Lance Ray’s fast start at Northwest Mississippi Community College was rewarded Wednesday when he was named NJCAA Special Teams Player of the Week. Ray helped lead the then No. 9 Rangers to a thrilling 56-55 win over Pearl River by returning a kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown. He averaged 38.3 yards per kick return in the contest as well as caught three touchdown passes that covered 74, 30 and 43 yards.
Ray, a transfer from Arkansas, and the Rangers played with tremendous effort in the win, so much so that coach Ricky Woods told the team after the contest that it was right at the top of his list as far as memorable games to have coached in.
The Rangers, who moved up to No. 6 in the latest NJCAA Top 20 poll, returns to action tonight at East Central (0-1). NWCC totaled 510 yards last week against Pearl River. Quarterback Ryan Mossakowski, a transfer from Kentucky, had an outstanding opener as he threw for 443 yards on 20-for-37 passing. Ray finished the night with four catches for 153 yards, while former Oxford High standout Deante Smith made two catches for 24 yards.
NWCC defeated East Central 41-26 last season by totaling 240 yards on the ground and 245 through the air. The Rangers also caused seven turnovers in the win with 14 points being directly generated from those turnovers.
Tonight’s game can be heard on 93.7 FM. (September 8, 2011)