|No. 6 EMCC Lions open with 27-13 road win over Copiah-Lincoln|
WESSON, Miss. – The sixth-ranked Lions of East Mississippi Community College parlayed two throwing strikes from preseason All-American quarterback Randall Mackey and a pair of 1-yard scoring bursts by running back Pat Shed into a 27-13 season-opening road win over Copiah-Lincoln Thursday evening at Stone Stadium.
After both teams struggled moving the ball early in the contest, sophomore Lance Lewis kick-started the EMCC offense by returning a Co-Lin punt 53 yards to begin the Lions’ third possession of the evening. Three plays later, Mackey found freshman receiver Marcus McQuarley of Meridian in the end zone from 15 yards out. West Point’s Phillip Dimino added the extra point to put the visitors on top, 7-0, with 4:52 left in the opening quarter.
Following a three-and-out possession by the Wolves, East Mississippi marched 83 yards on a dozen plays to move ahead, 13-0, on Shed’s 1-yard scamper around the left end. Dimino’s PAT attempt was blocked. The big play in the drive came on reserve quarterback Brad Henderson’s 38-yard pass to Cedrick Blanks that moved the ball from midfield following the nullification of Mackey’s 30-yard scramble to the 2-yard line due to an EMCC penalty.
Mackey, last year’s NJCAA Region 23 Offensive MVP, built the Lions’ lead to 20-0 with another 15-yard scoring strike to former East Webster standout Mitchell McCurry with 8:20 remaining in the half.
With the EMCC defensive unit limiting Copiah-Lincoln to just 51 yards of total offense and but two first downs in the opening half, the Lions made a bid at another score as the half drew to a close. Following a fumbled punt return by the Wolves, Mackey used the final minute of the half to get the visitors to within striking distance. However, the Louisiana native overthrew Bill Franks in the end zone with the clock winding down.
After neither team put points on the scoreboard in the third quarter, the Wolves got things rolling offensively during the final quarter of play. A methodical 16-play drive was capped by a 6-yard touchdown pass on a fourth-down conversion from Co-Lin quarterback Percy Turner to Carlton Ollie. Tyler Fitzgerald’s extra point trimmed the deficit to 20-7 with 10:42 left in the contest.
Having come up empty the previous quarter when Dimino’s 24-yard field-goal attempt was blocked following a 14-play drive, East Mississippi committed two untimely turnovers on back-to-back possessions that gave the home team newfound life. Fortunately for the visitors, EMCC’s stingy defense came up huge down the stretch. After throwing an interception the previous possession, Mackey’s subsequent fumble on the next series was recovered by Terrance Coleman deep in Co-Lin territory. However, the Lions’ defense held the Wolves on a fourth-and-one at the 3-yard line with 4:36 remaining in the game.
With the defensive stop all but sealing the final outcome, Mackey initiated a 98-yard scoring drive with a 21-yard burst down the right sideline. A 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Co-Lin moved the ball to the 39-yard line. From there, Shed took seven straight hand-offs for 61 total yards that were rewarded with his second 1-yard scoring effort of the night. The Starkville native finished the evening by notching his fourth career 100-yard rushing effort with 101 yards and two scores on 19 carries.
Co-Lin’s Turner hooked up again with Ollie from 30 yards out with just seven ticks left on the clock to make the final tally, 27-13, in favor of the defending MACJC North Division champions.
Coach Buddy Stephens’ 1-0 Lions begin a three-game home stand by playing host to Jones County on Thursday, Sept. 3. Kickoff at EMCC’s Sullivan-Windham Field is set for 7 p.m. on the Scooba campus. East Mississippi will later entertain Holmes and second-ranked Mississippi Gulf Coast on Sept. 10 and 17, respectively.
|Last Updated ( Saturday, 29 August 2009 )|
|< Prev||Next >|