Choctaws hang loss on Millsaps

Published 5:00 am Monday, September 8, 2003

JACKSON – In a backyard brawl, defense usually dictates theoutcome. Jimbo Thornton provided a pair of clutch field goals,linebacker Michael Goodin returned a fumble for a touchdown and theMississippi College Choctaws shut out the Millsaps Majors 13-0Thursday night in the Salvation Army College Football Classic.

Thornton, a junior from Florence, kicked field goals and extrapoints for the Copiah-Lincoln Community College Wolves for twoyears before moving to MC. His line-drive, 48-yard field goal inthe second quarter gave the Chocs a 3-0 halftime lead in VeteransMemorial Stadium.

With 9:04 left in the game, Thornton connected from 34 yardsout, capping a 9-play, 39-yard scoring drive.

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“I mishit both field goals but at least they went through,” saidThornton. “I like the coaching staff at MC and the players getalong good. We are a big family.”

Brookhaven product Kern Hoff started at right guard for theChoctaws and helped them amass 295 yards total offense with 149 ofit coming on the ground. Junior quarterback Scotty Elliot was themain mover, rushing 8 times for 75 yards and completing 14-of-21passes for 136 yards in his first start at MC.

“Scotty did a good job for us,” said Hoff, a redshirt freshman.”After three weeks of practice, there’s nothing better than beatingMillsaps like this.”

Elliot (6-0, 185), is a junior college transfer from EastMississippi by way of Meridian.

“Scotty did an excellent job in his first start for us,” said MChead coach Johnny Mills. “This was his first time in this bigstadium.”

On defense, the Choctaws limited Millsaps to 227 yards totaloffense. The Majors had 172 yards rushing, led by Brandon Morriswho carried 8 times for 66 yards.

“Our defense played a heckuva game,” said MC junior defensivetackle D. Berry. “We didn’t give up the big play.

“Our defense has more depth this year,” Berry pointed out. “Wekept fresh out there and had a lot of step. I wouldn’t be surprisedif we pitched several more shutouts this season.”

During a closed scrimmage last Saturday, a few Millsaps playershad spied on MC’s practice. Coach Mills spotted the invaders andconfronted them, taking their notes.

“Those Millsaps guys got us fired up,” said Berry, a junior fromBenton. “Our players were mad about them spying on ourpractice.”

The Choctaws capitalized on a fumble by Millsaps quarterbackBrandon Morris early in the third quarter. Linebacker MichaelGoodin stripped the ball from Morris as he was being tackled andreturned the fumble 13 yards for a TD.

Goodin’s steal and Thornton’s PAT put MC up 10-0 with 13:03 leftin the third frame.

Millsaps defensive tackle Jessie Anderson said the Majors playedwell enough on defense to win most games. “We stopped them ondefense a couple of times but our offense couldn’t get anythinggoing.”

Anderson (6-0, 255), a senior from Monticello, said the Majorscan still have a good year under first-year head coach DavidSaunders. “This (loss) won’t set us back too much. We can stillmake the playoffs and have a good season.”

MC defensive end Bryce Hantla directed the charge with 2quarterback sacks. Hantla, from Edmond, Okla., led the Chocs with 7tackles, including 5 solo stops.