October 21, 2017 11:48:24 PM
SCOOBA -- East Mississippi Community College football coach Buddy Stephens rarely has to wonder how his team might respond after a loss.
However, Stephens was in that unusual spot when he arrived at Sullivan-Windham Field for Homecoming on Saturday afternoon.
Any worry was short-lived.
No. 7 EMCC scored 31 points in the first 10 minutes on the way to a 72-7 rout of Coahoma C.C. in a Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) North Division matchup.
"There has been a lot sky is falling around here," Stephens said. "We simply lost one game. We were beaten by another team. You can't let that one loss define the season. When you face adversity, you learn the type of team you have. You come back out swinging."
EMCC did just that.
A week ago, EMCC dropped a 61-38 decision to Northwest Mississippi C.C. in Senatobia. The Lions entered that game ranked No. 1 nationally and in a position to control their destiny for a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) national championship.
Instead, Northwest Mississippi C.C. sent a message that this state might have more than one elite team.
"The last time we lost a division game (in 2012 against Itawamba C.C.), we came back out and won the next 28," Stephens said. "Do you learn from the loss? That's the question you ask. There is still a lot on the table. We aren't in the same position we were in. We aren't in bad shape, either."
EMCC (7-1, 5-1) won its 23rd-straight against Coahoma C.C. The Lions clinched at least a share of the North Division championship for a seventh-straight season.
If Northwest Mississippi C.C. (6-1, 4-1) beats Northeast Mississippi C.C. on Thursday night, it will be the No. 1 seed in the North and EMCC will be the No. 2 seed in the North.
Under that scenario, EMCC would begin the four-team MACJC playoffs with a first-round game at No. 10 Jones County Junior College on Nov. 11. JCJC beat No. 4 Hinds C.C. 41-36 Saturday in Ellisville to win the South Division.
If Northeast beats Northwest, EMCC would be the top seed from the North and would play host to Hinds in the playoffs. Either way, EMCC is the playoffs for the ninth time in 10 seasons under Stephens.
"That is the biggest accomplishment," Stephens said. "We wanted to make sure to get into the playoffs. That is where we can make some things happen. Coahoma played Itawamba and Jones tight well into the third quarter. We knew they had some athletes, so they had our attention."
EMCC had six offensive touchdowns against Coahoma C.C. Tyrell Price scored on runs of 1 and 5 yards. Kirk Merritt had a 3-yard touchdown run. Lindsey Scott Jr. had a 1-yard quarterback keeper for a score
Scott also hit Dontario Drummond on a 76-yard touchdown and Mike Williams on a 25-yard touchdown.
Defensively, Duke Upshaw had two interceptions. Upshaw returned one 25 yards for a touchdown. Jacob Anderson also had a 52-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Braden Boykin had two punt blocks, with one recovery in the end zone for a touchdown. Untareo Johnson returned the other block 12 yards for a touchdown.
Taylor Crabtree added a 30-yard field goal.
Scott was 16-for-23 for 227 yards. He also had 11 carries for 50 yards. Price had 10 rushes for 36 yards. He has 14 rushing touchdowns this season.
EMCC will play Hinds C.C. at 2 p.m. Saturday at Joe Renfroe Stadium in Raymond in its regular-season finale.
n Itawamba C.C. 62, Mississippi Delta C.C. 14: At Moorhead, Former West Point High School standout Kadarius Forside ran for two touchdowns, while Dan Ellington threw five touchdowns Saturday to help the Indians win their Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) North Division game.
Forside scored on a 1-yard run in the first quarter and on a 1-yard run in the third quarter for ICC (5-3, 4-1 North Division).
Ellington threw a 57-yard touchdown pass to Malik Honeycutt, a 40-yard scoring pass to Michael Reed, a 27-yard touchdown pass to Terry Williams, a 27-yard scoring pass to De'Sean Dinkins, and a 9-yard touchdown pass to former Caledonia High standout Jamel Thomas.
Former Hamilton High standout Keshon Heard had a 28-yard punt block return for a score.
Former Caledonia High standout Caleb Comer kicked seven extra points.
ICC will play host to Holmes C.C. at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, for Homecoming.
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