No. 11 EMCC Lions begin MACCC North action with convincing 56-3 win at Delta
MOORHEAD – The 11th-ranked East Mississippi Community College Lions opened MACCC North Division play with a convincing 56-3 road victory over a previously unbeaten Mississippi Delta squad Thursday.
In a well-balanced effort on both sides of the football, the Lions scored 28 points during each half on the way to their season-best scoring effort. Now averaging 45.7 points per game for the year, they have now scored in all 12 quarters this season.
Each of EMCC’s eight touchdowns on the evening was scored by a different player.
After coming up empty on their first two possessions, including fumbling into the end zone on the game’s opening drive, the Lions’ offense began to click with touchdowns on four consecutive possessions later in the half.
Their first touchdown of the night, and the game’s only score in the first quarter, resulted in an 11-yard scoring pass play from Jamari Jones to Jontarius Henderson with two minutes left in the quarter.
Following one of Delta’s six three-and-outs forced by EMCC’s stingy defense, the Lions stayed mostly on the ground during an ensuing seven-play, 46-yard scoring drive that was capped by Amariyon Howard’s 4-yard rumble into the end zone at the 13:34 mark of the second quarter.
Special teams play set up the Lions’ next score, as Cameron Hines partially blocked a punt that gave the visitors ball possession at MDCC’s 29-yard line. Four plays later, Jones found Kevin Barnett in the back of the left-side end zone for a 12-yard touchdown toss to make it 21-0 with 11:03 remaining in the half.
The margin quickly grew to four touchdowns within the next minute thanks in large part to Jeremy Mack Jr.’s second pass interception in as many games. EMCC promptly went 45 yards in three plays to lengthen its lead to 28-0 on Jones’ 17-yard scoring strike to Zach Patterson at the 10:04 mark.
The Trojans were able to put together their only drive that consumed more than five plays and went longer than 12 yards. Mason Caldwell’s successful 36-yard field goal at the 3:19 mark capped a 13-play, 58-yard scoring drive that gave MDCC its only points of the game.
Following intermission, the Lions went back to work and managed to reach the MACCC’s mandated 38-point, mercy-rule margin with six minutes remaining in the third quarter. To open the second half, Joshua Short’s 30-yard scoop and score of Jalon Jones’ fumble extended EMCC’s lead to 35-3 with 13:40 still left in the third quarter.
Later in the quarter Jones went 11 yards untouched into the end zone to stretch the margin to 42-3.
Even with a running clock, EMCC was able to produce two more touchdowns during the fast-paced fourth quarter.
Offensively, the Lions recorded 422 yards of total offense, including 309 of those yards coming in the first half alone.
Individually, Jones completed 16-of-22 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns while also running for a fourth score.
Nine different EMCC receivers caught passes in the game, with Henderson, Patterson, Perryman and Joshua Aka leading the way with three receptions apiece. Perryman was the game’s leading ground gainer with 80 rushing yards and one touchdown on 15 attempts.
Coach Buddy Stephens’ 3-0 EMCC Lions return home to play host to the Holmes Bulldogs on Thursday (Sept. 23). With kickoff set for 7 p.m. at Sullivan-Windham Field on the Scooba campus, the 10 newest members of EMCC’s Sports Hall of Fame will be recognized at halftime.