|No. 6 EMCC begins home stand with 28-17 win over 14th-ranked Jones County|
SCOOBA – Preseason All-American quarterback Randall Mackey combined for 300 yards of total offense to help lead the sixth-ranked East Mississippi Lions to a 28-17 victory over No. 14 Jones County Thursday in their 2009 home opener at Sullivan-Windham Field.
The reigning NJCAA Region 23 Offensive MVP, Mackey connected on 19-of-26 passing for 210 yards and a pair of touchdowns, along with picking up 90 rushing yards on 11 carries, in the 11-point triumph over the visiting Bobcats. The Louisiana native hooked up with nine different Lion receivers on the evening.
EMCC’s standout signal-caller got busy early for the home standing Lions by hitting three straight passes during the opening five-play, 72-yard scoring drive. Following 13-yard and 14-yard strikes to former Northeast Lauderdale product T.J. Ballou and ex-Meridian all-stater Marcus McQuarley, respectively, Mackey hit sophomore Bill Franks of State Line with a 36-yard touchdown reception that put the home team on top, 7-0, following Brett Spencer’s successful point-after-touchdown at the 12:58 mark of the opening quarter.
On a drive that began late in the first quarter, McQuarley and Franks came up big again in the Lions’ second scoring march. On the drive’s second play, McQuarley was on the receiving end of a 25-yard aerial from Mackey that moved the ball out from deep in enemy territory. In the midst of five straight subsequent running plays by EMCC, Franks, from Greene County High School, broke loose on a 28-yard scamper that set up a 10-yard scoring toss from Mackey to Utica’s Derrick Steele. Spencer’s PAT made it 14-0 with 12:34 remaining in the first half.
East Mississippi looked to be in cruise control after stopping Jones County on a three-and-out during the next series. However, EMCC sophomore Lance Lewis muffed the JCJC punt with an over-the-shoulder attempt, giving the ball back to the Bobcats on the 22-yard line. Ranked 14th nationally in the NJCAA/JC Football.com Top 25 preseason poll, Jones County immediately took advantage of the miscue, as freshman Bubba Brown sprinted 22 yards to pay dirt on the ensuing first play from scrimmage. Jacob Chancellor’s PAT cut the lead in half, 14-7, with 10:29 left until intermission.
EMCC’s improved defensive unit help set up the final score of the opening half. Following an interception thrown by backup quarterback Brad Henderson in the red zone, the Lion defenders stepped up to force another three-and-out possession and make the visitors punt deep within their side of the field. After Jones County’s punt went out of bounds at the 31-yard line following a 26-yard kick, the Lions took over in excellent field position with two minutes remaining in the half. With Henderson under center late in the drive, the Starkville native found Lewis in the left corner of the end zone with 49 seconds left to put the home team back up by a pair of touchdowns.
A scoreless third quarter was highlighted by some additional stellar defensive play from the Lions. With the Bobcats seemingly poised to cut into the two-touchdown EMCC lead following a 35-yard pass play from starting quarterback Brandon May to Tristan Purifoy, May was brought down two plays later on a 14-yard sack by the combined efforts of Dujuan Brown and Noxubee County’s Jimmy Roby. The next play, reserve JCJC quarterback Robert Ross was picked off by freshman linebacker Gabe Poe of West Oktibbeha High School.
Despite having a nine-play drive stalled in the red zone after third-string quarterback Brian Robinson recovered his own fumble on a third-and-two play, the visitors did manage to produce a 27-yard field goal by Chancellor with 11:25 left in the contest.
With Mackey back at the controls, the Lions responded with a 10-play scoring drive that chewed up four minutes of clock time. Mackey passed for 41 yards and ran for a dozen during the 88-yard drive, while sophomore running back Pat Shed of Starkville churned for the other 35 yards, including a 14-yard scoring burst right up the middle that all but sealed EMCC’s second victory in as many tries this season. Spencer’s PAT conversion made it a 28-10 contest with 7:13 remaining.
Dropping to 0-2 on the year, the visiting Bobcats rounded out the game’s scoring with a 5-yard touchdown run by Justin Gaines coming at the 3:12 mark.
Coach Buddy Stephens’ sixth-ranked EMCC Lions begin defense of their 2008 MACJC North Division championship next Thursday (Sept. 10) by playing host to the 0-2 Holmes Bulldogs. A week later on Thursday, Sept. 17, East Mississippi concludes its three-game September home stand by welcoming the reigning state champion and highly ranked Bulldogs of Mississippi Gulf Coast in one of the season’s most anticipated junior college gridiron battles. Upcoming kickoffs at Sullivan-Windham Field on the Scooba campus are set for 7 p.m.
|Last Updated ( Tuesday, 08 September 2009 )|
|< Prev||Next >|