|10th-ranked East Mississippi travels to Coahoma for MACJC North contest|
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at James E. Miller Stadium on the Coahoma campus.SCOOBA – Hitting the midway point of their divisional schedule, the 10th-ranked East Mississippi Lions travel to Clarksdale to battle the Coahoma Tigers Thursday evening in MACJC North Division football action.
Coming off last week’s critical 49-42 divisional road win over then-No. 18 Northwest Mississippi, head coach Buddy Stephens’ 4-1 EMCC Lions are ranked 10th nationally this week in the JC Grid-Wire/JCFootball.com Top 25. East Mississippi also moved up a notch to No. 12 in the NJCAA/JCFootball.com national poll.
Also with a 41-14 divisional win over Holmes this season, EMCC enters Thursday’s contest at Coahoma having prevailed in 11 consecutive North Division outings dating back to the 2007 campaign. Prior to going undefeated (6-0) in division play a year ago in Stephens’ first year at the EMCC helm, the Lions, then under the guidance of former head coach Roger Carr, recorded consecutive North Division victories over Northeast Mississippi, Coahoma and Itawamba to close out the 2007 campaign.
On the heels of a career-best, 453-yard passing effort in last Thursday’s seven-point victory at Northwest, All-America quarterback Randall Mackey presently ranks second nationally in total offense behind Tirrell Rennie of Ellsworth CC as well as rating third in passing yardage per game. The reigning NJCAA Region 23 Offensive MVP, Mackey has completed 66 percent (109-of-165) of his passes on the season for 1,536 yards and 13 touchdowns. With five rushing touchdowns – all in the last three games – and 319 yards on the ground this fall, the Louisiana native is averaging 370.6 yards of total offense (306.8 passing & 63.8 rushing) per contest and has accounted for 18 total touchdowns as a sophomore.
Mackey continues to have a stable of quality receivers to connect with, led by sophomore Stephon Johnson of Gulfport. With a team-high 24 catches for 365 yards on the year, Johnson most recently had six grabs for a career-high 153 yards, including his first collegiate touchdown reception, in last week’s road triumph over Northwest. Fellow sophomore Bill Franks of State Line follows with 20 receptions for 182 yards through five games. With four grabs for 105 yards and two scores a week ago, sophomore Lance Lewis, of Concord, N.C., is averaging 20.3 yards on 14 catches – five for touchdowns - on the season, including touchdown receptions of 70 yards last week at Northwest and 80 yards the week prior against Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Complementing EMCC’s explosive passing attack, the Lions are also averaging 217.8 rushing yards per contest as a team to rank second behind reigning state champion Mississippi Gulf Coast among the MACJC’s statistical leaders. Sophomore Pat Shed of Starkville stands as the state’s No. 6 ground-gainer with an average of 80.2 rushing yards an outing. The former Starkville High School standout is also tied with Mackey and Lewis for the team lead with 30 points on the season.
Defensively, East Mississippi is currently led in tackles by sophomore Alvin Ellis of Columbus and freshman Dujuan Brown with 47 and 42 total stops, respectively. Brown, of Miami, Fla., picked off his team-leading second interception of the year to help preserve last week’s key win at Northwest. Sophomore defensive ends Jermayne Lett of Moss Point and Claude Davis have combined for 14 tackles behind the line of scrimmage and 7 ½ sacks for the year.
After getting out of the gates with a 3-0 record with wins over East Central (32-31), Southwest Mississippi (34-21) and Mississippi Delta (20-13), the Tigers of Coahoma are now 3-2 overall and 1-1 in division play after having since dropped back-to-back decisions to Holmes (30-14) and Copiah-Lincoln (16-15) the past two weeks.
Including last year’s 47-20 homecoming victory over Coahoma, EMCC has prevailed in its last 14 series meetings with Coahoma dating back to the 1995 season.
Thursday’s EMCC-Coahoma contest will be broadcast by WFCA-FM radio (107.9) with Jason Crowder set to describe the play-by-play action and Glen Beard slated to provide the color analysis. The game can be heard online via EMCC’s athletics website – http://athletics.eastms.edu – or by logging onto www.wfca108.com.
Set to play at home for the first time since dropping a 43-26 decision to Mississippi Gulf Coast on Sept. 17, the East Mississippi Lions will next play host to Northeast Mississippi on Saturday, Oct. 10, as part of homecoming festivities. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. at Sullivan-Windham Field on the Scooba campus.
|Last Updated ( Wednesday, 30 September 2009 )|
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