No. 19 Bobcats face critical league game at Hinds on ThursdayOctober 11, 2012
By Shawn Wansley, JCJC Sports Information Director
ELLISVILLE – It’s another crucial game for the 19th-ranked Jones County Junior College Bobcats.
JCJC travels to Raymond to take on the Hinds Community College Eagles at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday.
The Bobcats are currently 4-2 overall and in second place in the MACJC South Division with a 3-1 record. Co-Lin tops the division at 3-0, while Mississippi Gulf Coast is 2-1. East Central and Pearl River are each 2-2, Hinds is 1-3 and Southwest Mississippi is 0-3.
The top two teams in the division qualify for the playoffs, which begin Nov. 3.
JCJC head coach Ray Perkins knows the significance of Thursday’s contest.
“Basically, there are five teams playing in a single-elimination tournament and we have to win to stay alive,” he said.
The Bobcats are coming off one of their most complete games of the season.
JCJC jumped out to a 20-0 lead in the second quarter, led 40-7 in the fourth quarter and defeated East Central 46-21 last Saturday.
“It was a big game for us and we went about it in good shape,” Perkins said. “We prepared well for the game. We have not started off well in a couple of games and that’s what we talked about with our players.
“We wanted to start well, start fast and keep going throughout the game and I thought we did. I was thrilled and happy for our players.”
The Bobcats started Noxapater freshman Ethan Hamilton at quarterback in place of the injured Ben Stevens. Stevens broke his collarbone on the next to the last play of the game at Co-Lin on Sept. 27 and is out for the season.
Hamilton responded by passing for 133 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for another 32 yards.
“I thought Ethan did a fine job,” Perkins said. “He did a good job of running the team and we did not turn the ball over. He is a good runner and he can throw the ball, too.”
Mt. Olive sophomore running back Rueben Ducksworth carried 20 times for 158 yards and two touchdowns and was named the MACJC Offensive Player of the Week. Wide receiver Dylan Bossier, a freshman from Lafayette, La., had two catches for 88 yards and two touchdowns, while Birmingham, Ala., freshman wide receiver JaMichael Willis returned an onsides kick 41 yards for a score. Jovontae Thurmon had the other touchdown on a 1-yard run.
Defensively, Wayne County sophomore linebacker Marion Chapman had 11 tackles, a pass interception and a fumble recovery. Amite County sophomore linebacker Damien Wilson had 11 tackles and Mize sophomore end Chavez Sims had six tackles, including a quarterback sack and a tackle for a loss.
Meanwhile, the Eagles are coming off one of their better efforts of the season.
Hinds jumped out to a 17-0 lead and went on to defeat Southwest Mississippi, 38-14, snapping a three-game losing streak in the process.
Wide receiver Quadarias Mireles scored three touchdowns for Hinds, while Anthony D’Angelo had two touchdown passes. Mireles has committed to Ole Miss, while Eagle wide receiver Quantavius Leslie has committed to LSU.
“Hinds has a fine bunch of players,” Perkins said. “They have athletes with speed. They’ve got two wide receivers who have already committed to SEC teams.
“Their quarterback is a very good athlete and every coach would love to have some of their defensive linemen. We need to play one of our best games, if not our best, to win.”
Thursday’s game will air on www.jcjc.tv and WLAU-FM, 99.3, with Mark Easley and Ed Smith on the call. Airtime is 6:20 p.m.
Next week, JCJC plays its final home regular season game of the season at 3 p.m. on Oct. 20 vs. Southwest. Hinds travels to Holmes on Oct. 18.