BILOXI — After a convincing, 52-32, National Junior College Athletic Association national championship victory over Georgia Military College, the East Mississippi Lions had three members of its team to win prestigious hardware.
Dontreal Pruitt earned Mississippi Bowl Most Valuable Player, Meridian’s Antoinne Adkins earned Offensive Most Valuable Player and Jimmie Gipson earned Defensive Most Valuable Player.
Pruitt, a Troy commit, finished the Mississippi Bowl with 325 yards and three touchdowns on 16-of-35 passing for the afternoon.
“I couldn’t do any of this without my teammates. That’s as simple as it gets,” Pruitt said. “I try to use the talents God has given me. If I need to use my arm, I can. If I need to use speed, I will. If I need to use my feet, I can do that too.”
Lions head coach Buddy Stephens was very vocal in his quarterback’s ability to play the position.
“You know Dontreal is a great athlete. He is our team leader on offense,” Stephens said. “There have been a great deal of colleges to pass on Pruitt because of his size. His hometown JUCO, Jones County Junior College, told him that he would have to play corner back. Well, he played quarterback for us, and he just won a NJCAA national championship.”
Adkins finished the night with six receptions for 186 yards and two scores on the evening. Adkins is the first JUCO player in Mississippi to go 24-0 and to earn two national titles.
“It feels real good right now to win this award, and it feels good to win this game,” Adkins said. “Hopefully, this performance will open the eyes of some of these recruiters.”
Stephens has always been able to count on Adkins to come up with the big play.
“He is our go-to guy on offense,” Stephens said. “We know that when we need him to come through for us we can go to him."
Gipson, who is being heavily recruited by Southern Miss, recorded a sack and recovered a fumble in the game to receive the Defensive Most Valuable Player Award.
“Its all about this team on the field,” Gipson said. “Without these other guys out here on defense, This wouldn’t be possible.”
Stephens was proud of the way Gipson performed on the gridiron today.
“Jimmie is our leader on defense,” Stephens said. “If we need a big play, or if we need a big stop Jimmie can always get it done for us.”