Opportunities Elude Tigers in Week 3 Loss to NWCC
Coahoma Community College was its own worst enemy Thursday night in its MACJC Northern Division opener at home against the Rangers from Northwest Mississippi Community College. Both teams came into the contest looking for their first wins of the young season, and although NWCC left James C. Miller Stadium with the win, it was gift-wrapped with penalties, mental mistakes and missed opportunities by the Tigers.
CCC looked strong out of the gate putting together a 13-play, 82-yard scoring drive that was capped off by a 26-yard touchdown pass from Quaintavous Peterson to Kshun Evans. The Cody Speaker extra point gave the Tigers an early 7-0 that lasted for about 20 seconds. On the ensuing kickoff, the Rangers’ Marcel Newson immediately responded with a 91-yard return for touchdown to knot the score at 7-7.
“We had a directional kick on right there, and we kicked it right down the middle,” said CCC Head Coach Freeman Horton. “Right down the middle where we didn’t have a safety.”
And that was just one of the huge plays that Northwest hung its victory on during the evening. Rangers running back Damian Baker found the end zone on three separate occasions, first on a 2-yard run on NCCC’s next possession, and then again on 83 and 70-yard runs in the second and third quarters.
“If you could take those plays out of the game, it would’ve been different,” said Horton. “But you can’t though, we had opportunities to make plays and we just didn’t make them.”
Baker’s first touchdown run was aided by four consecutive personal foul penalties that moved the Rangers (1-2, 1-0) from the Tigers 35-yard line down to the 2-yard line. Baker would finish with 208 yards rushing on 16 carries.
“That’s dumb stuff, that’s not playing smart and that’s not being disciplined,” Horton said. “We’ve got to be smarter than that. We’ve got to clean up the mental mistakes. We played better tonight than we’ve played so far, but it’s still not good enough.”
The Tigers offense did show a drastic improvement, picking up 16 first downs and turning in 263 yards of total offense. CCC also possessed the ball five minutes longer than Northwest, but could only convert 4-of-15 third down plays and had some key drives stopped with penalties. CCC running back Christian Williams had a 60-yard run called back due to a blocking below the waist penalty, and a botched punt snap by CCC gave the Rangers possession inside the Tigers 15-yard line – both early in the second half.
“The offense continued to move the ball,” Horton said, “but we got some penalties that stopped some drives and we really just couldn’t get out of our own way tonight … just couldn’t get out of our own way.”
Coahoma (0-3, 0-1) will be at home again this Thursday night playing host to Pearl River (1-1) who opens its MACJC Northern Division schedule up Saturday against undefeated (2-0) Jones Community College who entered the national polls last week and is currently ranked No. 19.
“We’ve got to try our best to keep our confidence level up, and keep our heads up,” said Horton. “We’ve got to keep believing in ourselves. The effort that we’re putting out is great; I believe our kids are always going to give their best. We just need to go out and perform like we’re capable of performing and cut out the mistakes.”
Score by Quarters
1st Qtr: CCC – Q. Peterson 26-yard pass to K. Evans (C. Spears kick good) 0-7
1st Qtr: NWCC – M. Newson 91-yard kickoff return for TD (B. Frederick kick good) 7-7
1st Qtr: NWCC – D. Baker 2-yard run (B. Frederick kick good) 14-7
2nd Qtr: CCC – Q. Peterson 22-yard pass to K. Evans (C. Spears kick good) 14-14
2nd Qtr: NWCC – D. Baker 83-yard run (B. Frederick kick good) 21-14
2nd Qtr: CCC – C. Spear 35-yard field goal 21-17
2nd Qtr: NWCC – K. Miller 23-yard pass to D. Swinney (B. Frederick kick good) 28-17
3rd Qtr: NWCC – D. Baker 70-yard run (B. Frederick kick good) 35-17
3rd Qtr: CCC – Q. Peterson 8-yard pass to J. Hill (C. Spears kick blocked) 35-23
4th Qtr: NWCC - B. Frederick 32-yard field goal 38-23