|EMCC Lions stay at No. 2 in NJCAA/JCFootball.com poll|
SCOOBA – Staying steady at the No. 2 position in this week’s NJCAA/JCFootball.com poll, the Lions of East Mississippi Community College will close out their three-game September home stand Thursday evening on the Scooba campus by welcoming 13th-ranked and reigning MACJC state champion Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Head coach Buddy Stephens’ 3-0 EMCC Lions received 133 total poll points and one first-place vote to trail top-ranked Blinn College of Texas, which again earned six first-place votes and 139 total points. On the heels of last week’s 41-14 home triumph over North Division foe Holmes, East Mississippi will bring a 10-game, regular-season winning streak into Thursday’s much-anticipated junior college gridiron contest.
Rounding out the top five in this week’s NJCAA/JCFootball.com poll are Navarro College of Texas, Pearl River Community College and Kansas’ Butler Community College. EMCC and Mississippi Gulf Coast rank fifth and 10th, respectively, in the current JC Grid-Wire/JCFootball.com Top 25.
Statistically, Thursday’s EMCC-MGCCC matchup also figures to be a battle between two of Mississippi’s leading state championship contenders. Both teams rank among the MACJC’s top-three statistical leaders in rushing offense, total offense, rushing defense and total defense. Led by All-America quarterback Randall Mackey, the Lions stand second nationally behind Pearl River in team total offense with an average of 518 yards per contest. On the flipside, the Bulldogs’ stout defensive unit ranks second in the state in team total defense (248.7 yards per game), including a top-five national rating in rushing defense by allowing an average of only 16 rushing yards per outing through the first three games of the season.
If recent history is any indication, Thursday’s EMCC-Gulf Coast encounter stands to be a very close contest. Including last year’s 27-23 comeback road win by the visiting Lions over then-No. 2 MGCCC, the last four meetings between the two teams have been decided by a collective total of only 16 points. With eight of the last 10 head-to-head meetings dating back to 1987 having been decided by 10 points or less, East Mississippi currently owns a 10-game series winning streak over the Bulldogs from Perkinston.
This week’s matchup of nationally ranked teams on the Scooba campus is expected to have added significance for five EMCC players hailing from Mississippi’s Gulf Coast. Sophomore receiver Stephon Johnson and freshman linebacker Chris Bertucci played at Gulfport High School, while sophomore receiver Isaac Beard prepped at D’Iberville High School. Moss Point natives Jermayne Lett and Diavalo Simpson, both sophomores, competed at Gautier and Moss Point High Schools, respectively.
|Last Updated ( Tuesday, 15 September 2009 )|
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