The Meridian Star
The East Mississippi Community College Lions didn’t just tear apart visiting Southwest Mississippi — they tore up the record books as well.
In the largest margin of victory during the Buddy Stephens coaching era, the Lions beat Southwest 69-0, outgaining the Bears 658-87 Thursday night. EMCC (3-0) has now outscored its opponents 177-6 this season.
“Our guys were very business-like all week,” Stephens said. “I thought we did a good job of making sure that we kept our mind on the ballgame. We did an even better job of making sure our guys did the little things this week.”
EMCC scored six of its 10 scoring drives in less than a minute. Before the game, Stephens said he was looking for the Lions to get more snaps on offense and maintain their style of tempo throughout the game. EMCC accomplished that, scoring on all but but three of its possessions on the game.
“We were trying to play fast,” Stephens said. “That’s a very big thing for us. I think it says a lot about our execution. For us, we just ran our offense. We played fast and did it well. For that, I’m extremely pleased with the guys.”
Leading the way for the Lions was quarterback Dontreal Pruitt who finished the night 22-for-27 passing for 314 yards and six touchdowns while also tallying eight rushes for 83 yards and a score on the ground.
“I thought that Dontreal had a really good night,” Stephens said. “It was a very good game for him. He was on. I thought he played really well, and that’s a tribute to his preparation.”
Lakendric Thomas recorded his first 100-yard rushing performance as a Lion, leading EMCC with 111 yards on 10 carries. Fellow running back Preston Baker added 61 yards on 10 carries while also reeling in three receptions for 57 yards and two touchdowns. Thursday was also a special day for Baker as he was celebrating his 19th birthday.
“Had a great birthday, got some presents at lunch, had a nap in the afternoon and I’m on a 3-0 football team,” Baker said. So, I’m pretty happy.”
Brandon Bell had five receptions for 56 yards and two touchdowns, while former Meridian High School standout Antoinne Adkins also caught five passes for 45 yards and a touchdown.
After the game, Stephens commented on the MACJC’s recruiting policy which did away with protected districts prior to the 2012 season.
“To be honest with you, our league has got to do a really good job of coming back and trying to find another way to do our recruiting,” Stephens said. “These lopsided scores never happened when we had the protected list, and that’s a shame.
“Our league as a whole is totally going to be like this from now on if they don’t do something.
The Lions will begin divisional play next week as they travel to Mississippi Delta Thursday at 7 p.m.