East Mississippi shocks No. 2 MGCCC 27-23
September 18, 2008
Bulldogs 15 game winning streak comes to an end
It was supposed to be a “sweet 16” party for No. 2 ranked Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College…as in the 16th straight win for the defending NJCAA Co-National Champions.
The East Mississippi Lions had other ideas.
East Mississippi quarterback Randall Mackey threw for 355 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for the go-ahead score with 21 seconds to go as the Lions upset the Bulldogs 27-23 Sept. 18 at A.L. May Memorial Stadium at the college’s Perkinston Campus.
Gulf Coast (3-1) can still defend its 2007 MACJC state title since the game was a non-division battle.
The Bulldogs couldn’t stop the Lions (3-1) despite rushing for 330 yards. Three costly turnovers, two blocked field goal attempts, and a blocked extra point doomed the home team and kept East Mississippi in the ball game.
Early on, it looked like Gulf Coast would roll over the Lions, as quarterback Greg Jenkins scored from 9 yards out to make it 7-0 Gulf Coast with 7:58 to go in the first quarter.
But the Lions took advantage of a Gulf Coast fumble, as Mackey hit Wayne Bonner on a 31-yard touchdown pass. A missed PAT made it 7-6.
In the second quarter, Gulf Coast upped its lead as Jamal Young scored on a 4-yard run…but the PAT was blocked, and Gulf Coast had to settle for a 13-6 lead at halftime. The lead could’ve easily been 20-6, but two Sean Brauchle field goal attempts were also blocked.
In the third quarter, Brauchle, the MACJC Week 3 Special Teams Player of the Week, nailed a 47 yard field goal to make it 16-6.
East Mississippi closed the gap to 16-13 as Mackey hit Leon Berry for a 23 yard score with 4:45 to go in the third.
Gulf Coast stormed back to re-gain its 10-point lead as Jamal Young scored his second touchdown of the game on a 5-yard scamper making it 23-13 Gulf Coast.
The score stayed that way midway through the fourth quarter, as Gulf Coast fumbled away three scoring opportunities deep in Lions territory. One fumble came on the goal line, another came on a fumbled snap, and the last occurred on a botched snap as Brauchle attempted a 40-yard field goal.
With 3:59 to go in the game, Mackey and Bonner hooked up for another score, this one from 28 yards out, to close the gap to 23-20.
Jamal Young took the ensuing kickoff deep into Lions territory, but on a fourth down play, Jenkins overthrew tight end Kevin Helms to end the threat, and turn the ball over to the Lions. Mackey then led a methodical march down the field which ended in the winning points.
Gulf Coast had one last chance to pull out the win, but a desperation heave by Jenkins as time expired was knocked away by two East Mississippi defenders.
Jamal Young finished the contest with 168 yards rushing, while freshman Vic Ballard had a 102 yard rushing effort.
Gulf Coast travels to Pearl River Sept. 25 for a 7 p.m. battle with the archrival Wildcats. Bulldog fans can catch all the action on WAOY 91.7 FM, and via streaming audio at www.mgccc.edu.
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