|EMCC Lions stay on division road by meeting Coahoma Thursday in Clarksdale|
SCOOBA – Having entered the win column for the first time in four tries a week ago, the Lions of East Mississippi look to maintain their momentum by heading to Clarksdale to meet the Coahoma Tigers Thursday evening in divisional junior college football action. Kickoff at James E. Miller Stadium on the Coahoma campus is set for 6:30 p.m.
Head coach Buddy Stephens’ 1-3 EMCC Lions most recently evened their MACJC North Division mark at 1-1 by claiming a 37-10 road victory over Itawamba last Thursday in Fulton. East Mississippi’s three setbacks on the year have come against teams that either continue to be ranked nationally or have been ranked at one point this season – top-ranked Mississippi Gulf Coast (40-21), No. 9 Northwest Mississippi (25-19) and currently unranked Hinds (50-42).
With sophomore quarterback Brad Henderson at the controls, East Mississippi’s passing offense leads the NJCAA team ranks with an average of 293.3 passing yards per contest. Through four games, the Starkville native has completed 100-of-172 passes (58.1%) for 1,021 yards and five touchdowns. The Lions also stand among the nation’s top 10 team statistical leaders by averaging 426.5 yards of total offense per game.
On the ground for the Lions, sophomore running backs Floyd Graves (Newton County HS) and Trayshun King (Columbia HS) have combined for nearly 400 rushing yards between them on the year along with ranking among the team leaders in receptions. Led by former Noxubee County All-American Pat Patterson with team-high totals of 18 catches, 276 receiving yards and two touchdown grabs, EMCC features seven different receivers with nine or more catches on the year. Former Meridian High School teammates Marcus McQuarley and Hamp Glover each have 14 receptions for the season, including four catches apiece during last week’s win at ICC.
Defensively, East Mississippi’s defensive unit held Itawamba scoreless in last week’s second half and limited the Indians to just 63 passing yards on the night, while sophomore defensive backs Johnny Cockrell of Columbus and Perrance Ward of West Point each picked off ICC aerials. Individually, sophomore linebacker Chris Bertucci of Gulfport has registered double-digit total tackles each game and ranks among the national leaders with 58 total stops on the year. Fellow second-year linebackers Donnelli Johnson (East Oktibbeha HS) and Jimmy Roby (Noxubee County HS) follow with 44 and 42 total tackles, respectively, for the season.
Guided by head coach Freeman Horton, the Coahoma Tigers are 2-2 overall and 1-1 in division play after dropping a 37-7 decision at division leader Northwest Mississippi last week. The week prior, Coahoma claimed a 41-14 home decision over Holmes. The Tigers followed a 33-6 season-opening road loss to Copiah-Lincoln with a 26-24 home triumph over Jones County. A year ago, Coahoma went 6-3 overall and earned the school’s first-ever MACJC state playoff appearance with a 4-2 North Division mark.
Through the years, East Mississippi owns a commanding 33-1 series lead over Coahoma dating back to the 1976 campaign. Under Stephens’ direction the past two years, the EMCC Lions have recorded wins over Coahoma by near-identical scores of 49-20 last season in Clarksdale and 47-20 two years ago in Scooba. The Tigers’ lone series win over EMCC since 1976 was a 40-14 victory at Coahoma during the 1994 season.
Thursday’s EMCC-Coahoma divisional contest will be broadcast live 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 live broadcast can also be heard online via EMCC’s athletics website – http://athletics.eastms.edu – or by logging onto www.wfca108.com.
Following two successive weeks of having played on the road, East Mississippi will return home to kick off the month of October with a two-game gridiron home stand on the Scooba campus. A week from Thursday (Oct. 7), the Lions will welcome Northeast Mississippi for a 7 p.m. contest at EMCC’s Sullivan-Windham Field. The following week, EMCC steps out of divisional play for the final time this regular season by entertaining Pearl River on Saturday, Oct. 16 as part of Homecoming 2010 festivities on the Scooba campus. Kickoff between EMCC’s Lions and the Wildcats of PRCC is set for 2 p.m.
|Last Updated ( Wednesday, 29 September 2010 )|
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