| SCOOBA – Heading into the final third of the MACJC’s regular season, the fourth-ranked Lions of East Mississippi Community College (6-0, 3-0) travel to Booneville to meet the Northeast Mississippi Community College Tigers (2-4, 1-2) Thursday evening. Kickoff at Tiger Stadium on the Northeast campus is set for 7 p.m.
Coach Buddy Stephens’ fourth-ranked EMCC Lions will take an 18-game winning streak with them to Booneville, as the reigning NJCAA national champions take on the Tigers of Northeast Mississippi Thursday evening (7 p.m.) at Tiger Stadium.
Moving back up a notch to No. 4 and still with four first-place votes in this week’s NJCAA Top 20 national poll, head coach Buddy Stephens’ unbeaten EMCC Lions will take a host of impressive winning streaks with them to Booneville. First and foremost, the preseason No. 1-ranked Lions have reeled off 18 consecutive victories dating back to last year’s NJCAA national championship season (12-0). EMCC’s current win string in regular-season contests also stands at 18 straight games spanning back to the last three regular-season outings of the 2010 campaign.
In addition, the Stephens-led EMCC Lions are unbeaten (13-0) in MACJC North Division road action since the fifth-year head coach took over East Mississippi’s football coaching duties beginning with the 2008 season. Now 42-8 overall and 25-2 in division play during the Stephens era, the Lions’ lone setbacks within the division both came at home by a combined 13 points – 25-19 to Northwest Mississippi and 49-42 to Northeast Mississippi – during the 2010 campaign. With 11 straight division wins overall, EMCC’s most recent division setback was the seven-point home loss to Northeast on Oct. 7, 2010.
Trailing top-ranked Iowa Western, No. 2 Butler and third-rated Arizona Western in this week’s NJCAA poll, the EMCC Lions remain atop the JCGridiron.com Dirty 30 rankings and the JCFootball.com Top 25 ratings, which both include NJCAA-member schools as well as the California-based junior colleges.
Despite entering halftime of last Saturday’s homecoming contest against Holmes scoreless for the first time since Stephens’ first game at the East Mississippi helm (Aug. 28, 2008 vs. Copiah-Lincoln), the Lions exploded for 35 second-half points against the Bulldogs to record their second shutout in three weeks. The 28 fourth-quarter points scored Saturday against Holmes matched a Stephens-era mark accomplished three previous times during his current five-year head coaching stint.
Having previously knocked off Mississippi Delta (56-0) in Scooba and Coahoma (48-17) in Clarksdale during MACJC North Division action this year, the EMCC Lions will next play host to unbeaten and sixth-ranked Northwest Mississippi next Thursday (Oct. 18) in Scooba before concluding the regular season at Itawamba on Saturday, Oct. 27. The 2012 MACJC State Football Playoffs are set for the first two Saturdays of November (3rd & 10th).
Statistically on the year, East Mississippi’s balanced offensive attack is averaging 239.3 rushing yards and 304.3 passing yards per game for an average of 543.7 yards of total offense an outing. Outscoring the opposition by nearly 40 points per game, the Lions defensively are allowing an average of only 255.7 yards of total offense per contest (78.5 rushing & 177.2 passing) while giving up just 7.5 points a game for the season. With two shutout wins over the past three games, EMCC’s stout defensive unit has held the opposition scoreless in 18 of the 24 quarters played this season.
Guided by fifth-year head football coach Ricky Smither, the Tigers of Northeast Mississippi Community College are 2-4 overall on the year and 1-2 in division play after claiming a 21-17 victory at Coahoma last Thursday. The Tigers’ division losses this year have come to Northwest Mississippi (19-13) and Holmes (34-14), while their other victory was at Jones County (30-21) during the second week of the season.
With Northeast Mississippi ranking as the most recent MACJC North Division opponent to beat EMCC (49-42 in Scooba two years ago), the Lions have prevailed in five of the last six head-to-head gridiron meetings going back to the 2006 season. A year ago in Booneville, third-ranked EMCC raced to a 42-7 lead over No. 12 Northeast early in the second quarter on the way to mounting an insurmountable 49-14 halftime advantage before settling for a 63-35 final outcome. The Lions also posted convincing victories over the Tigers during Stephens’ first two seasons at the EMCC helm, winning 48-10 at Scooba in 2009 and 49-0 at Booneville in 2008.
Thursday’s division contest in Booneville will be broadcast live by WFCA-FM radio (www.wfcafm108.com), out of French Camp, with Jason Crowder and Glen Beard set to describe the play-by-play action and John Lyle Briggs serving as the Lions’ sideline reporter. WFCA’s broadcast of Thursday’s contest is also slated to be carried live in the Meridian market on SuperTalk Mississippi 103.3 FM as well as on WLSM-FM (107.1) in Louisville. Post-game highlights and interviews will also be available Friday via EMCC’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/emccathletics, which can also be accessed through EMCC’s school website, www.eastms.edu, and Facebook pages.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 10 October 2012 )
| SCOOBA – The fifth-ranked Lions of East Mississippi Community College broke open a scoreless tie late in the third quarter by scoring 35 unanswered points over the game’s final 18 minutes to claim a 35-0 MACJC North Division victory over visiting Holmes in the midst of homecoming festivities on the Scooba campus.
A festive homecoming crowd at Sullivan-Windham Field witnessed a 35-point second half that lifted the fifth-ranked EMCC Lions to a shutout victory over the visiting Holmes Bulldogs Saturday afternoon on the Scooba campus. (Photo by Keith Warren)
Following a scoreless first half of play at Sullivan-Windham Field, the Lions’ stellar defense helped put EMCC’s offense in gear. A pair of negative-yardage plays and a holding penalty by Holmes forced a third straight punt by the Bulldogs to begin the second half. Gaining possession near midfield, EMCC freshman quarterback Quez Johnson hit fellow Starkville High School product Billy Shed with a 46-yard reception down the middle of the field to set up a first-and-goal opportunity from the 7-yard line. Four plays later on a fourth-and-one, Rodriguez Moore (Bastrop, La.) punched it in from a yard out to finally put the Lions on the scoreboard with 2:50 left in the third quarter. Moore’s score was his ninth rushing touchdown of the year.
The visiting Bulldogs subsequently attempted to answer the game’s initial score with the aid of a 37-yard kickoff return by Jacorie Ousley. After three straight 7-yard rushing plays moved the visitors inside the red zone, EMCC sophomore strong safety Shaquille Fluker stepped in front of a Dennis Robertson pass for his team-leading third interception of the season.
Still just 7-0 heading into the fourth quarter, the final period began with EMCC’s Jason Yarbor picking off his second interception of the season to put the Lions in prime position with a first-and-goal at the 6-yard line. However, four penalties helped negate two different EMCC touchdowns during the possession that ended with placekicker Morgan Rhodes missing to the right on a 40-yard field-goal attempt.
That unfortunate offensive series seemed to light a collective fire under the home team, as the Lions scored on their next four possessions and didn’t allow a first down defensively the rest of the way. Consecutive sacks by EMCC’s stout stopper unit once again gave the Lions’ recharged offensive squad excellent field position close to midfield following another Holmes punt. Four plays later, Johnson connected with Ole Miss transfer Nick Brassell on a 32-yard scoring strike in the right corner of the end zone to make it 14-0 with 9:57 left in the contest.
East Mississippi was immediately in business again on the next play from scrimmage when sophomore free safety Justin Cox nabbed his second interception of the year and seventh of his career. On a fourth-and-six call, Johnson found Moore coming out of the backfield for a 32-yard catch-and-run score to quickly make it 21-0 just over a minute later.
Following a three-and-out by the visitors, the Lions primarily stayed on the ground during an 8-play, 63-yard drive that culminated with sophomore running back Xavier Hogan notching his second rushing touchdown of the year from five yards out at the 4:38 mark. Entering the contest averaging slightly less than 50 points per game on the year, EMCC put the finishing touches on the scoreboard with Johnson’s 16-yard touchdown toss to Martay Mattox coming with just 27.7 left on the game clock.
With the three pass interceptions in the game to raise their team total to 10 picks on the season, the Lions posted their second shutout of the season after blanking Mississippi Delta, 56-0, two weeks ago in Scooba. For the year, EMCC’s defense has now held the opposition scoreless in 18 of the 24 quarters played through the first six contests.
Though held scoreless in consecutive quarters for the first time since 2009 (at Itawamba) and blanked during the first half for the first time since Buddy Stephens’ first game at the EMCC helm (2008 vs. Copiah-Lincoln), the Lions were able to pick up the pace following the intermission. Johnson finished the afternoon 27-of-55 through the air for 339 yards and three touchdowns plus one interception.
Shed paced EMCC’s receivers with eight catches for 120 yards, while Brassell and fellow transfer Corey Smith (Grand Rapids CC) followed with six grabs apiece. Increasing his touchdown total to 10 scores on the year, Moore ran the ball 29 times for 90 yards on the ground.
With the setback, the Holmes Bulldogs dropped their first division decision after three straight wins while falling to 3-3 overall on the year.
Winners of 18 consecutive games spanning back to last year’s undefeated NJCAA National Championship season, the 6-0 EMCC Lions (3-0 in MACJC North) are now 42-8 overall and 25-2 in regular-season division play under Stephens’ guidance. East Mississippi travels to Booneville to meet the Tigers of Northeast Mississippi Community College on Thursday (Oct. 11) evening with a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Last Updated ( Saturday, 06 October 2012 )
| SCOOBA – In a battle of MACJC North Division foes unbeaten in division play, the fifth-ranked Lions of East Mississippi Community College (5-0, 2-0) will entertain Holmes Community College (3-2, 3-0) Saturday afternoon to culminate 2012 homecoming weekend festivities on the Scooba campus. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. at EMCC’s Sullivan-Windham Field.
The fifth-ranked EMCC Lions (5-0, 2-0) look to cap this weekend’s homecoming festivities by playing host to the Holmes Bulldogs (3-2, 3-0) Saturday afternoon on the Scooba campus. Kickoff for the MACJC North Division gridiron battle is set for 2 p.m. at EMCC’s Sullivan-Windham Field.
As part of this weekend’s homecoming festivities, East Mississippi is set to recognize the school’s eight-member 2012 Sports Hall of Fame induction class during halftime activities of Saturday’s EMCC-Holmes contest. Also taking place at halftime will be the recognition of EMCC’s 2012 Alumnus of the Year recipient and Distinguished Service Award winner, along with the presentation of EMCC’s 2012 homecoming court. In addition, EMCC’s new Student Union will be named in honor of EMCC President Dr. Rick Young during a 10:30 a.m. dedication, followed by a 1:30 p.m. unveiling of a 7-foot bronze statue of legendary Lions football coach Bob “Bull” Sullivan.
Maintaining their No. 5 national ranking in this week’s NJCAA Top 20 Rankings, head coach Buddy Stephens’ 5-0 EMCC Lions received four of the nine first-place votes following last Thursday’s 48-17 road victory over Coahoma Community College. Their other divisional triumph to date came the week prior via the shutout route (56-0) against Mississippi Delta on the heels of season-opening, non-division victories over Pearl River (35-15), East Central (51-7) and Southwest Mississippi (59-6).
The top-five teams in the NJCAA’s current poll all remained the same, though Butler and Arizona Western switched places at second and third, respectively. With four first-place votes, Iowa Western maintained hold of the No. 1 spot, while Northwest Mississippi edged EMCC by just 2.5 voting points for the fourth position.
Winners of 17 consecutive games overall dating back to last year’s undefeated (12-0) NJCAA national championship season as well as owners of a current 17-game win string in regular-season action going back to 2010, the EMCC Lions remained atop the national polls as accorded by the JCGridiron.com Dirty 30 Rankings along with J.C. Grid-Wire in the JCFootball.com National Top 25.
Averaging slightly less than 50 points per game offensively and giving up an average of only nine points an outing on the year, East Mississippi’s team statistical numbers are equally impressive. The Lions are accounting for an average of 546.4 yards of total offense (294.4 passing & 252.0 rushing) per contest while allowing an average of only 269.2 total yards defensively (186.2 passing & 83.0 rushing) for the season.
Individually, freshman quarterback Quez Johnson, of Starkville, ranks tied for third nationally with 15 touchdown passes thrown in addition to standing ninth among the NJCAA’s statistical leaders with an average of 249.6 passing yards per game. On the receiving end, seven Lion pass-catchers have eight or more grabs on the year. Sophomore transfer receiver Corey Smith, of Akron, Ohio, leads the way averaging 19 yards on 23 catches, including six touchdown receptions.
The Lions’ equally potent running attack features five players with 132 rushing yards or more through the year’s first five games. All-star candidate Rodriguez Moore, of Bastrop, La., headlines EMCC’s stable of running backs with 476 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on 59 attempts for an average of 8.1 yards per tote.
As a team on defense, East Mississippi’s stopper unit has registered 14 shutout quarters in five outings this season. The Lions have allowed just 13 second-half points on the year, including scoreless third quarters in every contest thus far.
Guided by second-year head coach Jeff Koonz, the Bulldogs of Holmes Community College are 3-2 overall on the campaign with all three victories coming against MACJC North Division opponents. After dropping non-division decisions to Jones County (10-8) and Mississippi Gulf Coast (46-12), Holmes has rallied to post consecutive division victories over Northeast Mississippi (34-14), Itawamba (14-12) and Mississippi Delta (24-14). Last week in Goodman, the Bulldogs scored 24 unanswered points to pull out their 24-14 come-from-behind home win over the MDCC Trojans.
In the recent series history between these two divisional foes, East Mississippi has prevailed in each of the last six gridiron meetings with Holmes dating back to 2006. Since Stephens took over the EMCC coaching duties, the Lions previously knocked off Holmes in Scooba during the 2010 (38-14) and 2009 (41-14) seasons. EMCC recorded road victories over the Bulldogs a year ago (56-35) and in 2008 (52-14).
Saturday’s homecoming contest between EMCC and Holmes will be broadcast live by WFCA-FM radio (107.9), out of French Camp, with Jason Crowder and Glen Beard set to describe the play-by-play action and John Lyle Briggs serving as the Lions’ sideline reporter. The live video-streamed broadcast will be available at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/emcc-football and can be accessed through EMCC’s athletics website - http://athletics.eastms.edu. An alternate audio stream of the radio broadcast will also be available by logging onto www.wfcafm108.com.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 04 October 2012 )
|SCOOBA – As part of East Mississippi Community College’s Homecoming festivities this weekend (Oct. 5-6) in Scooba, eight new members will be officially inducted into the school’s Sports Hall of Fame.
EMCC’s 2012 Sports Hall of Fame inductees will be honored on the Scooba campus with a Friday night reception and banquet to be held at the Student Union. The eight-member class is also scheduled to be recognized Saturday afternoon during halftime festivities of the Lions’ 2 p.m. Homecoming football contest against Holmes Community College. Saturday’s MACJC North Division gridiron battle will take place at EMCC’s Sullivan-Windham Field.
The 2012 class of the EMCC Sports Hall of Fame consists of: John Apple (Nashville, TN); Martin Buchanan (Porterville); Bobby Mitchener (Brandon); Ernest Ray “Ernie” Moore (Brooksville); Ed Mosley (Meridian); Gene Murphy (Raymond); Billy Harold Smith (Collinsville); and Mickey Stokes (Brooksville).
East Mississippi Community College will also honor the school’s 2012 Alumnus of the Year recipient (Eugene Futato) and Distinguished Service Award winner (Mary Margaret “Miss M.” Smith) this weekend in Scooba. Futato and Smith will be honored during EMCC’s annual alumni luncheon set to take place Saturday at 11:15 a.m. at the Student Union on the Scooba campus. The award recipients are also slated to be recognized during Homecoming halftime activities of Saturday afternoon’s EMCC-Holmes football contest.
Other special Homecoming activities slated for Saturday in Scooba include a 10:30 a.m. dedication of EMCC’s Student Union and a 1:30 p.m. unveiling of a bronze statue of legendary head football coach Bob “Bull” Sullivan. The F.R. Young Student Union will be named in honor of EMCC President Dr. Rick Young. The 7-foot Sullivan statue, by artist Ben Watts, will be permanently displayed at the football field that bears his name.
For additional information on these upcoming Homecoming events on the Scooba campus, please contact the EMCC Development Foundation Office at 662-476-5063 or visit the school’s website at www.eastms.edu.
2012 EAST MISSISSIPPI COMMUNITY COLLEGE SPORTS HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
JOHN APPLE (Nashville, Tenn.) – John Apple took the field for head coach Bob “Bull” Sullivan before he ever finished high school and was a multi-sport standout who has enjoyed success in a number of venues. He played football for the legendary Boyce Smith at Springfield (Tenn.) High School and was a standout at Tennessee Preparatory School in Nashville in basketball, baseball, track, boxing and football. After his college days at EMJC, Apple worked in construction, truck driving, golf course maintenance and the over-the-road trailer business before finding his career calling. He is now in his 44th year of employment with Boswell’s Harley Davidson Motorcycles in Nashville. An avid fisherman and a scratch golfer, Apple also formed the ART racing team, which competed across the United States and produced AMA Grand National Champion and AMA Hall of Famer Randy Goss.
MARTIN BUCHANAN (Porterville) – A former football and track letterman at DeKalb High School, Martin Buchanan stayed at home to star as a two-way player for legendary EMJC football coach Bob “Bull” Sullivan. He turned down numerous football scholarship offers to serve his country for more than four years during the Vietnam War conflict as a member of the United States Air Force stationed in England. After returning to civilian life for 10 years serving as an engineer with Illinois Central Gulf Railroad, Buchanan spent the next 26 ½ years working for the state of Mississippi’s Law Enforcement Division. He worked in the Mississippi State Tax Commission/Department of Revenue before being transferred to the Mississippi Public Service Commission. Buchanan came out of retirement eight years ago to accept his current position with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
BOBBY MITCHENER (Brandon) – Now in his fourth decade of serving Mississippi Farm Bureau Insurance Company, Bobby Mitchener kick-started a professional career as a junior college all-star for legendary EMJC head football coach Bob “Bull” Sullivan. Mitchener, a Noxubee County High School product, earned junior college all-star and honorable mention all-state selections during his time with the Lions. A member of EMJC’s 8-2 state runner-up squad in 1967, Mitchener went on to continue his playing career at Delta State University, where he was a roommate of fellow Noxubee native of EMCC Sports Hall of Fame inductee Ernest Ray Moore. He served as a coach at St. Joseph High School in Greenville and Biloxi High School in the 1970s before beginning a career with Mississippi Farm Bureau Insurance Company that continues today.
ERNEST RAY “ERNIE” MOORE (Brooksville) – Ernest Ray “Ernie” Moore spent more than 31 years as an educator in Mississippi, and part of the foundation for that service was laid in Scooba when Moore played for legendary EMJC football coach Bob “Bull” Sullivan. Moore began his career at Noxubee County High School, serving as head football coach and athletic director before continuing his career as a football coach and teacher at Louisville High School. During his prep playing days, Moore was team captain and recipient of the Eugene Skipper Football Award and Most Outstanding Player Award at Noxubee. At EMJC, he was a member of the 1967 state runner-up team in addition to being the captain for the North Division squad in the state’s junior college all-star game. Moore was chosen as “Mr. EMJC” and a class favorite before finishing his football career at Delta State University.
ED MOSLEY (Meridian) – Ed Mosley says he learned invaluable lessons of responsibility while playing football at East Mississippi Junior College in the 1970s. Those lessons have served him well as he enters his 37th year in education in addition to the third decade of serving his junior college alma mater on the EMCC Board of Trustees. Mosley, the assistant superintendent of education for the Lauderdale County School District since 1992, has been serving on EMCC’s Board of Trustees since 1990. A former standout football player at Northeast Lauderdale, Mosley played for head coach Bill Buckner at EMJC and earned all-state honors in 1973. Having earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Mississippi State, Mosley was honored as EMCC’s 1999 recipient of the school’s Distinguished Service Award.
GENE MURPHY (Raymond) – Current Hinds Community College athletic director/head football coach Gene Murphy lettered two years (1972-73) as a linebacker for head coach Bill Buckner at EMJC. An NJCAA Honorable Mention All-American as a sophomore for the Lions, Murphy signed a football scholarship to attend Delta State but instead went on to earn his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Mississippi State. Following initial coaching stints at Philadelphia High School and Columbus Caldwell High School, Murphy began his 30-year association with Hinds in 1983. As the school’s head football coach, Murphy has guided the Eagles to six MACJC State championships. Entering the current season with an all-time coaching record of 148-54-5, he is the winningest active football coach among the NJCAA ranks.
BILLY HAROLD SMITH (Collinsville) – A dual-sport standout at Collinsville High School, Billy Harold Smith followed his high school coach (Keyes T. Currie) to East Mississippi Junior College and had a standout career in both basketball and baseball. He later made a name for himself in coaching, winning a state championship in girls’ basketball at Southeast Lauderdale in 1968. At the collegiate level as a record-setting coach, he spearheaded the development of the current baseball facilities at Meridian Community College. Instrumental in the organization of the Mississippi junior college all-star baseball game, Smith was inducted into the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior College Hall of Fame in 2009. Also recognized by William Carey University in 2010 for his athletic contributions, Smith also served as the principal at West Lauderdale High School until his retirement in 1995.
MICKEY STOKES (Brooksville) – In his third decade of service to East Mississippi Community College, current EMCC Vice President/Director of Athletics Mickey Stokes began his athletic career as an all-conference football player for head coach Billy Brown at West Kemper High School in DeKalb. He then went on to earn all-state honors as a tight end for East Mississippi head coach Randall Bradberry before moving on to become a two-year starter at Mississippi College. Having joined EMCC’s full-time staff in 1985, Stokes assumed his current athletic administrative duties in 2007. During the past five years as the school’s AD, he has been associated with a total of six NJCAA Region 23 championships and nine MACJC North Division titles, highlighted by last year’s NJCAA national football championship and a current string of three consecutive regional titles in men’s basketball.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 03 October 2012 )
| SCOOBA – For the second time this season, East Mississippi Community College freshman LeDarious Clark has been named the MACJC/jucoweekly.org Special Teams Player of the Week for his kickoff return efforts.
EMCC freshman running back/wide receiver LeDarious Clark has earned MACJC/jucoweekly.org Special Teams Player of the Week honors for the second time this season for his kickoff return exploits during last week’s 48-17 victory at Coahoma. (Photo by Stan Beall, jucoweekly.org)
During last Thursday’s 48-17 division road win over Coahoma, Clark returned three kickoffs for 104 total yards, including run-backs of 60 and 42 yards against the Tigers. In addition, the former Southeast Lauderdale High School two-sport standout rushed the ball five times for 33 yards a week ago.
Clark, 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds, previously earned the MACJC’s weekly recognition during the opening week of the season after running back a pair of kickoffs for 132 total yards in EMCC’s 35-15 home win over Pearl River. For the year, Clark has averaged 47.2 yards on five kickoff returns for the Lions.
Also tabbed this week with MACJC Player of the Week honors were Northwest Mississippi running back/wide receiver Teshadi Talton on offense and Pearl River defensive back Jorrell Thurman on defense.
In addition to Clark’s pair of weekly honors this season, EMCC quarterback Quez Johnson (offense) and placekicker Morgan Rhodes (special teams) previously claimed MACJC/jucoweekly.org Player of the Week plaudits following the Lions’ 59-6 victory at Southwest Mississippi.
Coach Buddy Stephens’ 5-0 EMCC Lions put their 17-game winning streak on the line this Saturday afternoon during a Homecoming encounter with division foe Holmes Community College. Kickoff at Sullivan-Windham Field is set for 2 p.m. on the Scooba campus.
Last Updated ( Monday, 01 October 2012 )