The formula is simple for Northwest in order to make the post-season– win the remaining three games on the schedule. The Rangers are tied for second place in the MACJC north division with Northeast. Both teams hold 2-1 records and trail division-leading East Mississippi which is 3-0.
Northwest, 4-2 overall, had to overcome seven turnovers last week against Mississippi Delta to earn a 25-22 overtime victory. The Rangers used a 43-yard field goal from freshman kicker Kevin Buford of Greenville in the extra period to keep their playoffs hopes alive.
For the first time this season, Northwest is not ranked in the NJCAA Top 20 poll. The Rangers were 20th last week.
Coahoma began the season with a 3-0 record, but has dropped its last three contests. The Tigers are 3-3 overall and 1-2 in the north.
Northwest and Coahoma have met 34 times since the series began in 1975 with the Rangers winning 33 of those match ups. The Tigers lone victory against Northwest was a 12-7 decision in 2005. Northwest defeated Coahoma 41-30 last season in Clarksdale.
Most of the Rangers’ success this season is due to the play of sophomore quarterback Casey Weston of Prattville, Ala. Weston leads the NJCAA in passing averaging 340.8 yards per game. Through six contests, Weston has completed 128 of 232 attempts for 2,045 yards and 20 touchdowns. Weston leads the nation in pass attempts and is tied for first in passing touchdowns. Weston ranks third in the country in pass completions.
Weston is also establishing himself in the Northwest record books. He is the school’s all-time leader with 332 career pass completions. Weston ranks second in career pass attempts with 586, fourth in career passing yardage with 4,117 yards, and fifth in career passing touchdowns with 35.
Sophomore Michael Lindsey of St. Petersburg, Fla., has proven to be a great addition to the Ranger offense. The transfer has 33 catches this season for 800 yards and nine touchdowns. Lindsey’s receiving yardage and touchdowns are tops in the NJCAA. Last week against Mississippi Delta, Lindsey had nine receptions for 234 yards and three touchdowns.
Defensively, Northwest leads the state in takeaways with 25. The Rangers have intercepted 16 passes and recovered nine fumbles. Sophomore cornerback Stacey Lake of Charleston leads the team with three picks, while safety V.J. Street of Senatobia, cornerback Aubrey Shelton of Grenada, and cornerback Keshun Cowan of Olive Branch have two each.
Linebacker John Knox of Statesboro, Ga., leads the Rangers in tackles with 44 total stops, while linebacker Desley Brown of Holly Springs has 43.