By Freddy Lard Jr. & Mariah Wallace
Homecoming was a sweet one for the Rangers, as they defeated Holmes Community College, 27-12 on Sept. 29 at Bobby Franklin Field.
Northwest improved to an undefeated 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the North division. They won their 10th game in a row at home and nine games straight dating back from last season.
After holding Holmes scoreless on four straight drives to start, freshman kicker Drake McCarter’s career-long 47-yard field goal and redshirt sophomore quarterback Clay Holgorsen’s 10-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Marquisian Chapman gave the Rangers a 10-0 lead, after the first quarter of action. Holmes pulled within 4 points on a 55-yard touchdown pass to Holmes wide receiver D.J. Montgomery, Holmes kicker Caleb Shelly’s extra point after attempt was no good, leaving Holmes trailing 10-6.
Northwest responded two drives after with a touchdown, driving 73 yards on four plays to take a 17-6 lead. Ranger backup quarterback Cam Bowman was 3-for-3 on the drive for 69 of the 73 yards, finding an open Chapman for a 34-yard touchdown. Sophomore linebacker A.J. Smith intercepted Bryant’s pass for his first career interception. Four plays later in the game, Holgorsen found freshman wide receiver Cleo Floyd for a 1-yard touchdown, the first of Floyd’s career, to extend the Northwest lead to 24-6 at the half.
After the first half of the football game, the Homecoming court from all three Northwest campuses, proceeded to enter the football field.
Representing the DeSoto Center were freshmen Alyssa Wilson and Kathryn Lee and sophomores Andrea Green and Andrea Galloway.
Representing the Oxford campus were freshmen Jalliyah Hardiman and Ralyn Bowling and sophomores Alison Caldwell Champion and Khadijah Thompson.
Representing the Senatobia campus were freshmen Jerrica Birks and Gabrielle Paterson and sophomores Alandrea Haywood and Kendall Newton.
As excitement and nervousness could be felt in the crowd, the Homecoming Queen Alandrea Haywood was crowned. Haywood graced the crowd with the beautiful smile as she was crowned.
“It was an extravagant feeling to be on the court and an exciting night,” Haywood said. “Homecoming has always been something I wanted to do, not knowing I had so many people supporting me,” said Haywood. “There were many beautiful ladies running and this has been a great experience for me, while learning many things to better my life along the way.”
Entering the third quarter of play, McCarter’s 44-yard field goal on the Rangers opening drive of the third extended the lead to 27-6 after three quarters. Holmes ‘most productive drive was a 7-play, 67-yard drive to start the fourth quarter, pulled the Bulldogs within 27-12. Holmes’ Treviante McDaniel scored from three yards out, with the two-point attempt no good. Northwest was able to waste away the clock for most of the fourth quarter and ended the night in fine fashion with sophomore linebacker Quondarius Qualls’ sack of Bryant for a 20-yard loss as time expired.
Holgorsen finished 8-for-18 for 84 yards and two scores, while Bowman was 5-for-8 for 87 yards and a touchdown. Chapman had six catches for 110 yards and two scores. Sophomore Tywun Walters rushed for 147 yards on 28 carries for a second straight game, while freshman running back Quarderman Sloan added 11 carries for 66 yards.
Holmes entered with the top rushing offense at 340.8 yards per game but managed just 136 on 48 carries for an average of 2.8 yards. Holmes’ Antavius Moody had a team-best six carries for 81 yards. Bryant was 8-for-21 for 201 yards and a 55-yard score to Montgomery. Freshman defensive lineman Hal Northern had a team and career-high nine tackles, followed by Alabama transfer Adonis Thomas with eight. Northwest added eight tackles-for-loss, two forced fumbles and three sacks on the night.