East Mississippi

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Trammell helps East Mississippi defeat Northwest in division play

SCOOBA– The East Mississippi Lions grabbed a share of the North Division lead with a 27-19 home triumph over divisional foe Northwest Mississippi Thursday night at Sullivan-Windham Field on the EMCC campus.

Now 4-1 overall and 2-0 in division play, the Lions are tied atop the North Division standings with 19th-ranked Coahoma (3-1, 2-0), who fell from the unbeaten ranks Thursday by dropping a 17-7 decision at South Division member Copiah-Lincoln. East Mississippi and Coahoma will meet on Saturday, Oct. 4 as part of EMCC’s Homecoming festivities to determine the mid-season front-runner in the division.

Back on their home turf for the first time since their season opener against Copiah-Lincoln on Aug. 28, the Lions initially trailed in Thursday’s contest against Northwest.  The Rangers, now 2-3 overall and 1-1 within the division, struck first on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Casey Weston to Marquise Green with 8:55 left in the opening period.  However, Northwest’s two-point conversion attempt on the ground failed. Three minutes later, EMCC knotted the score at 6-6 when Starkville’s Pat Shed went over from one yard out, but Phillip Dimino’s point-after-touchdown kick attempt was blocked.

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With backup quarterback Perry Trammell of Sardis at the controls after starter Randall Mackey came up gimpy following a 16-yard run late in the first quarter, East Mississippi drove a total of 99 yards on 15 plays to take a 13-6 lead when Trammell hit Starkville’s Mike Outlaw on a 10-yard scoring strike with 13:30 left in the half.  Trammell, a former standout at North Panola High School, went 7-of-9 through the air for 81 yards on the scoring drive. Shed put the home team on top by two touchdowns just before halftime on a two-yard burst with just over two minutes remaining in the half. Dimino’s successful PAT gave the Lions a 20-6 advantage at the intermission.

Following a scoreless third quarter, the visitors cut the deficit in half when Northwest’s Weston plunged one yard on a quarterback sneak with 12:28 left to make it a 20-13 contest after Josh Dollins’ successful point-after kick. The Lion defense then stiffened and held the Rangers to just 20 yards of total offense over the next 10 minutes, including three tackles behind the line of scrimmage. On the night, EMCC was credited with eight quarterback sacks.

Ranked tied for 25th nationally in this week’s J.C. Grid-Wire team rankings, the Lions all but sealed their third consecutive victory when Mackey connected with Wayne Bonner of Milledgeville, Ga., on an eight-yard touchdown toss with 4:29 left in the contest.  The catch marked Bonner’s team-leading fourth scoring grab of the year and gave Mackey nine touchdowns via the pass.  Mackey, the current NJCAA and MACJC/Region 23 Offensive Player of the Week, finished the evening with 12-of-28 passing for nearly 200 yards and two interceptions.

Northwest rang up the final points of the night when Weston again hooked up with Green for a 41-yard touchdown play with 2:28 remaining.  But, Dollins’ PAT attempt hit the right upright to close out the game’s scoring.  EMCC iced the win by keeping the ball on the ground late in the contest, with Shed picking up 89 of his team-best 112 rushing yards in the second half, including a pair of 21-yard runs during the final period. His pair of scoring runs raised his team-leading season total to five rushing touchdowns in as many games.      

East Mississippi’s Homecoming encounter with the Coahoma Tigers on Saturday, Oct. 4 is set for a 2 p.m. kickoff at Sullivan-Windham Field in Scooba.