SENATOBIA, Miss. (WREG) — The Northwest Mississippi Rangers are the only team from the Magnolia state to be headed to the first ever NJCAA DI National Championship tournament. 

The Rangers received the No. 3 seed and will face off against No. 2 New Mexico Military Institute Sunday in the semifinals. 

“It’s really about the next play,” said Rangers DB Jarvis Townsend. “We know they have a pretty good team, offensive line is pretty big — have some good quarterbacks and receivers. “So, they play like a mixture of a spread offense and options, so we have a good game plan going into Sunday. So hopefully we execute” 

Last season, the Rangers went all of the way, winning a National Title for the fourth time in school history. This year, they say they’re looking to prove last season’s national championship wasn’t a fluke. 

“A lot of people last year say oh, it’s because Corona[virus] and you know, some teams weren’t playing and all that,” said Rangers QB Michael Hiers. “It definitely felt good to be out when all the teams are playing, the fans, and the crowd’s back at it. So, it’s been a great one.” 

Last month, the Rangers took home their second consecutive MACCC Championship. Townsend believes the strength of the their conferencee has prepared them to compete in back-to-back national titles. 

“Big teams like East Mississippi, Gulf Coast, Jones and us of course, so really just competed at a high level and the JUCOs that we’re playing — so just kicking butt and take names,” said Townsend.

“We’re so really close,” Hiers said. “It’s just so much more fun playing with a group of guys that have all kind of come together and you know everyone likes each other and they’re gonna fight for — I’m going to fight for them, they’re going to fight for me. Everyone’s got each other’s back so it’s really special.” 

The Rangers take on NM Military Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Wool Bowl.