JUCO football roundup: Hinds stuns No. 1 East Mississippi; Coahoma upsets No. 4 Jones
RAYMOND — The 2019 Mississippi junior college football season started with a shocker.
Unranked Hinds Community College scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to upset No. 1 ranked East Mississippi Community College 24-16 in the season opener for both teams on Thursday.
East Mississippi was ranked No. 1 in the country in the preseason NJCAA poll, and has won the last two NJCAA national championships. The Lions had a 17-game winning streak snapped and lost for just the sixth time since 2011.
Hinds finished 4-5 last season, including a 50-0 loss to East Mississippi.
“This win is a program changer,” Hinds head coach Larry Williams said. “Everyone in our locker room believed we could do this. They played together like a family, and made some big time plays when it mattered the most. I am so proud of my team and my coaches for all the hard work they put in from the start of camp till now.”
Hinds running back Don Ragsdale ran for 70 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries. His 1-yard touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter tied the game at 16, and Carson Flumm’s PAT put the Eagles ahead for good.
DeMario Nichols sealed the win with an 83-yard interception return touchdown with 2:33 left. It was one of four turnovers the Eagles forced, three of which were interceptions. Hinds forced six fumbles, although it only recovered one.
Hinds also got a special teams touchdown, on a 98-yard kickoff return by Jakarius Caston in the first quarter.
East Mississippi quarterback Connor Neville was 28-of-44 passing for 275 yards with two touchdowns.
Keon Moore fumbled the ball heading into the end zone on a play that would’ve given the Lions a 20-10 lead in the second quarter.
“Credit goes to Hinds. They came out and executed and made plays on third down. We kept shooting ourselves in the foot,” East Mississippi coach Buddy Stephens told The Meridian Star. “We could never put a drive together on offense. Defensively, we’d either jump offsides or give up a big play. We can’t turn the ball over, and those things happen. We’ve won a lot of football games like this, and sometimes things don’t go your way.”
Hinds will next play Sept. 5 at Mississippi Delta. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. East Mississippi will host Pearl River.
Coahoma 18, Jones 10
Deldrionn Amos caught two long touchdown passes, and Coahoma Community college upset No. 4 Jones College on Thursday.
Coahoma quarterback Tajh Tolbert was just 9-of-24 passing for 213 yards, with two interceptions and three sacks, but two of his completions were touchdown passes of 35 and 77 yards to Amos in the first and third quarter, respectively.
Jones finished with just 134 yards of total offense. Its only touchdown came in the second quarter, when Rakeim Ashford recovered a blocked punt in the end zone.
Jones quarterback Fred Barnum, Jr., a former Warren Central star, was 7-of-20 passing for 48 yards. He was sacked three times.
Co-Lin 27, Holmes 21
Danny Clark threw two touchdown passes, including a 44-yarder to Erick Rogers midway through the third quarter for the go-ahead score, as Copiah-Lincoln Community College beat Holmes Community College.
Clark finished 15-of-27 passing for 196 yards, while Drexlan Allen ran for 85 yards and a touchdown for Co-Lin.
Terry Bryant ran for two touchdowns for Holmes.
Northwest Mississippi 26, East Central 13
Jack Walker threw three touchdown passes, two of them to Braden Smith, as Northwest Mississippi rolled past East Central Community College.
Walker and Smith hooked up for scores of 24 and 9 yards in the first quarter as the Rangers jumped in front early and never trailed. Walker also threw a 5-yard TD pass to Mack Martin late in the third quarter.
Northeast Mississippi 19,
Southwest Mississippi 13, OT
Shawn Weatherbee ran for two touchdowns, including the game-winner from one yard out in overtime, as Northeast Mississippi beat Southwest Mississippi.
Weatherbee’s 72-yard TD run in the second quarter put Northeast ahead 10-0 at halftime. Southwest rallied to take the lead, but Michael Baugus kicked a 31-yard field goal with six seconds left in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 13 and send it to overtime.
Pearl River 35, Itawamba 31
Terrence Humphrey completed 22 of 36 passes for 254 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner to Jaylan Wilson with 16 seconds left, as Pearl River won a shootout with Itawamba Community College.
Humphrey, making his first college start at quarterback — he broke his leg while playing defensive back last season — also ran for a touchdown.
Gulf Coast 49, Mississippi Delta 9
No. 12 Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College ran for 293 yards, with three backs over 70 yards, and threw for another 225 yards as it routed Mississippi Delta.
Deondre House ran for 119 yards and a touchdown, Austin Bolton had 107 yards and a TD, and Omni Wells finished with 74 yards.
Chance Lovertich completed 20 of 25 passes for 225 yards and three touchdowns.
The Gulf Coast defense held the Trojans to 167 total yards, including just 58 rushing, and forced three turnovers.