EMCC advances to state title game

EMCC quarterback Lindsey Scott Jr. finished 18-of-31 passes for 260 yards (Photo by Bob Smith, EMCC)

The No. 3 East Mississippi Community College Lions defeated No. 6 Jones County Junior College 24-20 on Saturday to advance to the state title game.

Head coach Buddy Stephens’ EMCC Lions is bidding for its sixth state football title in nine years and will face fourth-ranked Northwest Mississippi Saturday, Nov. 11 at 2 p.m. in Senatobia

The title game will be a rematch of last year’s state championship, which EMCC won 38-30 in Scooba. 

The MACJC North Division champion Northwest Rangers knocked off No. 12 Hinds, 27-13, on Saturday.


The Lions got on the score board first after driving 68 yards on nine plays to take a 7-0 lead on Tyrell Price’s 23-yard scoring run with 4:51 left in the first quarter.

Jones County would tie the game halfway through the second quarter on a 41-yard flea flicker from quarterback Chris Weaver to Jonnas Spivey.

EMCC would answer on the following drive and take the lead on a 31-yard field goal from Taylor Crabtree with 3:47 remaining in the first half.

The Lions brought a stingy defense ahead of the half, with Eriq Kitchen sacking Weaver and forcing a punt to the Lions the ball with 1:28 left in the half. 

Lindsey Scott Jr. would then throw pass completions of 19 and 29 yards to Dontario Drummond. Scott’s 18-yard run to the 5-yard line would then set up Price’s second of three scoring runs on the day.

Following a scoreless third quarter, the Bobcats took advantage of an EMCC roughing the passer call to get the ball around midfield at the start of the final period. This set up an 11-play drive that was capped by quarterback Detric Hawthorn scoring on a 2-yard keeper at the 11:23 mark.

The two teams then traded punts before the Lions used up nearly five minutes off the game clock during a 12-play, 70-yard drive that was aided by a 38-yard screen pass from Scott to Ja’Mori Mark. 

With just under three minutes remaining, Price ran in from two yards out to make the score on a crucial fourth-and-goal play to make the score 24-14.

The score brought Price’s NJCAA-leading total to 20 rushing touchdowns on the season.

Jones County did not give up, though. Following the score, the Bobcats answered with a 58-yard pass play from Hawthorn to Spivey on the next play to set up a 4-yard touchdown toss to Kendall Parham with 1:44 left. 

A high snap from center on the subsequent point after touchdown attempt would see the score stay at 24-20.

Scott would finish 18-of-31 passes for 260 yards and Price posted his fifth 100-yard rushing game of the season, with 105 yards on 22 carries and three scores.

Calvin Keys Jr. finished with five catches for 49 yards and Drummond ended the game with four catches for 94 yards.  

The win improved EMCC’s season mark to 9-1 overall. JCJC fell to 8-2.