|East Mississippi closes out regular season and ends an era Thursday by hosting Holmes|
SCOOBA – East Mississippi’s regular-season football finale takes on added significance Thursday evening when the EMCC Lions play host to the Holmes Bulldogs beginning at 7 p.m. on the Scooba campus.
In addition to being a must-win contest for any playoff aspirations entertained by head coach Buddy Stephens’ East Mississippi ballclub, Thursday’s EMCC-Holmes battle at Sullivan-Windham Field will mark the final scheduled home football game to be played on the school’s present site. EMCC’s current home football playing location dates back to the 1948 campaign and will be replaced by a modern 5,000-seat facility on the west side of the Scooba campus in time for the kickoff of the 2011 football season.
Having won four of their last five contests to put themselves in contention for a third straight state playoff appearance, the 4-4 EMCC Lions must also rely on help from the MACJC’s respective divisional leaders in order to have their season continue. Entering the week in fourth place with a 3-2 mark in North Division play, East Mississippi will also need a Northeast Mississippi (5-3 overall & 4-2 division mark) home loss to South Division leader and 12th-ranked Copiah-Lincoln (7-1, 5-1) as well as an Itawamba (5-3, 4-1) setback at North-leading and No. 4 Northwest Mississippi (8-0, 5-0) Thursday night just to have a chance at making the state playoffs via the MACJC’s pre-determined tiebreaker system.
Averaging 36.8 points per game on the season, including an average of 43.8 points over the last four outings, East Mississippi presently stands second nationally in team passing offense with an average of 305.9 passing yards per contest. EMCC also ranks third among the NJCAA’s team statistical leaders in total team offense (451.3 yards per game) behind eighth-ranked Ellsworth CC of Iowa (479.4 yds/gm) and No. 5 Grand Rapids CC of Michigan (460.9 yds/gm).
Individually, the Lions continue to be headlined by veteran quarterback Brad Henderson, who was named the NJCAA’s Co-Offensive Player of the Week (with Ellsworth’s Willie Tindal) for his efforts in bringing EMCC back from a 27-0 first-half deficit in last week’s 42-27 come-from-behind road triumph over Mississippi Delta. Having completed 61 percent of his passes (190-of-312 passing) for 2,265 yards, 21 touchdowns and only six interceptions on the year, Henderson was credited with 28-of-48 passing for a career-high 502 yards and four touchdowns through the air. The former Starkville High School product has now thrown for 16 touchdowns (and only two interceptions) over his last four contests.
With three 100-yard rushing efforts this year, sophomore running back Trayshun King of Columbia paces East Mississippi’s ground attack with 458 yards and seven touchdowns on 66 rushes for an average of nearly seven yards per carry. Following his 10-catch, 190-yard performance last week at Mississippi Delta, freshman receiver Rodney Davis (Millbrook, Ala.) tops all EMCC pass-catchers with 27 grabs and five scores on the season. Fellow freshman JJ Harbin of Meridian follows with 25 receptions, including four touchdowns, for a team-high 404 yards.
Defensively, sophomore linebackers Donnelli Johnson (East Oktibbeha HS) and Jimmy Roby (Noxubee County HS) continue to lead the EMCC stops unit with 86 and 72 total tackles, respectively. Sophomore nose guard Quinton Dial, a University of Alabama commit from Clay-Chalkville (Ala.) High School, and freshman defensive tackle Gary Brown (Greensboro, Fla.) top the club’s linemen with 64 and 57 total stops, respectively. In the defensive secondary, sophomore free safety Perrance Ward of West Point is tied for fourth nationally with five interceptions on the year.
Guided by head coach Danny Robertson, the Holmes Bulldogs are winless in eight attempts this season. Most recently, Holmes dropped a 38-13 home decision to division-leading Northwest Mississippi last week in Goodman.
East Mississippi has claimed the last four gridiron meetings with Holmes, winning 41-14 in Scooba last season and also 52-14 in Goodman during the 2008 campaign.
Thursday’s historical EMCC-Holmes contest from Scooba 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.
|Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 October 2010 )|
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