The Tigers welcome Mississippi Delta Community College to complete a full day of homecoming activities on Thursday, October 12. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Tiger Stadium.
Due to ongoing construction by the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT), the north gate to Tiger Stadium will be closed until further notice. Recommended parking is behind the home bleachers or on Cunningham Boulevard for the only open entrances at the northwest or southeast gates.
The festivities are slated to begin at 12:10 p.m. with the traditional home game day pep rally in front of Ramsey Hall. The 13-member homecoming court will make its first official appearance at this event. Northeast then holds its annual Alumni and Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony at 4 p.m. in the Claude Wright Room of the Haney Union. The athletic nominees this year are Emma Braddock, Dontae’ Jones, Jim Lamb and Josie Lindgrin.
Pregame entertainment at Tiger Stadium starts approximately 30 minutes before the matchup gets underway. It features the recognition of the newest Northeast Alumni and Sports Hall of Fame members as well as the Showband from Tigerland.
Homecoming queen Lainey Stevens of Booneville and the remainder of her court, which includes Northeast student-athletes Lexi Brazeal, Callie Frazier and Jada Tubbs, take center stage at halftime.
The Tigers tangle with the Trojans in their annual homecoming game for the tenth time in program history. That ties Coahoma Community College as the second most common homecoming opponent for Northeast behind only East Mississippi Community College.
Mississippi Delta has actually had the upper hand in these matchups. The Trojans have spoiled the Tigers’ homecoming five times in nine tries, including their 28-20 victory in 2015 during the last such instance.
“That’s definitely a motivation factor that we’ve talked about,” said Northeast head coach Greg Davis. “We’re going to have to go out there and compete hard. They’re going to have to show up and play.”
The Tigers (2-4, 1-2) continue to play efficiently on offense with only one turnover over the last four games. Desmond Hunter has done a good job managing the offense during that stretch as the starting quarterback over the last three weeks.
Kenzie Phillips has already surpassed his season rushing amount from one season ago. The Oxford native has 505 yards on 128 carries, which is tied for the most in the state. Toreano Miner of New Orleans, La., recorded the first 100-yard reception game of any Northeast standout so far this year. He currently tops the Tigers with 251 yards on 15 catches with two touchdowns.
A pair of defensive backs rank at the peak of Northeast’s tackling charts. Freshman Juwan Taylor of Jackson has a team-best 51 stops while Philadelphia’s Johnathon Edwards is right behind him with 48 takedowns.
Mississippi Delta (0-6, 0-3) averages less than 150 yards of offense per game, but does have a good starter behind center in Tyrique McAfee. He has around 600 passing yards to his credit.
His top target is Malcom Shirley, who also happens to have the most rushing attempts for the Trojans as well. Defensive back Kenny Lyke is Mississippi Delta’s leading tackler.
Northeast shutout the Trojans for the first three quarters on the way to a 34-10 triumph one year ago. However, Mississippi Delta is ahead in the all-time series between the two institutions by a 31-21 margin.