Northwest Mississippi hammers Hinds in opener

Published 9:54 am Friday, September 2, 2016

Hinds Community college got its crack at the champ on Thursday night — and found out why it’s the champ.

Quarderman Sloan ran for 103 yards and two touchdowns, Tywun Walters added 89 yards and a score, and defending NJCAA national champion Northwest Mississippi beat Hinds 40-17 in the season-opener in Raymond.

Northwest Mississippi scored two defensive touchdowns, on a 42-yard interception return by Fred Garth and a 5-yard fumble return by Willie McCaleb.

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Hinds took a 7-3 lead late in the first quarter on a 17-yard touchdown pass from Micah Zanders to Stephen Guidry, but Northwest took control after that with a pair of back-to-back scores.

After Walters scored on a 1-yard run to put the Rangers ahead, Garth had his pick-six two plays later to make it 17-7. Then, in the last two minutes of the half, Drake McCarter’s 28-yard field goal was followed by McCaleb’s fumble return on the next play from scrimmage.

The fumble return made it 26-10 at halftime. Sloan ran for touchdowns of 5 and 7 yards in the third quarter to extend the lead to 40-10.

Zanders had a 1-yard touchdown run for Hinds with 6:55 remaining in the game.

Zanders finished 15-of-36 passing for 272 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Hinds had just 29 rushing yards, thanks largely to five sacks. Former St. Aloysius star DeMichael Harris had 152 all-purpose yards — 16 rushing, 38 receiving, and 98 on returns.

Another former St. Al star, Josh Price, had four tackles on defense. Former Vicksburg High star Kareeme Butler had three tackles.

Hinds will return to action next Thursday at 6:30 p.m., when it hosts Itawamba Community College at Joe Renfroe Stadium in Raymond.