Undefeated and undeterred are the No. 5 ranked East Mississippi Community College Lions.
At 5-0 overall and 2-0 overall, the Lions host Holmes Community College this afternoon in Scooba.
Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. and homecoming festivities will abound on the EMCC campus as the defending national champions look to chase down another title.
“I think you can talk about it and say we are taking this one game at a time," EMCC offensive coordinator and Starkville native Marcus Wood said. "We are really trying to stress that to our guys, but I think human nature takes over. I think they realize they are the defending national champs, want to do well and keep winning. Some of them may feel slighted but I tell you, the great thing about it is their work ethic and how they come out here to work each day.”
The Lions are coming off a 48-17 road win over Coahoma Community College improving to 2-0 in divisional play and continue to ride a 17-game win streak dating back to last year’s title run.
EMCC head coach Buddy Stephens’ teams are known for their ability to score points and this year is no different as the Lions are scoring just shy of 50 points per game while racking up 546 yards of total offense.
A large part of the offensive production is the result of the flexibility that freshman quarterback Quez Johnson gives the Lions. Johnson is a former signal caller for Starkville High School.
“He’s just a great leader and great competitor,” said Wood. “He allows you to do a lot. He’s got a great set of legs on him and he understands what he is doing. He is a gifted kid that can do a lot of things.”
Johnson ranks third nationally with 15 touchdown passes and has thrown for an average of 249 yards per game. His top target on the outside is sophomore transfer Corey Smith, who leads all receivers with 23 catches and averages 19 yards per catch to go with six touchdown grabs.
Rodriguez Moore paces the ground attack for EMCC with 476 yards and eight scores on just 59 carries (average 8.1 yards per catch).
The Lions aren’t too shabby on defense either as they have turned in 14 shutout quarters so far this season and have allowed just 13 points in the second half this season, including five consecutive scoreless third quarters this season.
Holmes brings records of 3-2 overall and 3-0 in the division into the matchup.