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Crawford sets Rangers’ rushing record in win

Justin Crawford piled up 117 yards on 22 carries, becoming Northwest Mississippi Community College’s all-time leading rusher and helping the seventh-ranked Rangers stay unbeaten with a 38-37 overtime win over No. 14 Hinds CC on Thursday at Bobby Franklin Field.

Crawford needed just 66 yards for the record and now has 2,335 career yards, breaking the record of Lavelle Danzy, who rushed for 2,283 yards from 1991-92. Three of his carries went for touchdowns, including the go-ahead score in extra time, as NWCC (5-0, 2-0 MACJC North Division) surpassed its win total from a season ago.

Freshman quarterback Gardner Minshew went 21 of 36 for 262 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Jacob McCrary had five catches for 93 yards while Marquisian Chapman, who was on the receiving end of Minshew’s scoring toss, and Ryan Golden also finished with five receptions.

The Rangers needed every bit of that offense against the Eagles (3-2, 1-1), who led by as many as 15 after Jaquez Parks connected with Jahmmir Taylor for a 55-yard touchdown with 4:38 left in the third quarter.

Crawford’s second touchdown of the night, an 8-yard run, capped a seven-play, 64-yard drive to trim the deficit to 28-20 before Minshew found Chapman from 24 yards out on the Rangers’ next possession. Minshew passed to Crawford for the two-point conversion to tie it up.

NWCC needed just two plays to take the lead in overtime with Crawford capping the short drive with a 5-yard touchdown run to make it 38-37. Hinds answered in four plays with Parks’ 4-yard scoring run to draw the Eagles within a point, but kicker Mason Sollie missed the extra point, allowing the Rangers to escape with their third win over a ranked opponent.

NWCC will return to action Oct. 3 with a homecoming matchup against Holmes CC at Bobby Franklin Field. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.