|EMCC set for bounce-back outing in season home opener against Hinds|
Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at EMCC’s Sullivan-Windham Field.SCOOBA – Coach Buddy Stephens’ East Mississippi Lions seek to maintain the program’s bounce-back success of recent years this week, as No. 16 EMCC opens its 2010 home football slate by playing host to Hinds Thursday evening on the Scooba campus.
Having dropped a season-opening 40-21 road decision to fifth-ranked Mississippi Gulf Coast last Thursday in Perkinston, the EMCC Lions will look to continue the same bounce-back ability the team has displayed following early regular-season setbacks the past two seasons under Stephens’ guidance. Now 19-4 overall since 2008, last year’s East Mississippi squad shook off the effects of a 43-26 home loss to Gulf Coast during Week 4 to reel off eight straight wins and cap the winningest season (11-1) in school history with a thrilling 75-71 MACJC state championship victory over MGCCC and a solid 27-24 triumph over Arizona Western in the Mississippi Bowl. Two years ago in Stephens’ first season at the EMCC helm, the Lions rallied for a seven-game win streak after dropping a 23-19 decision at Jones County during the second week. The 2008 Lions went undefeated in MACJC North Division play and gained a berth in the state playoffs for the first time since 1984 before falling at home to Pearl River in the semifinals.
With last week’s setback to now-No. 3 Mississippi Gulf Coast, the EMCC Lions fell from their No. 7 preseason rating to 16th in this week’s NJCAA football poll. East Mississippi is also ranked 12th nationally in the current JCGridiron.com Dirty Thirty junior college rankings, which includes the NJCAA and California football programs.
Guided by veteran head coach Gene Murphy, the Eagles of Hinds Community College claimed a 52-31 road win over Itawamba in last week’s season opener played in Fulton. With a dozen state football titles to their credit through the years, including four straight championships from 1994-1997, the Eagles most recently posted a 3-6 overall mark a year ago.
Individually a week ago, EMCC sophomore quarterback Brad Henderson threw for 290 yards and a touchdown on 30-of-53 passing at Gulf Coast. The Starkville product found nine different Lion receivers in the season opener, led by former Noxubee County All-American Pat Patterson with seven catches for 80 yards. Defensively, East Mississippi had three players record double digit-tackle numbers, as Denico Autry (Albemarle, N.C.) and Gulfport’s Chris Bertucci registered 16 and 15 total stops, respectively.
For Hinds last week at Itawamba, sophomore running back Matthew Willis collected 207 rushing yards and scored four touchdowns in the Eagles’ three-touchdown road win over ICC. Additionally, sophomore signal-caller Anthony Sheppard was 20-of-34 through the air for 285 yards and a pair of scores against the Indians.
East Mississippi and Hinds haven’t met on the gridiron since the Eagles prevailed, 53-7, in Scooba during the 2004 season opener. The scheduled 2005 lid-lifter between the two schools in Raymond was cancelled due to Hurricane Katrina. Hinds has prevailed in 10 of the last 11 head-to-head battles, with EMCC gaining a forfeited win over the Eagles during the 1996 season. The Lions’ most recent on-the-field victory over Hinds was a 14-10 home triumph back in 1983.
The audio-streamed broadcast of Thursday’s EMCC home opener against Hinds will be made available through WFCA-FM’s website at www.wfca108.com with Brett Bouchillon set to handle the play-by-play duties. The game can also be heard online by logging onto EMCC’s athletics website at http://athletics.eastms.edu.
|Last Updated ( Wednesday, 08 September 2010 )|
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