The Mississippi Delta Community College Trojans will have their work cut out for them, and then some, Thursday when they travel to Scooba to take on the No.1 team in the nation, the East Mississippi Community College Lions.
The Lions are the defending NJCAA National Champions and are currently riding an undefeated streak in the state with an 8-0 overall record and a 5-0 North Division slate. Before the arrival in 2008 of Head Coach Buddy Stephen, the Lions had been involved in just one state playoff appearance. Since then EMCC has gone 64-10, winning two National titles, three State titles, three Region XXIII titles, and has wrapped up six North Division titles including this year’s.
Thus far this season the Lions have defeated Southwest CC 52-14, Co-Lin CC 46-10, Coahoma CC 83-7, Northeast CC 65-7, Itawamba CC 51-0, Jones JC 55-0, Holmes CC 49-0, and Northwest CC 49-0. That’s 450 to 38, in case you’re counting.
The Lions are led by sophomore quarterback Chad Kelly (6-3, 220) from Buffalo, NY. He is connecting on 65% of his passes and averaging 320 yards per game with 30 TD’s and five interceptions. He is also rushing for 37 yards per game with four TD’s.
His favorite receivers are Kameron Myers (5-8, 175) freshman from Charleston who is averaging 88 yards per game with six TD’s followed by Brandon Acker (6-2, 185) sophomore from Hattiesburg who is averaging 74 yards per game with five TD’s. There is also Allenza Staggers (6-1, 185) freshman from Woodville who is averaging 48 yards per game with five TD’s and Camion Patrick (6-2, 215) freshman from Knoxville who is averaging 40 yards per game with seven TD’s.
Two running backs, sophomore Preston Baker (5-10, 215) from Starkville and freshman DJ Law (5-11, 190) from Haines City, FL., share the load with each averaging 47 yards per game with five TD’s each. Overall, the Lions average 540 yards per game, 360/game passing and 180/game rushing. Both averages lead the state.
Defensively, the Lions have allowed a total of 504 yards rushing (63/game) and 127 yards per game passing. The Trojans defense is giving up 410 yards per game while the offense is averaging 300 yards per game.
This will be the final game for the Trojans who are currently 3-4 overall and 2-3 in the North Division.
There were two Honorary Co-Captains during the coin toss at Saturday’s Mississippi Delta Community College football game. They were Mrs. Linda Hall Branton of Greenville (center left), daughter of longtime President Dr. J.T. Hall who passed away in May, and Mrs. Margaret Warnock of Moorhead (center right) wife of Robert “Rabb” Warnock former Dean of Students, Vice-President, and Athletic Director who passed away in September. They were presented with MDCC football helmets by Athletic Director Domino Bellipanni (left) and Assistant Athletic Director Vanessa Farrell (right). Also, the back of each helmet worn by the Trojans carried the initials JT and RW on them.
A total of 100 points were scored Saturday at Jim Randall Stadium as the Itawamba Indians outscored the Trojans 52-48 in a game that came down to an on-side kick with 1:21 left in the game.
The North Division matchup turned into a scoring contest with only three punts in the game, two by Mississippi Delta and one by Itawamba and all in the fourth quarter. In fact, it was a blocked Trojans punt that turned out to be the deciding factor in the game.
There were only two touchdowns scored in the first quarter. The Indians took the opening kickoff and drove 69 yards in seven plays with running back Richard McQuarley racing in from 14 yards out. McQuarley, the states’ leading ground gainer, who was averaging 143 yards per game coming into the game, rushed 33 times for 115 yards and two TD’s Saturday.
The Trojans answered by going 77 yards in 12 plays with running back Roshard Burney plunging in from six yards out. Burney was the leading rusher in the game with 21 carries for 126 yards and three TD’s. Two other drives in the first quarter were stopped by interceptions, one for each team.
Things heated up in the second quarter with Itawamba scoring 24 points and the Trojans adding 14 points to the board. Itawamba took quarterback Devin Adams’ first quarter interception and marched it to the Delta five before being forced to kick a 22 yard field goal to make it 10-7.
The Trojans took the ensuing kickoff and drove from their own 25 to the Indian 31 before failing to convert at the Itawamba 31. It took one play, a 69 yard pass from quarterback Kwadra Griggs to Jaquez McMillian, to run the score to 17-7 with 10:33 left in the first half.
Mississippi responded by marching 76 yards in five plays on the strength of passes of 22, 21, and a TD pass of 16 yards from Adams to wide receiver Derrick Jenkins to close the gap to 71-14 at the 8:34 mark.
The Indians came back with a 55 yard drive that took nine plays and ended with a one yard plunge by Richard McQuarley to make the Indians’ lead 24-14.
Mississippi Delta answered, once again, with a 75 yard drive that took just eight plays with running back Quadre Butler scoring from three yards out. With 1:25 left in the half the Trojans trailed 24-21.
But, the Indians weren’t finished for the half. They took the ball and drove 63 yards in nine plays scoring one a one yard run by McQuarley with six ticks remaining to make the score 31-21 at the break.
Mississippi Delta opened the second half with a 63 yard drive that took eight plays and culminated with a 16 yard TD pass from Adams to Derrick Jenkins making the score 31-28 Itawamba.
The Indians roared back covering 76 yards in 10 plays and scoring on a 35 yard pass from Griggs to D’Andre Belton to once again give Itawamba a 10 point lead, 38-28 with 9:22 left in the third quarter.
The Trojans took the next four minutes to drive 74 yards in nine plays with Roshard Burney scoring again, this time from 13 yards out to make it 38-35.
The Indians took the ensuing kickoff at their own 10 and in seven plays marched to the Trojans’ 41 where they faced fourth and one. Delta’s defense held and the Trojans took the lead for the first time in the game by driving 59 yards in nine plays with Devin Adams again finding Derrick Jenkins on a four yard pass to put Delta up 42-38 with 10:44 remaining in the game.
Itawamba took over five minutes to regain the lead, but they did with an 89 yard drive that took eight plays, including a 30 yard run by EJ Bounds, that ended with a six yard pass by Griggs to Belton. This put the Indians up 45-42 with 5:16 remaining.
Then disaster struck. The Trojans were forced to punt from their own 31 and Cody Lloyd’s effort was blocked and the ball recovered by Itawamba at the Delta 27. Four plays later the Indians sealed the game on a seven yard pass by Griggs who ended the night hitting 20 of 29 for 340 yards and four TD’s with two interceptions, one by Cedric Poole and one by Terence Phinisee.
The Trojans closed the gap with a final touchdown on a 42 yard pass by Adams to Jenkins. The PAT kick failed making the score 52-48. An onside kick attempt by the Trojans with 1:21 left was covered by the Indians who then ran out the clock.
Statistically, the game was as close as the score. Unofficial stats show the Indians rushed 41 times for 162 yards and connected on 20 of 29 passes for 340 yards for a 502 yard total. The Trojans rushed 45 times for 223 yards and hit 23 of 34 passes for 333 yards for a 556 total.
Individually, quarterback Devin Adams connected on 23 of 34 passes for 33 yards and three TD’s with one interception. Derrick Jenkins had seven catches for 120 yards and three TD’s, while Michael Williams had four catches for 79 yards, Kameron Carter had five receptions for 59 yards and Donald Jackson ahd four catches for 54 yards.
Roshard led the game in rushing ith 21 carries for 126 yards and two TDs. He was followed by Quadre Butler with 11 carries for 76 yards and Devin Adams with 13 carries for 31 yards. The Trojans racked up 28 first downs to the Indians’ 22 and were flagged six times for 60 yards while Itawamba drew six flags for 85 yards.
The loss drops the Trojans to 3-4 overall and 2-3 in the North Division. The Indians improve to 4-4 overall and 4-2 in division play.
Mississippi Delta will end it season on the road next Thursday as they travel to Scooba to take on the No.2 team in the nation in the East Mississippi Community College Lions at 7 p.m.
The 8th Annual Homecoming Grilling Competition was held this morning,
and the winners have been announced!
Faculty/Staff - Ribs
1st place - Slow Cooker
Charlie Giompoletti, Darryl Hunter, Glenn Kirkham, Bill McClellan, and Shane Steelman
2nd place - Smoked BBQ
Shomari Davis and Orlando Battle
3rd place - Delta Smokers
Steele Robbins and Clarence Steelman
Students - Ribs
1st place - Other Guys
(not present for picture)
2nd place - GFCI
Joshua Lipe, Justin Self, Brent Dillon, and Jonathan Holley
3rd place - Hog Burners
(not present for picture)
Anything But Winner
Charlie Giompoletti , Darryl Hunter, Glenn Kirkham, Bill McClellan, and Shane Steelman
The Mississippi Delta Community College Trojans will celebrate Homecoming this Saturday as they welcome North Division foe Itawamba Community College to Jim Randall Stadium for a 2:00 p.m. kickoff.
The Indians enter this week’s game with a 3-4 overall record and a 3-2 North Division slate. The Trojans are 3-3 overall and 2-2 in division play. In games in common the Indians lost to Northwest 45-31 (Delta lost 23-14) and Co-Lin 37-13 (Delta lost 50-0), and defeated Holmes 19-3 (Delta lost 27-8), Northeast 38-19 (Delta won 14-7), and Coahoma 47-14 (Delta won 41-19). Itawamba also lost to Co-Lin 37-13, Jones 35-14, and East Mississippi 51-0.
Offensively the Indians are averaging 329 yards per game, rushing for 201 and passing for 127, while the Trojans are averaging 254 yards per game, 127 rushing and 127 passing. Defensively the Indians are giving up an average of 419 yards per game, 137 rushing and 282 passing, while Mississippi Delta is giving up 382 yards per game, 177 rushing and 204 passing.
The Indians are led by freshman quarterback Kwadra Griggs (6-3, 235) of Greenwood who is hitting 51% of his passes for 102 yards per game. His favorite receivers are freshman wide receiver Grant Kimberlin (5-9, 175) of Olive Branch who is averaging 43 yards per game and freshman running back Richard McQuarley (5-10, 190) of Meridian who is averaging 30 yards per game.
McQuarley is also the leading ground gainer for the Indians and in fact is the leading rusher in the state with 1001 yards in just seven games thus far this season. Itawamba averages 201 yards per game on the ground with McQuarley getting 143 of those yards. This is the second time this season that the Trojans will face a team with the state’s leading rusher. The other was against Co-Lin.
Saturday’s coin toss will have special meaning for MDCC alumni, faculty and staff as Mrs. Linda Hall Branton and Mrs. Margaret Warnock will act as Honorary Co-Captains for MDCC. Mrs. Branton is the daughter of Dr. J.T. Hall, long-time President of MDJC who passed away in May, and Mrs. Warnock is the wife of Robert L. “Rabb” Warnock, former Dean of Students, Vice-President and Athletic Director, who passed away in September. In honor of these two Trojans the back of each MDCC helmet will carry the initials JT and RW.