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JUCO football roundup: Hinds and Jones cruise to wins; Holmes upsets No. 3 Northwest Mississippi

POPLARVILLE — Right from the opening kickoff, explosive plays were the theme of the evening for Hinds Community College on Thursday.

No. 16 Hinds scored six touchdowns of 40 yards or longer, and had a few other big plays that set up shorter scores, as it routed Pearl River Community College 51-9.

Ferante Cowart returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown, and also had a 73-yard punt return to set up a touchdown in the third quarter.

Former Warren Central star Joe’Vantae Shorter had an 82-yard TD reception in the first quarter as Hinds jumped out to a 38-3 lead by halftime.

The Eagles (4-1, 2-1 MACJC South) finished with 399 total yards on only 29 offensive snaps, for an average of 13.8 yards per play.

“We were finally able to get the passing game going and our guys made some big time plays,” Hinds offensive coordinator Kelly Murphy said. “It just opens everything up for us, and we need to continue to build upon this momentum the rest of the season.”

Don Ragsdale ran for 95 yards, most of it on an 80-yard touchdown. Elijah Walker threw two touchdown passes, the one to Shorter and a 49-yarder to Tabashi Thomas. Walker finished 5-for-5 passing for 186 yards.

Hinds’ defense even got in on the act by scoring twice. DeMario Nichols returned an interception 41 yards to the end zone, and Jonathan Jordan took another pick 59 yards for a TD.

Former St. Aloysius star Conner Smith kicked a 20-yard field goal and went 3-for-3 on PATs.

Next up for Hinds will be Coahoma Community College. The homecoming game is scheduled for Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. in Raymond.

Holmes 47, Northwest Mississippi 42
Holmes Community College racked up 568 yards of total offense, and quarterback Kyren Batey accounted for four touchdowns as the Bulldogs (2-3, 2-0 MACJC North) upset No. 3 Northwest Mississippi (4-1, 1-1).

Batey threw two touchdown passes, and ran for a team-high 162 yards and two TDs on 16 carries. Danny Woodard added 114 yards and two touchdowns on the ground as Holmes controlled the ball for 38 minutes and 37 seconds.

The Bulldogs scored 21 straight points in the second half to turn a nine-point deficit into a 33-21 lead, and then held serve down the stretch as the teams traded touchdowns.
Northwest Mississippi quarterback Jack Walker completed 25 of 40 passes for 398 yards and six touchdowns. Braden Smith and Cameron Wynn caught two TD passes each.

Walker was only the third Northwest quarterback to throw six touchdown passes in a game, and the first to do it since 2002.

Northwest will play No. 5 East Mississippi next Thursday in Scooba.

Gulf Coast 38, Copiah-Lincoln 20
No. 4 Mississippi Gulf Coast dominated early and cruised late to defeat No. 11 Copiah-Lincoln (3-2, 1-1 MACJC South) on Thursday. Gulf Coast (5-0, 2-0) earned its second consecutive win over a Top 15 team.

Jackie Matthews had two first-half interceptions, including a pick-six that sparked Gulf Coast to a 24-0 lead.

Gulf Coast quarterback Chance Lovertich completed 14 of 23 passes for 139 yards and a touchdown. Deondre House ran 15 times for 97 yards. Omni Wells, Austin Bolton and Shaun Anderson scored touchdowns as the Bulldogs ran for 202 yards.

East Mississippi 24, East Central 0
No. 5 East Mississippi held East Central to a season-low 193 yards of total offense and took advantage of six turnovers to earn a shutout win Thursday in Scooba.

East Mississippi’s Connor Neville threw two touchdown passes to Jason Brownlee.

East Mississippi (4-1) won its 36th consecutive home game and snapped East Central’s (3-2) three-game winning streak.

Jones 34, Southwest Mississippi 6
Former Warren Central star Fred Barnum completed 9 of 10 passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns to lead Jones College (3-2, 2-1 MACJC South) to a blowout win against Southwest Mississippi (0-5, 0-3).

Barnum threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Brodie King in the second quarter and an 18-yarder to Decoria Banks in the third. The Bobcats scored 20 points in the second quarter to take a 27-6 lead and were never threatened in the second half.

Jones finished with 279 rushing yards. Kalyn Grandberry carried the ball 27 times for 186 yards and three touchdowns, while former Vicksburg High standout Malik Shelley totaled 58 yards on nine attempts.

Southwest Mississippi has only scored three offensive touchdowns in five games.

Northeast Mississippi 14, Itawamba 12
Sirmarcus Evans caught a 36-yard touchdown pass from Jack Mangel, and Kevin Hurley returned a fumble for a touchdown to lead Northeast Mississippi past Itawamba.

Itawamba quarterback Clark Mills threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Collins Woods with 18 seconds left, but the two-point conversion was no good.

Itawamba recovered the ensuing onsides kick, and Northeast’s D’Jordan Strong intercepted Mills as time expired to preserve the win.