No. 8 EMCC Lions travel to Mississippi Gulf Coast for NJCAA Game of the Week on ESPN+
Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2022 at 11:21 am
SCOOBA: The eighth-ranked Lions of East Mississippi Community College are poised to wrap up a three-game road stretch and wrap up their interdivisional slate by traveling to Perkinston for Thursday’s meeting with the Bulldogs of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Kickoff at historic AL May Memorial Stadium is set for 7:00 p.m., and ESPN+ will air the contest live as the NJCAA Game of the Week.
Thursday’s EMCC-Gulf Coast contest will also be broadcast live on WFCA-FM (107.9) outside of French camp, with Jason Crowder and Glen Beard scheduled to provide play-by-play and color commentary, respectively. SuperTalk Mississippi (WZKR-FM 103.3) will also carry live audio of the game out of Meridian, as well as via EMCC’s campus radio station, WGTC-FM (92.7), originating on the Triangle campus ‘Gold in Mayhew. Additionally, the audio feed of Thursday’s EMCC broadcast will be available online at emcclive.com and wfca.fm.
After moving up a ladder to No. 8 in the NJCAA Division I rankings this week, head coach Buddy Stephens’ 2-1 EMCC Lions are coming off last week’s division-opening win by 45-9 over Holmes in a game played at Ridgeland High School. East Mississippi opened the season by claiming a 38-0 home win over Copiah-Lincoln (Sept. 1) before dropping a 42-28 road decision the following week to then-No. 5 Jones College.
Led by fifth-year head coach Jack Wright, Mississippi Gulf Coast is also 2-1 overall on the year after a 45-7 home win over Southwest Mississippi a week ago in the team’s first division game. Receiving votes in this week’s NJCAA poll, the Bulldogs opened the season by rebounding from a narrow 28-24 road loss at fourth-ranked Northwest Mississippi with a 37-13 victory the following week in Itawamba.
In addition to their 2-1 overall and 1-0 division records, EMCC and Gulf Coast will enter Thursday’s contest also fairly equal in offensive numbers produced under their respective freshman quarterbacks. With EMCC’s quarterback tandem of Eli Anderson (73%) and Memphis transfer Peter Parrish (70%), currently ranks 1-2 among NJCAA Division I statistical leaders in passing percentage in passing, the Lions rank third nationally with an average of 255.3 yards passing percentage. game The Bulldogs, led by freshman signal caller Pat McQuaide, are close behind with 251.7 passing yards per contest to rank fifth. On the field, the two teams aren’t as highly ranked nationally, but are just as comparable with averages per game of 144.7 (EMCC-19).th) and 132.7 (MGCCC-21St) running yards, respectively.
EMCC’s Anderson was named the NJCAA Division I and MACCC Offensive Player of the Week for last Thursday’s performance against Holmes in his first collegiate start. The Neshoba Central High School product completed 33 of 42 (79 percent) for 300 yards and four touchdowns a week ago against the Bulldogs. In the first half alone in a game played at Ridgeland High School, Anderson was 25-for-28 (89 percent) for 225 passing yards and three touchdown passes to help EMCC to a 28-7 halftime lead.
Defensively as a team, EMCC entered the week tied for second in the MACCC behind Gulf Coast with 12 quarterback sacks for the season (MGCCC has 17). Additionally, the Lions are tied for fourth nationally in NJCAA Division I with six pass interceptions on the year, including three picks in their opener against Co-Lin and two more a week ago against Holmes.
EMCC’s Stephens has a career record of 9-3 (7-1 at Scooba and 2-2 at Perkinston) against Mississippi Gulf Coast, including wins over the Bulldogs in seven of the last eight meetings between the two teams. Before falling, 31-7, to eventual national champion Gulf Coast in the 2019 conference semifinals played in Perkinston, the Lions had won seven straight, including a 42-17 home win over MGCCC in the 2011 conference. championship game, as well as semifinal round home wins against the Bulldogs during the 2016 (27-24), 2014 (42-21) and 2013 (45-28) seasons. EMCC also posted a memorable 75-71 home win (in regulation) over Gulf Coast in 2009 to win the first conference championship in school football history and set the stage for six additional league titles during a successful decade (2009-18). in the grill of the lions.