The battle for the Delta was settled on Thursday evening when Coahoma Community College defeated Mississippi Community College 17-13 in Clarksdale.
Coahoma is now 3-2 for the season and head coach Travis Macon expressed complete joy to witness the institution have three wins for a season, an accomplishment that seems tedious for the past seasons. "It's a great feeling to be a Tiger tonight. For the school and the community, Coahoma has been waiting on this moment and I'm glad myself along with the coaching staff and players were able to deliver," said Macon.
Fans came out in numbers respecting the 25-percent seating capacity due to COVID-19 regulations. The stands were mostly filled with family members, as it was Sophomore Night and the Tigers were set to play their last home game of the 2020 season. Sophomore players were recognized for their overall contribution of hard work and were applauded by their teammates, family and friends. Tensions were high in the James E. Miller Stadium as fierce rivals, Coahoma and Mississippi Delta faced off to battle for annual bragging rights and the namesake of who's the best Community College in the region.
The game opened up with immediate action as the Coahoma offense took the field first. Clicking on all cylinders, they moved the ball effectively until the drive stalled at the 29-yard line, resulting in Noah Sisk kicking his first successful field goal of the night putting the Tigers up 3-0. Not one to falter, the Trojans answered back on the very next drive with a touchdown putting them in the lead 7-3 to end the quarter. After a few drives resulting in punts by both teams, the Coahoma offense kicked it into another gear in the second quarter. The Tigers offense began to execute Coach Bo Wallace's up-tempo offense catching the Trojans off guard. On a fast nine-play drive Coahoma was forced with a 4th down and short yard conversion. The offense line and running back Markell Young surged passed the first down and broke free for an 18-yard touchdown. Noah Sisk's successful PAT put the Tigers up 10-7.
Coahoma's defense played stout and furiously as they have all year and kept the Trojans out of the end zone for the remainder of the half. Both teams went into halftime eager to make adjustments as it was only a three-point game. The Trojans clearly made some effective changes as they managed to get on the scoreboard on their second drive in the third quarter by Freddie Byrd. Coahoma's defense managed to block the extra point leaving the score 13-10 in Mississippi Delta's favor. Macon believed that his players kept their composure and focused on correcting previous errors instead of dwelling on the fact that Coahoma had to win this highly contested rivalry game. "They did a pretty good job, at one point in time they got caught up in the hype but at half time we calmed them down and they listened to us," said Macon.
The third quarter was slow for the Tiger offense after missing a few scoring opportunities but they began to hit their stride early in the fourth quarter. The run game had been successful all night with the effort of Joe Johnson and the stable of running backs. Keaundre McCullough, who had 14 carries for 85 yards, scored his first career touchdown on an impressive 38-yard run cutting back across the field and diving into the end zone. With seven minutes left in the game, the Tigers led 17-13. Coach Macon was extremely happy for his sophomore players who were able to excel in their last home game. "I was happy for all our sophomores, especially Joe, he has definitely responded as a sophomore and as a leader. He works at 100% and that's why he is successful," said Macon.
The defense rose to the task of keeping MSDCC from scoring in order to win this bitter rivalry. Coach Macon once again praised his defensive team for all giving their best to the very last minute. "Windham and Spearmon both want that title of Defensive Player of The Week, Spearmon pushes every play and Marlon goes 100 miles an hour," said Macon.The defensive line and linebackers of Coahoma kept constant pressure on the Trojans quarterback, sacking him and forcing him into tough throws and incompletions. That proved to be enough as time expired and the Coahoma Tigers celebrated in victory, sending the Sophomores off with memories for a lifetime.
The fourth quarter was Coach Macon's favorite for the entire game. "I liked the fourth quarter because they guys refocused and did what we do best and finish, the offense got a couple of first downs and the defense closed it out for us," exclaimed Macon. Macon said this rivalry win is just the beginning of more success stories to come and the overall improvement of Coahoma football."When I took this job, I said I'm going to be the king of the Delta and that starts tonight," exclaimed Macon.
Tigers are third in the MACCC North division behind Northwest and Northeast Community College. Coahoma is scheduled to play against Northwest Community College on November 23, 2020, but it is still not finalized. Fans are urged to keep updated with www.CoahomaSports.com for all scheduled games and changes.