EMCC places conference-high 16 on 2021 All-MACCC Football Team
JACKSON – The sixth-ranked Lions of East Mississippi Community College have placed a conference-high 16 recipients on the 2021 All-MACCC Football Team, as announced Wednesday by the Mississippi Association of Community Colleges Conference office headquartered in Jackson.
Coach Buddy Stephens’ 9-1 EMCC Lions featured nine players on the MACCC’s All-North Division First Team and had seven selections to the All-MACCC North Division Second Team. East Mississippi’s league-best 16 all-conference recipients topped Jones College’s 15 honorees and MACCC Champion Northwest Mississippi’s 14 selections.
EMCC’s nine all-conference first-teamers were comprised of three offensive players, four defensive standouts and a pair of specialists. On offense, the Lions featured running back Zias Perryman (Laurel), wide receiver Jontarius Henderson (Laurel) and offensive lineman Jordan Boatman (Starkville). Defensively, EMCC had defensive linemen Devonyal Lofton (Forest) and Drew Tuazama (Raleigh, NC/Syracuse transfer), along with linebacker Lee Kpogba (Winston-Salem, NC/Syracuse transfer) and defensive back Jeremy Mack Jr. (Clinton). Earning special teams honors for the Lions were wide receiver Zach Patterson (Corinth) for his punt and kickoff return success and kicker/punter Peyton Rodgers (Starkville), who garnered first-team recognition as a punter and second-team honors as a kicker.
East Mississippi’s seven all-conference second-team honorees included three players apiece on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball plus Rodgers. Offensively, the Lions placed quarterback Jamari Jones (Northwest Rankin HS), wide receiver Kevin Barnett (Oak Grove HS) and offensive lineman Kylan Carter (Oak Grove) on the All-MACCC North Division Second Team. On defense, EMCC had defensive lineman Trey Laing (Tallahassee, FL/South Florida transfer), linebacker Brandon Lairy (West Point) and defensive back Cam McCullum (Greenville).
As a team statistically, EMCC is ranked fourth in NJCAA Division I football scoring an average of 40.8 points per game. Defensively, the Lions stand third nationally allowing an average of only 12.8 points per contest.
Individually for the Lions, Jones currently ranks third nationally with an MACCC-best 27 touchdown passes and is sixth in completion percentage (63.1%) on 176-of-279 passing for the year. The sophomore signal-caller also stands ninth with an average of 215.3 passing yards per game.
Defensively, EMCC is represented among the nation’s top 10 individual statistical leaders by Mack (T-9th w/4 INTs) and Lofton (T-10th w/7 QB sacks).
On special teams, EMCC’s Rodgers is tied for sixth among NJCAA Division I kickers and tied for first in the MACCC with 74 points scored on 9-of-12 (75%) field goals and 47-of-50 (94%) PAT attempts. He also averaged 37.4 yards on 27 punts during the year, including a career-long 68-yarder at Itawamba.
On the ground for the 2021 Lions, Perryman was EMCC’s leading rusher with 597 yards and six touchdowns on 130 carries. With 1,086 career rushing yards for the Lions (489 yds in 2019), Perryman also had 15 catches for 138 yards and four receiving touchdowns as a sophomore. Jones followed with 573 rushing yards and six scores via the ground this past year, giving him 2,726 yards of total offense. Perryman scored a team-high 10 touchdowns this past season, while Jones accounted for 33 total touchdowns (27 pass & 6 rush).
With this year’s EMCC team featuring eight players with double-digit receptions for the season, Henderson and Barnett ranked as the Lions’ No. 2 and No. 4 receivers with 33 and 23 catches, respectively. Henderson was tied for second on the club with four touchdown catches and third with 325 receiving yards.
In addition to averaging 23.6 yards on seven kickoff returns and 8.5 yards on 18 punt returns this season, Patterson was EMCC’s team leader with eight touchdown catches. He also finished a close second to Joshua Aka with 357 receiving yards and his 27 receptions were third-best on the squad.
Featured on an EMCC defense that limited seven of 10 opponents to single-digit scoring totals, the Lions’ stellar defensive unit was headlined by Kpogba with his team-leading 84 total tackles, including 5.5 tackles for loss. Lairy and Laing followed on EMCC’s tackles chart with 54 and 53 stops, respectively. Laing, a South Florida transfer, registered a team-most 12.5 tackles for loss, including six quarterback sacks.
Along the Lions’ vaunted defensive front, Lofton recorded 10.5 of his 38 total tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including his club-best seven quarterback sacks. Tuazama, who transferred from Syracuse along with fellow North Carolina native Lee Kpogba, added six tackles for loss among his 32 total stops on the year.
Within EMCC’s stingy defensive secondary, Mack made 40 total tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss, along with his team-leading four pass interceptions. Three of those picks came in successive weeks early in the season during wins over Southwest, Delta and Holmes. McCullum totaled a team-high six pass breakups, 29 tackles and a pair of interceptions this year, including a 34-yard pick six against Northeast Mississippi
2021 ALL-MACCC FOOTBALL TEAMS (NORTH DIVISION)
Michael Hiers, Northwest
Jaquerrious Williams, Northwest
Zias Perryman, East Mississippi
Trayvon Moore, Coahoma
- T. Sheffield, Northwest - MVP OFFENSIVE
Shamar Sandgren, Itawamba
Jontarius Henderson, East Mississippi
Davion Carter, Northwest - OL MVP
TJ Storey, Coahoma
Buddy Baughman, Itawamba
Austin Wilson, Northwest
Jordan Boatman, East Mississippi
Zach Patterson, East Mississippi
Peyton Rodgers, East Mississippi
Tanner Gillis, Northwest
Malik Puryear, Coahoma - DL MVP
Devonyal Lofton, East Mississippi
Omar Pew, Northwest
Drew Tuazama, East Mississippi
Dez Williams, Coahoma
Corley Hooper, Itawamba
Lee Kpogba, East Mississippi
Marlon Windham, Coahoma - BACKS MVP
Jeremiah Johnson, Mississippi Delta
Jarvis Townsend, Northwest
Jeremy Mack Jr., East Mississippi
Jamari Jones, East Mississippi
Jamarien Bracey, Northwest
Jakobi Jackson, Coahoma
Goldman Butler Vl, Northeast
Wayne Toussant, Coahoma
Kevin Barnett, East Mississippi
Lorenzo Perez, Mississippi Delta
Vance Van Every, Northwest
Kylan Carter, East Mississippi
Will Derico, Northeast
Austin Summerall, Mississippi Delta
Jaquan Toney, Northeast
Kerrick Ross, Holmes
Tanner Gillis, Northwest
Peyton Rodgers, East Mississippi
Tyrique Howard, Itawamba
Rayyan Buell, Northwest
Cedric Hillsman, Northeast
Trey Laing, East Mississippi
Kylan Robinson, Northwest
Micheal Campbell, Northwest
Brandon Lairy, East Mississippi
Peyton Rea, Itawamba
Tony Washington, Northeast
Keyshawn Cobb, Northeast
Cam McCullum, East Mississippi