JUCO football roundup: Gilliam’s FG gives Co-Lin upset win over East Mississippi; Hinds loses opener

Published 3:11 pm Friday, September 8, 2023

Brandon Gilliam’s first football game with Copiah-Lincoln Community College was one to remember forever.

The former Warren Central star kicked three field goals, including the game-winning 29-yarder with 2:01 remaining that gave Co-Lin a 23-20 upset win over No. 8 East Mississippi in the season opener Thursday night.

Gilliam, who transferred to C0-Lin from East Central Community College, also kicked field goals of 25 yards in the first quarter and 28 yards in the third. He was 2-for-2 on PATs as well.

Brandon Gilliam

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Former Southern Miss quarterback Ty Keyes threw two touchdown passes for East Mississippi. The Lions took a 20-13 lead early in the fourth quarter on Kiron Benjamin’s 6-yard TD run.

Co-Lin came back to tie it on Johnnie Daniels’ 2-yard touchdown run and Gilliam’s PAT with 9:22 remaining, and then won it when Gilliam’s 29-yard field goal capped an eight-play drive that lasted more than five minutes.

East Mississippi’s last possession ended at its own 22-yard line without getting a first down.

Co-Lin head coach Glenn Davis earned his 100th career victory.

Northeast Mississippi 20, Hinds 7
Justin Kowalak completed 17 of 27 passes for 143 yards and a touchdown, and Cortavious Rogers returned a blocked punt for a TD as Northeast Mississippi defeated Hinds Community College in both teams’ season opener on Thursday.

Kowalak tossed a 4-yard TD to Chris McMillian in the first quarter, and Cameron Dill threw a 14-yarder to Kylen Vaughn in the second. Rogers’ 10-yard return of a blocked punt put the Tigers ahead 20-0 less than two minutes into the second half.

Hinds rushed for 164 yards as a team, but did not score until Jerrell Boyd punched in a 23-yard TD run with 9:54 left in the game. Boyd finished with 80 yards on 11 carries.

Hinds was penalized 13 times for 115 yards and did not score on two red zone possessions. One chance ended on downs when Jayden Reed was stopped on fourth-and-goal from the 1.

Holmes 31, Pearl River 0
Lonnie Ratliff threw two long touchdown passes and ran for another score to lead Holmes Community College to an easy victory over Pearl River Community College.
Ratliff threw a 98-yard TD pass to Deion Smith in the third quarter and a 60-yarder to Bryceton Spence in the fourth. He also scored on a 15-yard run.

Ratliff finished 22-of-34 passing for 321 yards and two touchdowns, and added 37 rushing yards. Smith caught four passes for 145 yards.

Jones 27, Itawamba 13
Jones College quarterback D.J. Smith ran for 77 yards and two touchdowns as the Bobcats ground out an ugly win over Itawamba Community College.

Smith was 14-of-22 passing for 193 yards, but threw three interceptions and was sacked twice. Jones’ defense forced three turnovers of its own, however, and registered three sacks while holding Itawamba to 62 rushing yards.

Former Warren Central standout K.J. Miller started at right guard for Jones, and former Vicksburg High star Jaquez Williams at right tackle.

East Central 62, Coahoma 7
Landon Sims completed 7 of 8 passes for 184 yards and three touchdowns, and also ran for two TDs as East Central Community College blasted Coahoma Community College.
East Central scored more than 60 points for the first time since 1938, and more than 50 for the first time since 1999. The Warriors scored 34 points in the first quarter and led 48-0 at halftime.

Devontae Causey rushed for 74 yards and one touchdown for East Central. Eric Muse intercepted two passes on defense.
Marion Palmer led Coahoma with 82 rushing yards.

Southwest Mississippi 51, Mississippi Delta 6
Jordan Mills threw two touchdown passes to Damarcco Blanton, and Jalen Williams ran for 115 yards and three touchdowns to lead Southwest Mississippi to a one-sided victory over Mississippi Delta.

Mills threw touchdowns of 30 and 18 yards to Blanton, who finished wih six receptions for 73 yards. They were the first of 44 unanswered points scored by Southwest, after Mississippi Delta scored on a 31-yard TD pass from Troy Griffin to Sirr Trotter late in the first quarter to get within 7-6.

Former Vicksburg High standout Nicholas Mickey, a cornerback, had one tackle for Southwest Mississippi.

Northwest Mississippi vs. Gulf Coast, ppd.
The game between No. 3 Northwest Mississippi and Mississippi Gulf Coast was postponed because of inclement weather in Perkinston. It was rescheduled for Saturday at 4 p.m.