No. 1 EMCC Lions topple Trojans

Staff Writer

Fans at Sullivan-Windham Field got to see scoring in just about every way possible on Thursday night when No. 1 East Mississippi Community College went head-to-head with Mississippi Delta.

There were blocked punts and punt returns, passes and rushes, safeties and interceptions. It all added up to another Lions’ blowout as the top team in junior college football routed Delta 54-13 to move to 3-0 this season.

The game wasn’t without some sloppy play as EMCC continues to work out some kinks, but they’re still rolling through those lapses. The Lions had 419 yards of total offense and put up 291 yards through the air but they allowed Delta to hit big plays in the passing game as the Trojans had 203 yards throwing.

EMCC head coach Buddy Stephens liked the fact there were big plays and points on the scoreboard, but he wasn’t satisfied.

“I thought (Delta) came out ready to play," Stephens said. "Defensively we didn’t play with a lot of emotion early. You’ve got to find out how to get your team ready and that’s on me. We were giving up too much on defense.”

Offensively, the Lions worked two quarterbacks again with Vjay Miller and Messiah deWeaver and both had success at 12-for-17 each. Miller had 172 yards and three touchdowns with an interception and deWeaver had 119 yards.

Dontario Drummond was the leading receiver with seven catches for 100 yards and a touchdown. He came into the game with five touchdowns on just seven receptions and was a score behind the leader in the NJCAA.

Deon McIntosh tied the national lead with his ninth touchdown of the season and had just seven carries for 57 yards.

“I feel like we’re coming along pretty good,” Drummond said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do but we’re doing well for the first part of the season.”

The Lions had a 17-0 lead after one quarter without the offense seeing much of the field. Josh Smith kicked a 36-yard field goal but the defense did the work after that with a 62-yard interception from Shavoke Herrington and a punt block from Braden Boykin that ended up in the hands of Adrian Miller for a touchdown.

It didn’t take long for the offense to make an appearance in the second quarter. Vjay Miller threw a strike to Jason Brownlee for a score. Delta got its first points on a fourth-down heave after several missed tackles from Lions defenders and the score was 31-7.

It was all EMCC from there as it scored a couple of touchdowns and got a safety defensively to carry a 47-6 lead into the half. The clock rolled for most of the second half as the Lions won their ninth-straight game dating back to last season and 78 out of their last 83 games since the new stadium opened in 2011.

The Lions now head back to the road as they take on No. 20 East Central in Decatur. Before now and then, Stephens wants to get many things cleaned up.

“We’ve got to do a better job of executing and we’ve got to do a better job of taking pride in the little things,” Stephens said. “We had missed assignments and there’s absolutely zero tolerance for that. We’re in week four and we’ve been here since June.”