35-point second quarter powers No. 11 EMCC to 49-7 home win over Holmes
SCOOBA – Powered by a 35-point second quarter, the 11th-ranked Lions of East Mississippi Community College continued their solid play on both sides of the ball with a 49-7 home victory over the Holmes Bulldogs Thursday.
With seven touchdowns, including a trio of scores within a two-minute span midway through the second quarter, plus allowing the opposition only one score for the fourth straight game, the Lions have now outscored their opponents by a collective total of 186-24 on the season.
The only scoring during Thursday’s first quarter came on the game’s opening possession when Ethan Conner capped a seven-play, 34-yard drive with a 4-yard keeper at the 12:49 mark.
EMCC’s explosive five-touchdown second quarter began with an 11-play, 79-yard drive that concluded with a 14-yard scoring pass from Jamari Jones to running back Zias Perryman, who slipped four would-be tacklers coming out of the backfield on the way to making it a 14-0 game a minute into the quarter.
The Lions’ furious scoring spree began with a nifty 46-yard catch and run from Jones to Zach Patterson, who shook off a defender and beat two others to the left corner of the end zone with 9:24 remaining in the quarter.
EMCC’s stellar defensive unit then took center stage to maintain the home team’s game-changing momentum. Immediately following Brandon Lairy’s 7-yard sack of quarterback Jordan Willis deep in Holmes territory, Trey Laing’s sack of Willis caused a fumble that Drew Tuazama scooped and scored from 4 yards out to quickly extend the margin to 28-0 at the 7:44 mark.
The Lions proceeded to break open the contest with some help from special teams play on the ensuing kickoff when EMCC’s Ray Lias Jr. recovered the muffed return before the ball went out of bounds. On the next play from scrimmage, Jones faked the give to Perryman and dashed 28 yards untouched into the end zone to lengthen the lead to 35-0 with 7:34 still remaining in the opening half.
Continuing their offensive assault, the Lions reached the MACCC’s mandated 38-point, mercy-rule margin during their final possession of the first half. After taking advantage of a fumbled pitch that was recovered by Kel Williams, Jones found Jontarius Henderson for a 13-yard scoring strike that capped a six-play, 46-yard drive and increased the insurmountable margin to 42-0 heading into intermission.
Beginning the second half with a running clock, the Bulldogs were able to put together an 11-play, 64-yard drive that resulted in Parks Poe’s 3-yard scoring run to the left pylon on a pitch from Willis at the 8:22 mark of the third quarter.
EMCC’s Jones finished off a productive performance and concluded the game’s scoring with another passing touchdown late in the third quarter. This time, the sophomore signal-caller found Duke Miller in the right side of the end zone from 11 yards out at the 4:25 mark. Peyton Rodgers’ seventh successful point-after-touchdown in as many attempts on the night finalized the 42-point outcome.
Statistically for the winners, EMCC’s Jones accounted for five touchdowns for the second time in three weeks by throwing for four scores and running for another. For the night, the Northwest Rankin product completed 17-of-28 passes for 212 yards and the four touchdowns, while also ranking as the Lions’ leading rusher in the game with 91 yards and a touchdown on seven attempts. Along with his 28-yard scoring scamper, Jones also had runs of 26 and 25 yards in the victory.
Ten different EMCC receivers caught passes in the contest, led by Henderson and Joshua Aka with five receptions each.
Defensively, the Lions forced six turnovers on the evening, with five fumble recoveries and Jeremy Mack Jr.’s third interception in as many games.
Coach Buddy Stephens’ 4-0 EMCC Lions continue MACCC North Division play on Thursday (Sept. 30) by traveling to Senatobia to take on the 14th-ranked Rangers of Northwest Mississippi Community College. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Ranger Field at Bobby Franklin Field.