Connor, Kitchen to play in Mississippi Bowl national championship game

Published 12:19 pm Friday, December 1, 2017

Connor, Kitchen to play in Mississippi Bowl national championship game



By Myra Bean
East Mississippi Community College will play in the annual Mississippi Bowl Sunday, December 3.
East Mississippi, the number one team, will take on the number two team, Arizona Western, at 2 p.m. in A. L. May Memorial Stadium in Perkinston.
Playing with East Mississippi are sophomore Justin Connor, formerly of North Panola and freshman Eriq Kitchen, formerly of South Panola.
Connor plays running back this year and last year was a defensive back.
They helped lead East Mississippi to a state championship win over Northwest, who will play Iowa Western in the Graphic Edge Bowl Sunday at 3 p.m.
Northwest features Cole and Turner Rotenberry, formerly of South Panola. Both was selected to the All State second team.
In phone interviews Tuesday morning, Connor and Kitchen talked about what it was like to be part of the No. 1 team in the nation and playing in this bowl game that will determine the national champion.
Connor said working with the guys on the number one team in the nation has helped him get better.
“For Sunday, we are working on being able to execute on every play,” Conner said.
In his career at East, Connor has logged five total tackles and one fumble recovery. On offense he has 26 carries for 149 yards and two touchdowns.
“We know we are the number one team in the nation but we have to stay focused and not get the big head,” Connor said.
Kitchen is on the defensive line of East and has enjoyed his freshman year as a Lion.
“It has been going pretty good, lots of hard work but having fun,” Kitchen said. “It feels great. It’s a big game for me.”
Kitchen summed up the second meeting with Northwest in the state championship game and said the Lions learned how to overcome adversity to win in overtime and to prepare for big game situations.
Kitchen logged 30 total tackles and six sacks for 26 yards.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox