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 October 11, 2012

Booneville, Miss.,--Head Coach Ricky Smither and crew will take on the East Mississippi Community College Lions on Thursday, October 11 at Tiger Stadium in a north division showdown in Booneville. 

East Mississippi comes into town ranked fourth in the nation and is the defending Mississippi Association of Junior & Community College (MACJC) champions, as well as the defending National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) champions from a year ago.

Northeast and East Mississippi have a long history together dating back to 1951 where the Tigers claimed a 37-0 victory.  However, the Lions lead the series 33-18 and were able to defeat Smither and company in Smither’s first year as commander-in-chief in 2008, 49-0.  But in 2009, Smither made the trip to EMCC and was able to pull off an upset over the Lions in a hard fought battle winning 49-42.

In 2011, Northeast squared off against the Lions for homecoming with both squads nationally ranked and undefeated (5-0) heading into the week six contest.  East Mississippi was able to overcome the Tigers efforts and won 63-35.

“They ran away with the game last year,” explained Smither.  “They beat us pretty good and it always serves as extra motivation when you think about the year before and you always want to bring your kids (sophomores) back and have them play just a little bit better this year.

This year . . . Northeast will face the Lions from Scooba -- who are once again unblemished -- and travel to Booneville with an overall record of 6-0, 3-0 in the north division.  The Tigers (2-4, 1-2) are hoping for the upset in Thursday night’s game and will look for sophomore quarterback Nolan Genovese to lead the way.

Genovese is coming off an impressive performance verses Coahoma Community College last week, where he led a last minute march down the field for the Tigers in a come from behind victory on the road 21-17, throwing for 100 yards on 10-for-17, along with one touchdown and two interceptions.

East Mississippi’s quarterback, Quez Johnson, is fresh off a win verses Holmes Community College last week, where he threw for 354 yards on 25-of-53 for three touchdowns and one interception in the Lions 35-0 victory against the Bulldogs.

Northeast comes into this week’s game averaging 17 points per game and allows 30 points per game from its opponent, while the Lions average 43 points per contest and only give up six points per contest.

“It’s always good to be on a big stage,” Smither said.  “East Mississippi has put themselves in a position to be the nation’s fourth best team and it’s going to be a great opportunity for our kids to get out on the field and play a high quality team.”

Kickoff for the game is set for 7 p.m. at Tiger Stadium and fans can follow the game on twitter at NEMCC_Athletics or by logging onto www.wnau.com for a live audio stream.  Live in-game stats are also available at http://www.dakstats.com/WebSync/Pages/Team/TeamSchedule.aspx?association=14&sg=MFB&sea=JUCMFB_2012&team=16061.

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