Smith brings Eagles to Co-Lin homecoming

Published 5:00 am Monday, October 13, 2003

WESSON — When Hinds Community College head football coach J.Mike Smith brings his Eagles to Co-Lin’s homecoming game Saturday,it will be extra special. Smith, in his first year at the helm, isa 1973 Co-Lin graduate, celebrating his 30th class reunion.

The homecoming tilt kicks off at 2:30 p.m. in Stone Stadium.

For Smith, this is his 17th year at Hinds. He had been theoffensive line coach at Hinds for 16 years. He was assistant headcoach last year to Gene Murphy who retired to become full-timeathletic director.

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Smith was an NJCAA First Team All-American as an offensivelineman at Co-Lin. A Magee native, he also played for Delta StateUniversity and graduated from DSU. He coached 8 years as anassistant at Co-Lin, helping the Wolves win the 1985 statechampionship.

Smith’s Eagles have been successful this year. After aseason-opening 23-8 loss at Northwest, the Eagles (4-1, 3-0) havewon 4 straight games, including a 17-14 thriller last Saturdaynight at Southwest in Summit. A fourth-quarter, 47-yard field goalby Carter Mascagni was the margin of victory.

“We have a real good group of freshmen who are beingproductive,” said Smith. “There’s a lot of parity in the league. Ifyou don’t go out and play hard, you’ll get your butt beat.”

Hinds quarterback Terrance Matthews (6-1, 205, so.) of Beaumont,Texas, has been a catalyst in the successful run. Matthews haspassed for 937 yards and 4 touchdowns, completing 82 of 131passes.

Matthews’ prime receiver is Oge Oge (6-4, 185, so.) fromClinton. Oge has caught 22 passes for 275 yards. Close behind isChris Humes (6-2, 165, so.) of Vicksburg with 21 catches for 243yards.

On the ground, leading the Eagles is Greg Clark (5-11, 205), afreshman running back from Provine. “Greg has really come on as arunner for us,” said Smith. “He’s been playing well.”

Clark has rushed for 364 yards this season. Martise Quiller(5-9, 190, fr.) of New Augusta, S.C., has rushed for 169 yards.

Smith said Hinds has played well on defense, especially in thefront line. “We are fairly talented on the defensive front. That’sthe first time in a while. We play a lot of guys on the defensiveline. We have had good special teams play.”

Tim Brown (6-1, 231, so.), a linebacker from Vicksburg, leadsthe Eagles in tackles with 36 solo stops and 14 assists. D’EldrickTaylor (5-8, 170, fr.), a defensive back from Vicksburg, is nextwith 30 solo tackles. Defensive end Chad Green (6-5, 225, fr.),from Nashville, N.C., leads the Eagles in sacks with 5.

Looking at Co-Lin, Smith said, “Co-Lin is an athletic group.Record is no indication of what kind of football team they are. Iam impressed with them defensively. They have a real good footballteam. We have to get things exactly right to beat them.”

Co-Lin Concentrating

Co-Lin head coach David Poinsett said his Wolves (2-3,1-2) must improve in all aspects of the game, especially onoffense. “We need to focus and re-evalutate our efforts. We muststop committing turnovers and making mistakes. Those things put usin poor field position on offense and defense.”

Co-Lin absorbed a 42-19 setback to East Central lastSaturday at Decatur. Turnovers led to several East Centraltouchdowns.

“We want the kids to concentrate on their individualefforts,” said Poinsett. “We must focus our mental and physicalenergies. We need a total game effort. We must find a way to winand find people who can work together. The ship is not sinking.”

Poinsett said the Wolves produced a strong passingattack against East Central but running the ball was difficult. “Weexploited East Central for 318 yards passing.”

According to Poinsett, sophomore quarterbacks Ty Smithof Natchez and Johnathan Little (6-2, 180) of Charleston, S.C. willcontinue to rotate. Little has passed for 421 yards and 4touchdowns this season, completing 37 of 68 passes and tossing 4interceptions.

Smith has completed 16 of 35 passes for 202 yards and 3TDs. He has 3 three interceptions.

Poinsett said Co-Lin’s rushing attack requires morework. “We need to concentrate on the running game. We have somevery young guys (linemen) up front. Only two of them have playedextensively. Hinds is good at stopping the run.”

Co-Lin’s defense ranks No. 1 in the conference in totaldefense, allowing 196 yards per game. The Wolves have given up 13touchdowns.

Directing the Wolves is sophomore linebacker Tim Dobbinswith 32 solo tackles and 21 assists. Defensive backs BrandonWilliams and Damien Gary have 23 and 20 solo stopsrespectively.

Wolf Tails: Last year Hinds beat the Wolves 36-7 atRaymond. The Eagles won 28-7 in 2001 and 29-7 in 2000.