September 11, 2009 8:49:00 AM
SCOOBA -- Randall Mackey completed 28 of 39 passes for 385 yards and four touchdowns Thursday night to lead the No. 2 East Mississippi Community College football team to a 41-14 victory against Holmes C.C. at Sullivan-Windham Field.
The win helped EMCC improve to 3-0 and helped set up a matchup against defending MACJC state champion and No. 11 nationally ranked Gulf Coast C.C. at 7 p.m. Thursday.
"We played a sloppy game," EMCC coach Buddy Stephens said. "Whether it was the weather or just our playing style, we have to work on perfecting our plays."
EMCC struck first with a 27-yard touchdown pass from Mackey to Marcus McQuarley five minutes into the game.
HCC''s offense was no match for the Lions'' quick and aggressive defense. The Bulldogs rotated three quarterbacks who produced 155 yards and one touchdown.
Dex Hopkins completed 6 of 12 for 90 yards and one interception.
Mackey, a sophomore, showcased his talent in the first half, throwing a 23-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Steele and a 25-yard touchdown pass to Lance Lewis.
"The long pass attack is my specialty," Mackey said. "It really felt good to connect with McQuarley to open the game."
The Bulldogs made it 28-7 before halftime. O.J. Hughes connected with Simon Collier and David Hampton to march the Bulldogs 59 yards and set up a 1-yard touchdown by Wa''Javious Jones.
The Lions struck early in the third quarter on a 17-yard rushing touchdown by Pat Shed. Mackey connected with Stephon Johnson on an 8-yard pass to set up the score that helped push the lead to 35-7.
A 20-yard kick return by Maurice Owens. Mackey helped set up Mackey''s final touchdown pass, a 21-yard strike to Mitchell McCurry to make it 41-7.
A goal-line stand by HCC prevented another score and led to a drive that Harry Peoples capped with a 5-yard touchdown to account for the scoring.
"Our team has played some really tough offenses in Pearl River and EMCC, and if we execute on all aspects of the game, we have a fighting chance and we can turn our season around," said HCC coach Danny Robertson, whose team slipped to 0-3.
n Northeast Mississippi C.C. 28, Itawamba C.C. 21: At Booneville, The Tigers (1-2, 1-0 division) scored three touchdowns off turnovers Thursday night to send the Indians to 1-2 and 0-1 in the division.
ICC quarterback left the game with a hand injury and was replaced by Tromarcus Toney, who threw an interception that was returned for a score that gave NMCC a 28-7 lead.
But ICC used a 25-yard touchdown pass from Toney with five and a half minutes remaining and a 4-yard run by Evan Lackey, of Amory, with 2:50 left to cut it to 28-21.
ICC got the ball back with one minute left at its 8 and earned a coupel of first downs but ran out of time.
ICC will play host to No. 15 Northwest Mississippi C.C. at 7 p.m. Thursday.
2. Howland likes MSU's non-conference schedule COLLEGE SPORTS
3. Walters column: Prep football season coming closer LOCAL COLUMNS