|EMCC capitalizes on Coahoma miscues in breezing to 49-14 divisional road win|
CLARKSDALE – The visiting East Mississippi Lions broke open a tight contest with back-to-back scores coming 34 seconds apart midway through the second quarter on the way to claiming a 49-14 divisional road win over Coahoma Thursday evening at James E. Miller Stadium.
With EMCC leading 14-7 through the opening quarter, the Lions failed to capitalize on Perrance Ward’s first interception of the night when placekicker Taylor Walker could not connect on his 46-yard field-goal attempt with 10:53 remaining in the half. However, Ward took matters into his own hands on Coahoma’s next series by picking up Garrick Jones’ incomplete lateral pass and racing 65 yards for a scoop-and-score fumble return. Walker’s successful point-after-touchdown kick made it 21-7 at the 7:44 mark.
Following Walker’s subsequent kickoff into the end zone, Coahoma’s Jones fumbled on first down and EMCC’s Damien Jacobs (Gibson, La.) recovered the ball on the 11-yard line. On the Lions’ first play from scrimmage, sophomore quarterback Brad Henderson hit receiver Rodney Davis (Millbrook, Ala.) for the 11-yard score at the 7:10 mark. East Mississippi had managed to take the score from a precarious 14-7 early lead to a 28-7 advantage within a game-changing span of 34 seconds.
Aided by four EMCC penalties, the home-standing Tigers did respond by marching downfield on their next series. However, Coahoma’s 12-play drive was halted within the red zone when Ward picked off his second interception of the quarter – and third in the last two games – near the goal line. The former West Point High School standout had his first collegiate interception in last week’s 37-10 victory at Itawamba.
Thursday’s contest began with countering scoring drives before Coahoma ended the opening half of play by turning the ball over on four consecutive possessions heading into intermission. EMCC’s 12-play scoring drive to open the game was capped by an 11-yard touchdown strike from Henderson to Meridian’s JJ Harbin at the 10:49 mark. The Tigers answered with an extended drive of their own with Courtney Vaughn scoring on a 9-yard pitch around right end to deadlock the contest at 7-7 with 4:41 left in the opening period.
EMCC’s second straight 68-yard scoring drive rounded out the first-quarter scoring, as Henderson found Andre Taylor (Washington, D.C.) near the goal line with 34 seconds left and the sophomore receiver dove into the right corner of the end zone for his first receiving touchdown of the year.
Following their mistaken-laden second quarter of play, the Tigers came back from the halftime break to cut the deficit in half on Vaughn’s 8-yard bolt up the middle for his second scoring run of the evening. Trent Williams’ PAT trimmed the margin to 28-14 with 11:05 remaining in the third quarter.
It didn’t take the visitors long to reclaim the game’s momentum, as the Lions went 60 yards on seven plays to move ahead 35-14 on their next series. Henderson dumped the ball off to Harbin, who scored his second touchdown of the night on a 26-yard, catch-and-run play with 8:57 left in the quarter.
East Mississippi added two more scores during the final period to account for the 49-14 final outcome, giving the Lions their 34th victory in the last 35 series meetings with Coahoma dating back to the 1976 campaign. Sophomore running back Floyd Graves of Newton County registered his fifth rushing touchdown of the year on a 1-yard plunge with 10:10 remaining. Henderson then hooked up with back-up quarterback Termarcus Conner of Noxubee County on a 5-yard pass play for the game’s final score coming at the 5:57 mark.
Henderson finished the night with 277 yards of total offense, completing 17-of-25 passes for 210 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions. The former Starkville High School product also led the Lions in rushing with 67 yards on nine carries. Henderson hit eight different receivers on the evening, led by Kemper County’s Lacoltan Bester’s four grabs for 35 yards and Harbin’s three catches for 60 yards and two scores.
Head coach Buddy Stephens’ 2-3 EMCC Lions look to improve upon their 2-1 MACJC North Division mark by playing host to Northeast Mississippi next Thursday (Oct. 7) in a 7 p.m. kickoff at Sullivan-Windham Field. East Mississippi will stay at home the following week by welcoming Pearl River in a 2 p.m. contest on Saturday, Oct. 16 as part of EMCC’s Homecoming 2010 festivities on the Scooba campus.
|Last Updated ( Friday, 01 October 2010 )|
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