Hinds goes for playoff spot on Saturday

Published 11:41 am Friday, October 21, 2011

One of the nation’s best junior college secondaries will face off against the second leading passer Saturday afternoon in Raymond.

Hinds Community College (6-1, 4-0 MACJC South Division) will try to clinch its first playoff berth since 2004 when it hosts Pearl River. The Eagles have put themselves one win away from the postseason behind a secondary that has intercepted 15 passes.

On Saturday, they’ll have to contend with Pearl River quarterback Melvin German, the nation’s second-leading passer with 2,499 yards and 17 touchdowns. Hinds assistant coach Kelly Murphy said German presents the Eagles with their biggest challenge of the season.

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“He was an All-American last year after leading the nation in passing,” Murphy said. “He’s out of Lakeland, Fla., but I don’t know if he’s committed to anyone yet. “

The key for Hinds is getting that elusive playoff berth. Last year they went into the Pearl River game with a slight chance. This time, it’s more clear-cut. Win Saturday, and the Eagles are in and can look forward to a South Division title game next week at Gulf Coast.

“A win puts us in the playoffs and then we can go for the south championship at Gulf Coast, but we’ve got to win this week, before we can think about that,” Murphy said. “The kids have responded well in practice this week. We had an opportunity last year going into the last two games, but we lost at Pearl River.”

To stop the Wildcats, Hinds will need another big effort from the defense. Safety Adonis Armstrong leads the secondary with seven interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns. Former Vicksburg High star Malcolm Butler has one pick and eight pass breakups while starting at cornerback.

The leading tackler for Hinds is Mitchell Hoskins, the 2009 Vicksburg Post Defensive Player of the Year. The Port Gibson native has 82 tackles, with 15 for loss and 5 1/2 sacks.

Hinds is led on offense by quarterback Deon Anthony, who has completed 87 of 162 passes for 1,403 yards and 12 touchdowns. Ole Miss signee Quadaricus Mireles is the top receiver with 35 catches for 509 yards and three scores.