Bobcats open division play at home Saturday vs. No. 2 Gulf Coast

Written By: Shawn Wansley
Email Address: shawn.wansley@jcjc.edu
Date Submitted: 2010-09-16 13:54:23

 By Shawn Wansley

JCJC Sports Information Director

ELLISVILLE – Jones County Junior College head coach Eddie Pierce puts the blame squarely on his shoulders for last week’s 26-24 loss to Coahoma Community College.

“Offensively, we played very well, but defensively, we did not,” Pierce said Wednesday afternoon in the Bobcat Fieldhouse. “We did not make a stop when we had to and just did not play very well. Consequently, we lost the ballgame.

“I’m not taking anything away from Coahoma because they’ve got some good players. They were ready to play and we were not and I take full responsibility for that. That is my fault.”

The Bobcats have to rebound quickly this week.

JCJC, 1-1, opens South Division play at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Bobcat Stadium/Sim Cooley against the second-ranked Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Bulldogs. Gulf Coast moved up from No. 3 to No. 2 in this week’s NJCAA poll after shellacking Mississippi Delta, 52-0, last week.

The Bobcats, who fell from No. 11 to the top team in the “Others Receiving Votes” category, had several bright spots in last week’s game.

Greene County freshman quarterback Mitchell Brown started the game in place of regular starter Tromarcus Toney and sparkled. (Toney and wide receiver Jonathan Ducksworth were suspended for the game for a violation of team rules.)

Brown completed 23-of-31 passes for 248 yards, rushed 19 times for 71 yards and scored two touchdowns.

“I thought Mitchell Brown did a great job of stepping in at quarterback,” said Pierce. “The offense put up almost 450 yards of total offense and scored 24 points. When you do that, you should win the game.”

Jones fell behind quickly when Coahoma’s Fred Plummer returned a punt 86 yards for a touchdown less than four minutes into the game.

“We gave up the punt return and you just don’t do those kinds of things,” said Pierce. “That just goes to show you we were not mentally ready to play the game. There again, that’s my fault and I did not have them mentally ready to play and we got our butts beat.”

JCJC had several standouts.

Lake City, Fla., freshman running back Tiger Powell had 13 carries for 73 yards, while Laurel sophomore Kylan Pollard had six catches for 65 yards. Warner Robins, Ga., freshman Rashad Wynes had three catches for 64 yards and Wayne County freshman Malik Lofton had four catches for 57 yards.

Oak Grove freshman Dylan Sobiesk booted a school-record 54-yard field goal.

The Bobcats trailed 26-17 with less than two minutes to play when Bay Springs’ sophomore running back Justin Gaines scored on a 2-yard run with 55 seconds left. JCJC’s Antonio Parker, a freshman from New Orleans, recovered the onside kick at his own 47-yard line, but two plays later Brown was picked off by Coahoma’s Charles Harris to end the comeback effort.

Gulf Coast, who won the South Division and finished second in the state last year, brings its usual, power running game to the table. The Bulldogs rush for a whopping, 265 yards per game, which tops the state.

“Gulf Coast is going to run the ball and then they are going to run it some more,” said Pierce. “But they are throwing it a bit more this year. They have the quarterback from Louisville, Miss., (Clayton Moore) and they have looked pretty good in the first two games.

“But we’ve had a great week of practice and I think our kids are going to be ready for the challenge. We need to get back on the winning track.”

Moore, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound freshman, signed with Ole Miss out of high school, but transferred to Gulf Coast in January. He has completed 19-of-30 passes for 342 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions through two games.

Still, Pierce knows the Bobcats have to slow down the Bulldogs’ running game in order to have a chance.

“We are going to have to stop the run defensively,” he said. “We are going to have to play behind the chains. We cannot let them get into ‘second and medium’ situations. We are going to have to play a whale of game on defense.

“Offensively, we have got to control the ball.”

Saturday’s contest – which is the only MACJC game to be played on a Saturday in September – will mark JCJC’s first home appearance this year after a pair of lengthy trips to Mississippi Delta and Coahoma.

“It’s nice to be at home and it’s always good to play in front of the home crowd,” Pierce said. “We just need to get back on the winning track. You want to get off on the right foot in your division opener. I think our kids will play hard.

“If we play hard, we are going to win the game.”

Fans can watch Saturday’s game live at www.jcjc.tv with Lance Pittman on the call and Mark Easley providing commentary. The game will also air on the “Bobcat Radio Network” on WGDQ-FM, 93.1, and on WOSM-FM, 103.1. Airtime is 6:30 p.m.

Both teams continue division play next week on Thursday, Sept. 23. JCJC goes to Co-Lin, while Gulf Coast hosts Southwest.

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This weekend also marks “Hall of Fame” weekend on the JCJC campus.

Former football stars Mike McClellan and Dr. Joe-Michael Robertson, along with the late Carlos McDaniel, a former basketball standout, will be inducted into the JCJC Sports Hall of Fame at a 6 p.m. banquet on Friday at the Ronald Whitehead Technology Center in the Howard Technology Park. The trio will be recognized during halftime of Saturday’s game.

MACJC STATISTICS

- JCJC averages 29 points per game and allows 14.5 points per game. Gulf Coast averages 46 points per game and allows 10.5 points per game.

- Gulf Coast leads the state in rushing with 265 yards per game, while Jones is third with 176.5 yards per game.

- Jones is eighth in passing offense with 213.5 yards per game, while Gulf Coast is 10th at 185.0 yards per game.

- Jones is sixth in total offense with 390 yards per game, while Gulf Coast is third with 450 yards per game.

- Jones is seventh in rushing defense at 121.5 yards per game, while Gulf Coast is fifth at 92.5 yards per game.

- Jones is third in passing defense at 142.5 yards per game, while Gulf Coast is fifth at 172.5 yards per game.

- Jones is fourth in total defense at 264 yards per game, while Gulf Coast is fifth at 265 yards per game.

- Jones is tied for second in turnover margin at +3, while Gulf Coast is tied for seventh at -1.

- Gulf Coast’s James Gillum is second in scoring (non-kickers) with 18 points.

- Jones’ Mitchell Brown leads the league in passing percentage at 71.8 percent. Gulf Coast’s Clayton Moore is fifth in passing percentage at 63.3 percent.

- Gillum is third in the state in rushing, averaging 117.5 yards per game.

- Jones’ Deuce Coon is tied for eighth in receiving with 10 catches for 94 yards and Kylan Pollard is tied for 15th with eight receptions for 78 yards.

- Jones’ Slater Smith leads the state in punting with a 43.8 yards per kick average, while Gulf Coast’s Cameron Bosley is fourth at 35.6 yards per punt.

- Jones’ Dylan Sobiesk leads the state in scoring by kickers with 16 points. Gulf Coast’s Will Scott is tied for fifth with 11 points.

- Jones’ Coon is ninth in kickoff returns with a 23.2 average.

- Gulf Coast’s Otis Jacobs is third in punt returns with a 17.6 average.

- Jones’ Anthony Wilson is tied for sixth with two sacks. Gulf Coast’s Lloyd Allen and Wade Wells also have two sacks.

- Jones’ Santonio Jones is tied for 14th with 11 solo tackles, Kewon Hunter is tied for 22nd with 10 solos and Cory Cooley and Roderick McCullum are tied for 28th with eight solos each. Gulf Coast ‘s Mario Gainer and Will Copeland each have 11 solo tackles.

 

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