No. 19 Bobcats expect big things out of defensive line

Written By: Shawn Wansley
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Date Submitted: 2010-08-28 13:42:04

 By Shawn Wansley

JCJC Sports Information Director

ELLISVILLE – Head coach Eddie Pierce feels confident in the ability of the defensive linemen of his No. 19 Jones County Junior College Bobcats.

And he should be.

“We’ve got some experience returning up front,” said Pierce, who also serves as the JCJC defensive line coach. “We feel good about those guys. We’ve got three starters returning from last year.”

Those returning starters are sophomore tackles Mario Owens (6-0, 290) from Collins and Jon’al White (6-1, 295) from Ruston, La., and end Ryan Robinson (6-5, 255) from Mill Creek High School in Buford, Ga. As of now, the other No. 1 end would be another sophomore, Josh Herring (6-2, 235), from Bay Springs.

“Mario, Jon’al and Ryan started a bunch of ballgames for us last year,” said Pierce. “We look to them for leadership and they have done a great job. I’ve been very happy with the way they have worked.

“It’s almost like having coaches on the field with those guys.”

Anthony Wilson (6-3, 225), a freshman from Midfield High School in Birmingham, Ala., is battling Herring at one end position, while freshman Cecil “CC” Hartfield (6-4, 215) from Forrest County AHS is backing up Robinson at the other end slot.

Freshman Andre Rankin (6-0, 275) from Wayne County, freshman Michael Ross (5-10, 275) from Taylorsville and sophomore McKenzie Moffett (5-10, 280) from West Jones are pushing for playing time at the tackle slots.

Pierce is quite pleased with the preseason preparation of his defensive linemen at this point.

“They are all doing a good job,” he said. “I would not be afraid to put any one of those nine kids in a game. They have done a super job, they have worked hard and they have done everything they need to do to get ready for the season.”

Pierce believes his defense has the opportunity to be solid once again. Last year’s team led the MACJC in scoring defense, allowing 17.4 points per game.

“We have a chance to be as good as they want to be,” he said. “Our whole defense is doing everything they have been asked to do so far.”

The Bobcats will open the season at 6 p.m. on Thursday at Mississippi Delta Community College. The game will air on WGDQ-FM, 93.1, and on (audio only) with Lance Pittman on the call and Mark Easley providing commentary.

Airtime will be 5:30 p.m.


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