The driver’s seat in the MACJC north division race will be on the line when the Northwest Mississippi Community College Rangers host the East Mississippi Lions Thursday, Sept. 24 at Bobby Franklin Field in Senatobia. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m., with live radio coverage provided by WQLJ FM 93.7. The game can also be heard live at www.northwestms.edu.
Northwest and East Mississippi are the only two undefeated teams left in north division. Both squads are 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the north.
Both teams are also ranked in this week’s NJCAA poll. Northwest moved up a spot to No. 18 after shutting out Itawamba 35-0 in Fulton last week. East Mississippi, which was ranked No. 2 last week, dropped 11 spots to No. 13 following its 43-26 loss to Gulf Coast.
The Lions handed the Rangers their only division loss last season by beating Northwest 27-19 in Scooba. East Mississippi went on to claim the division title, while the Rangers were runners-up.
That loss to the Lions was only Northwest’s second division loss in the last three seasons. The Rangers have won 17 of their last 19 against north opponents.
Northwest leads the nation in passing offense averaging 356.7 yards per game. The Rangers have ridden the arm of sophomore Casey Weston of Prattville, Ala., who is the nation’s top passer by completing 83 of 143 attempts for 1,385 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Four different Rangers have at least 10 receptions led by sophomore Michael Lindsey of St. Petersburg, Fla., with 17 catches for 440 yards and four touchdowns.
Northwest leads the state in team defense allowing an average of 15.8 points per game. The Rangers have also registered a state-leading 18 takeaways with 10 interceptions and eight fumble recoveries.