JUCO football roundup: Jones clinches MACJC South title; Northwest gets back into playoffs

Published 4:36 pm Friday, October 26, 2018

DECATUR — Jones College capped off an almost-perfect regular season with an almost-perfect team effort.

The Bobcats scored two touchdowns on special teams and one on defense, forced six turnovers in all, and scored the first 45 points of the game as they routed East Central Community College 45-20 on Thursday to clinch the MACJC South Division championship.

The Bobcats (8-1, 6-0 MACJC South) will play Northwest Mississippi in the first round of the MACJC playoffs on Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. in Ellisville.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Kalyn Grandberry led Jones’ offense with 85 rushing yards and a touchdown. Nataurean Watts caught two passes for 83 yards, including a a 73-yard touchdown in the third quarter that made it 45-0.

Jones got one of its special teams touchdowns in the second quarter, when East Central fumbled a punt snap and Lakevias Daniel scooped and scored from the 8-yard line. Watts got the other, with a 5-yard return of a blocked punt late in the second quarter.

Jones also got a 52-yard fumble return touchdown by Davis Harrison.

Jones punter Greg Hayden, a former Vicksburg High star, only punted once. He did, however, run 18 yards for a first down on a fake in the first half.

East Central (4-5, 3-3) scored the last 20 points of the game. Mario Asagunla threw for one touchdown and ran for another. Marquavious Qualls finished with 94 rushing yards and a touchdown.

Holmes 27, Coahoma 14

Former Warren Central quarterback Jesse Wilson threw for 137 yards and two touchdowns, and Dylan Kelly caught three passes for 106 yards and two TDs as Holmes Community College (5-4, 3-3 MACJC North) finished its season by beating Coahoma Community College (0-8, 0-6).

Wilson and Kelly hooked up for touchdown passes of 77 and 13 yards, and Kelly also scored on a 4-yard run for Holmes. Terry Bryant led the Bulldogs with 126 rushing yards on 20 carries.

Another former Warren Central standout, Shaun Walton, recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown after teammate Gabe Short had it knocked loose while diving for the end zone.

Northwest Mississippi 34, Itawamba 7

Northwest Mississippi’s defense forced five turnovers and six sacks, and returned two interceptions for touchdowns as the Rangers (8-1, 5-1 MACJC North) routed Itawamba Community College (5-4, 3-3) to clinch a berth in the MACJC playoffs.

Northwest Mississippi will play Jones College on Nov. 3. It is the fifth straight season that Northwest will be in the state playoffs, and the 29th time in 37 years.

Jerrick Reed II returned one interception 38 yards for a touchdown for Northwest Mississippi, and Brandin Echols had the other score on a 47-yard return.

Reed had six tackles. Jonathan Jones led the Rangers’ defense with 16 total tackles, one sack and a fumble recovery. Brandon Pierre had 10 tackles and two forced fumbles.

Jacob Free threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Braden Smith with 56 seconds left in the first half to give the Rangers a 14-0 lead. In the fourth quarter, Kevin Perkins scored on a 5-yard run and Urriah Shephard on a 24-yard run to put the game away.

Itawamba’s only points came on a 26-yard touchdown pass from Spencer Unruh to Jamel Thomas with 4:28 left in the game.

Northwest finished with 195 rushing yards. Chris Calvert led the team with 78 yards, while former Warren Central star Demarcus Jones had 33 rushing yards and caught one pass for 16 yards.

East Mississippi 26, Northeast Mississippi 7

Keon Moore rushed for 126 yards and a touchdown, and Messiah deWeaver threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score as defending national champion East Mississippi Community College (9-0, 6-0 MACJC North) capped an undefeated regular season by beating stubborn Northeast Mississippi (1-8, 1-5).

East Mississippi led 6-0 at halftime on a wet, muddy field in Booneville, and trailed 7-6 in the third quarter. A goal line stand after a long kickoff return at the start of the second half turned the tide, however.

deWeaver threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Adrian Miller and then ran in a two-point conversion to give the Lions a 14-7 lead. Moore’s 50-yard touchdown run and a 35-yard fumble return touchdown by Kane Taylor helped them pull away.

East Mississippi held Northeast to 61 yards of total offense — the fourth time this season it has held an opponent to less than 100 yards. The Lions had 16 tackles for loss and forecd three turnovers.

East Mississippi will host Copiah-Lincoln at 2 p.m. Nov. 3 in the first round of the MACJC playoffs.

The rest of the MACJC regular season concludes with three games on Saturday afternoon — Hinds at Mississippi Gulf Coast; Pearl River at Mississippi Delta; and Southwest Mississippi at Copiah-Lincoln.