Year-in-review: pair of touchdowns headline top plays of 2021-22 school year

Published 3:07 pm Wednesday, July 6, 2022

BOONEVILLE, Miss. – Northeast Mississippi Community College student-athletes had no shortage of outstanding individual moments during the 2021-22 academic year.


The Lady Tigers and Tigers treated fans in every facility that they competed in this season to last-second shots, walk off wins and sensational touchdowns.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox


The following are five of the top plays from Northeast’s 10 intercollegiate athletic programs during its 73rd year of competition inside the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).


#1 Anderson’s Grown Man Touchdown 


The first career collegiate touchdown reception for Caleb Anderson (Brandon) could not have come at a better time during the annual gridiron “Battle of the Tigers” against Coahoma Community College.


He hauled in a short pass from JT Moore (Shelby) on a slant route and raced 49 yards to the end zone. The impressive part is that Anderson crossed the goal line despite dragging multiple defenders more than 35 yards after the initial contact.


Anderson’s score increased Northeast’s advantage to 14-6 just before the halftime break. The Tigers held on to defeat Coahoma by a 21-20 margin after Steven Edwards (Sardis) reeled in an interception with less than a minute to go in the fourth quarter.


#2 March Madness Comes One Month Early 


The final full week of February was filled with drama for the Northeast men’s basketball team as it reached the championship game of the Mississippi Association of Community Colleges Conference (MACCC) Tournament.


First, the Tigers overcame an 18-point deficit in their quarterfinal contest against Hinds Community College. Jalin Rice (Madison) played the role of hero by connecting on the winning jumper from the free throw line as time expired.


Northeast moved on to a semifinal date with Meridian Community College and once again climbed its way back from a double-digit deficit. Kylan Blackmon (Oxford) drained the go-ahead three-pointer off a nice pass by Zeke Cook (Starkville) with only 7.2 seconds to go.


#3 Pitt Extends Playoff Push with Game Ending Double Play 


Briley Pitt (Trinity, Ala.) finished her softball career at Northeast in a tie for the second most home runs in program history with 16. However, it was her robbery of a potential homer by Jones College that will be remembered during the Tigers’ postseason run.


Pitt drifted backwards and lifted her glove above the right field wall to make the catch for the second out of the seventh inning. Her throw went to third baseman Alexie Griffin (Cordova, Tenn.), who quickly tossed the ball to shortstop Lindsey Coffey (Pontotoc) to double up a Bobcat runner trying to reach second base.


The unorthodox twin killing wrapped up a 3-1 victory by the Tigers over nationally ranked Jones in the opening round of the NJCAA Region 23 Tournament. Northeast went on to reach the semifinals after defeating host Copiah-Lincoln Community College.


#4 Dickerson’s Long Distance Birdie at Nationals 


Tate Dickerson (Booneville) will go down as one of the most decorated players in the history of the Northeast golf program. He saved one of his best shots for the last round of the NJCAA Division II National Tournament in Missouri.


Dickerson’s tee shot on the par-three fifth landed on the green approximately 40 feet from the hole. He took care of the remaining distance on the first putt attempt for what turned out to be his only birdie of the round.


He concluded a blustery final day with a two-over-par 74. Dickerson, who won medalist honors at the NJCAA Gulf District Tournament, earned all-tournament recognition after finishing in a four-way tie for seventh place at Twin Hills Golf and Country Club.


#5 Putt to Payne Seals Rivalry Dub in Final Seconds 


Most of the fans in attendance at a packed Tiger Stadium on the last day of September probably thought that Northeast would set up for a potential game winning field goal with a conservative play call on 3rd-and-24 with less than 30 seconds left in regulation.


Dallas Payne (Bay St. Louis) and Carter Putt (Columbus) had other ideas. Putt found Payne sprinting down the visiting sidelines for a 30-yard touchdown connection that gave the Tigers their first lead of the entire night versus Itawamba Community College.


Putt threw for a season-high 286 yards while Payne had five catches for 77 yards to guide Northeast to its third consecutive triumph over the Indians. It is the longest winning streak for the Tigers against their archrivals in five decades.