Published 12:00 am Friday, December 11, 2015

Jonathan Webster

Northwest wins NJCAA National Championship

NWCC Sports Information BILOXI – Winning the NJCAA Football Championship Game in dominant fashion, No. 1 Northwest Mississippi defeated No. 2 Rochester (Minn.) 66-13 in Sunday’s Mississippi Bowl. Completing 23 of 30 passes on the day, freshman quarterback Gardner Minshew led the Northwest Mississippi offensive
onslaught. The Brandon product threw for 421 yards and five touchdowns in the victory, compiling 302 yards and three scores in the first half alone. Minshew’s performance was recognized with the Mississippi Bowl Player of the Year award, an honor that current Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly earned last year while playing at East Mississippi. The Rangers accumulated 680 yards offensively – 486 passing and 194 rushing – and were forced into just one punt in the game. Their offensive efficiency was on display all afternoon as they racked up 27
first downs. As a team, Northwest Mississippi conceded just 250 yards to the Yellowjackets – 100 of which
came in the fourth quarter. The Ranger pass rush was in constant pursuit of Rochester sophomore quarterback Nick Rooney who was sacked four times and hit an additional six. Finishing the year with an 11-1 record, the Rangers claimed their program’s third NJCAA championship and first since 1992. Northwest Mississippi is now 5-4-1 in NJCAA bowl games. Rochester finished its season at 11-1 as well, having suffered its first defeat of 2015. The Yellowjackets’ postseason struggles continued as their record in NJCAA bowl games dropped to 5-19.

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