|East Mississippi hosts divisional foe Northwest Thursday to kick off crucial two-game home stand|
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Sullivan-Windham Field.
SCOOBA, Miss. – Returning to their home turf for the first time since the team’s Aug. 28 season opener, the Lions of East Mississippi (3-1, 1-0) begin a pivotal two-game home stand against divisional foes by playing host to Northwest Mississippi (2-2, 1-0) Thursday evening on the EMCC campus.
Thursday’s EMCC-Northwest broadcast can be heard on WFCA-FM (107.9) – the Voice of French Camp Academy – with Brett Bouchillon calling the play-by-play action. The radio broadcast can also be accessed via audio streaming through EMCC’s athletics website – athletics.eastms.edu.
Presently tied for 25th nationally in this week’s J.C. Grid-Wire team rankings, coach Buddy Stephens’ Lions are 3-1 overall and 1-0 in North Division play following last Thursday’s 27-23 comeback road victory over then-No. 2 Mississippi Gulf Coast. A week ago in Perkinston, EMCC was trailing, 23-13, late in the fourth quarter before the visitors capitalized on some untimely miscues by MGCCC to score a pair of unanswered touchdowns over the final four minutes to upset the defending national co-champions.
Also on the brink of cracking the NJCAA Top 20 with seven points in this week’s poll, East Mississippi will be playing at home for the time since claiming a 28-9 season-opening triumph over Copiah-Lincoln. After dropping a 23-19 road decision to now-fourth ranked Jones County on Sept. 6, the Lions rebounded the following week to register a convincing 52-14 road win over Holmes in their North Division opener.
Sparked by freshman quarterback Randall Mackey of Port Sulphur, La., the current NJCAA and MACJC/Region 23 Offensive Player of the Week, EMCC currently ranks second among the national leaders in team passing offense (284 yards per game) and fourth in total team offense (435 yards per game). Defensively, the Lions sport the state’s top team defense against the pass, limiting the opposition to just an average of 109 yards per contest to rank among the nation’s top 15 leaders.
Individually, Mackey rates second nationally in passing (273 yards per game) and third in total offense (327.5 yards per game). The 2007 PARADE All-American has the privilege of throwing to a handful of receivers with double-figure catches on the season. Sophomore Mike Outlaw of Starkville leads EMCC’s experienced receiving corps with 17 catches, followed by Meridian’s Montrez Mosley and Leon Berry of Griffin, Ga., with 16 receptions each. Freshman running back Pat Shed of Starkville heads a solid ground attack by ranking eighth among the MACJC rushing leaders (71.5 yards per game) and tying for sixth among non-kicking scorers with an average of six points per outing.
Guided by head coach Ricky Woods, the Rangers of Northwest Mississippi are 2-2 on the season, 1-0 in the division, following last week’s 33-10 home win over Itawamba. Headlined by a pair of 2008 MACJC/Region 23 Defensive Players of the Week in linebacker DeShagdrick Biggins and strong safety V.J. Street, Northwest ranks fourth among the state’s team total defense leaders in allowing just 281 yards per contest. Standing third in team passing offense behind EMCC and Pearl River at 236.3 yards per game, the Rangers are directed by freshman quarterback Casey Weston, who trails only EMCC’s Mackey among the MACJC’s passing leaders.
East Mississippi will look to begin to turn around the recent series history between these two teams when they take the field Thursday evening in Scooba. The Lions have managed but one football victory over Northwest – a 12-10 home win in 2005 – during the past 20 meetings.
|Last Updated ( Wednesday, 24 September 2008 )|
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