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Defending state champ JCJC visits Co-Lin Wolves

WESSON – Weather permitting, the Co-Lin Wolves will host thedefending state champion Jones County Junior College BobcatsThursday night in Stone Stadium. Kickoff is 7 p.m., providedTropical Storm Isidore doesn’t wash out the event.

“Jones is very good defensively,” said Co-Lin head coach DavidPoinsett. “They are very sound in all three phases.”

Poinsett said the Wolves have had a good week of practice.”Weare ready to play. We have prepared to win this game. We will giveJones everything we’ve got.”

The Bobcats (3-0), ranked No. 3 in the NJCAA poll, resemble araging hurricane this season. Powerful on offense and defense, theysmashed Coahoma 33-0 last week. The Bobcats are averaging 23 pointsper game and limiting opponents to just 8 points, beating EastMississippi 17-10 in their season opener and edging MississippiDelta 19-14 in the second week of the season.

According to veteran head coach Parker Dykes, his Bobcats can’toverlook any opponent, especially Co-Lin (1-2, 0-1). “This is anupset league. Anybody can beat anybody on a given day. I knowCo-Lin will be fired up and ready to play. I hope we can come overthere and play our best game all year to defeat Co-Lin.”

Dykes, a Mississippi College graduate, is in his 11th year atJones. He has compiled a 67-29-1 record, going 10-1 lastseason.

“I don’t know how good we are,” Dykes continued. “We have apretty good football team. We won’t know how good we are until theend of the season.”

The Bobcats average 294 yards total offense per game. Ondefense, they allow 167.7 yards per game.

“We have won three football games,” said Dykes. “It always isaccording to how good the other teams are. We were able towin.”

Aaron Leake (6-3, 225, so.) of Durham, N.C., is the Bobcats’quarterback. “Aaron has done a good job for us,” said Dykes. “He’sa thrower and a hand-it-offer.”

Leake has completed 30 of 65 passes for 409 yards and 1touchdown, avoiding an interception in 3 games. His favoritereceiver is Alonzo Nix (6-0, 180, so.) of Laurel. Nix has caught 10passes for 164 yards and 1 TD.

JCJC’s best running back is Greg Wash (6-0, 190, so.) fromGreene County. “He’s a pretty good little player,” said Dykes.

Dykes and his coaching staff have watched the Wolves play onfilm and in person. He witnessed Co-Lin’s 24-21, season-openingupset of Delta.

“Co-Lin has a good football team,” said Dykes. “They outweigh usabout 50 pounds per man,” on the offensive line.

“We’ve got a nose guard (Robert Phillips) who is 5-8 and 230pounds. He’s going against a 6-6, 310-pounder,” in freshman centerErnie Johnston of Bogue Chitto.

“My defensive ends are 6-2 and 250,” said Dykes. “Co-Lin hassome big folks. We might not be able to slow them down.”

Dykes said he was impressed by Co-Lin fullback Johnathan Eley(6-0, 268) of Monticello.

“Johnathan Eley is a heckuva fullback. He’s like a Mac truckhitting a Volkswagen when he hits one of our linebackers.”

Watching Co-Lin’s 16-7 loss at Gulf Coast on film, Dykes said,”They played well against Gulf Coast but just had the misfortune tohave some bad plays.”

Purvis Looks at Jones

Co-Lin defensive coordinator Paul Purvis shared his informationon the Bobcats. “They have athletes at every position and they aredeep. They have a certain number of running plays they arecommitted to and they’ll give you a huge dose of them They willthrow 30-40 times as well.”

Co-Lin, by comparison, has been weakened by numerous injuries.On offense, Marcus Shannon, broken arm; and Josh Chatman, ankleinjury; both wide receivers, are lost for the season.

“We are not only banged up but we are breaking up,” said Purvis.”We have had some season-ending injuries defensively.”

Purvis said freshman defensive end Adam Speeg tore an ACL in theGulf Coast game, during the first quarter. Starting safety DerekAmbrose also sustained an ACL two games ago. The other startingsafety, Lonnie Roberson, broke a bone in his hip in the secondgame, versus Coahoma.

“We are down to 17 people on defense,” said Purvis. “We onlyhave one guy in the secondary to rotate with. Our kids still areplaying hard and working hard.”

Co-Lin quarterbacks Ty Smith and Bruce Petty played against GulfCoast. The first half saw Gulf Coast misfire on three scoringpossessions while the Wolves scored on their only opportunity.Co-Lin took a 7-0 lead on a 4-yard run by Shermaine Vaughn at the8:26 mark of the second quarter. The run capped an 11-play, 53-yarddrive that started with a Gulf Coast fumble at its own 47.

In 3 games, Eley has rushed for 129 yards this season. Petty hascompleted 29 of 60 passes for for 334 yards and 2 touchdowns. Widereceiver Jonathan McLaurin has caught 7 passes for 123 yards.

On defense, Darius Cox has intercepted 2 passes for Co-Lin.

Wolf Tails: Last year Jones County escapedCo-Lin with a 7-3 victory.