To just say that Northwest Mississippi Community College Ranger quarterback Casey Weston is having a good season would be a severe understatement.
Weston, a sophomore from Prattville, Ala., threw for 335 yards and three touchdowns to lead Northwest to a 26-19 victory against the Holmes Bulldogs Oct. 17 in Goodman.
The Rangers moved to 5-3 overall and ensured Northwest of its 27th winning season in the last 28 years. More importantly, the Rangers kept their playoff hopes alive by improving to 3-2 in the MACJC north division.
Northwest is tied for second place in the division with Coahoma. The only way the Rangers can qualify for post-season play is to beat Northeast and hope that Itawamba knocks off Coahoma Oct. 22 in Clarksdale.
Northwest closes out its regular season with Homecoming Saturday, Oct. 24 by hosting the Northeast Tigers at Bobby Franklin Field in Senatobia. Kick off is set for 2 p.m., with live radio coverage provided by SuperTalk 105.5 FM. The game can also be heard at www.northwestms.edu.
Weston, who completed 27 of 37 passes against Holmes, is making his mark in the Northwest record books. Weston is already the school’s all-time leader in career pass completions with 346. He needs seven more pass attempts to break the school record of 663 set by Russell Evans in 1991 and 1992. Weston has thrown for 4,656 yards and 40 touchdowns in his career at Northwest. Both of those numbers rank him fifth in the school record books.
He leads the nation in passing by completing 169 of 303 throws for 2584 yards and 25 touchdowns. Weston’s 335-yard performance against Holmes was his sixth 300-yard passing game of the season. He has also thrown three or more touchdown passes in six of the Rangers eight contests.
“We played together as a team tonight and that almost always helps you win,” said Northwest Head Coach Ricky Woods. “This is the first time in three or four weeks that we have gotten better, especially in the second half.”
Woods was referring to the play of the Ranger defense that buckled down in the third and fourth quarters and limited Holmes to just 83 yards, three first downs, and zero points.
Northwest’s defense scored the team’s first points of the evening to tie the contest at 7-7 in the first period. Free safety V.J. Street of Senatobia intercepted a Bulldog pass and returned it 26 yards for a touchdown.
The game belonged to Weston the rest of the way.
Weston carved up Holmes’ secondary with a variety of short and medium range passes in the first half and hooked up with receiver Michael Lindsey of St. Petersburg, Fla., on a 28-yard touchdown toss in the first quarter to put the Rangers ahead 14-13. Lindsey added to his NJCAA-leading reception totals by catching nine passes for 118 yards.
The Bulldogs countered with a touchdown of their own to re-claim the lead at 19-13, but Weston directed Northwest on an eight play, 77-yard drive and capped it with a 16-yard scoring strike to receiver Marquise Green of Byhalia to put the Rangers in front at halftime 20-19.
Weston kept his hot hand on Northwest’s first possession of the second half by throwing a 24-yard touchdown pass to receiver Darryl Kinkle of Holly Springs.
That turned out to be the only points the Rangers needed. Northwest’s defense rose to the occasion several times in the second half by registering four quarterback sacks and denying Holmes on three fourth down conversions