Nationaly ranked No. 4 Northwest Mississippi looks to defend MACCC title
SENATOBIA, Miss. (WMC) - At the junior college level, few football programs rival the power of Northwest Mississippi Community College, just 40 miles south of the Bluff City. Down in Senatobia, the Rangers are aiming for the third consecutive conference title.
That’s a lot to accomplish, considering the MACCC might be the toughest JUCO conference in the nation.
“We’ve had a good summer and a good fall camp,” said head coach Benjy Parker. “Guys have done a good job. We’re kind of moving some guys in different positions and that kind of thing. But we’ve got some good competition. I kind of like where we’re at.”
The two-time defending MACCC champions are led by a new signal caller this year. It’s Ren Hefley, out of Bryant, Arkansas, previously at Michigan and Presbyterian College.
“Ren’s looked really good,” said Parker. “He’s doing a good job with our offense. He’s smart, competitive. But our quarterbacks, during camp, we don’t hit them. It’ll be different Thursday night. I think Gulf Coast will try to hit him, you know.”
Hefley set Division I FCS records at Presbyterian last year with 10 passing touchdowns in one game and 50 completions in another.
He and the Ranger offense should benefit from Paige Anders’ defense, which held opponents to 21 points per game last year and under 200 yards passing per game on average.
“We harp on running to the football,” said Anders. “That’s the biggest thing about our defense. We’ve got to be solid on first down and get teams in passing situations so we can open it up a little bit. We like to bring guys [on blitzes] from all over the field.”
Northwest opens up at home on Sept. 1 at 7 p.m. against Mississippi Gulf Coast at Bobby Franklin Field in Senatobia.
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