $5 per game. To access games via any telephone, dial 1-216-502-3200. Enter teamcode 1452 when prompted. Long distance charges may apply depending on long distance plan or provider.