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Hinds, Co-Lin face must-win South Division contest Sat.

WESSON — Co-Lin hosts the Hinds Community College EaglesSaturday in a must-win South Division game for both teams. Kickoffis 5 p.m. in Stone Stadium.

Co-Lin, 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the South, hopes to rebound froma 34-10 defeat at Gulf Coast in Perkinston. Hinds (2-3, 0-2) isfresh from a disappointing 27-16 loss to Jones County JuniorCollege at Raymond.

According to Co-Lin head coach Glenn Davis, the Eagles are aforce to be reckoned with. “Hinds is playing really hard. They’velost some close ballgames. They could very well be 4-1. I thoughtthey outplayed Jones last week but they turned the ball over fourtimes.”

Quarterbacking the Eagles is Omar Love (6-1, 198, so.) fromCharleston. Also calling signals is Terrence Barnes (6-1, 165, fr.)from Jackson (Callaway).

“Love is playing really well and making a lot of plays forthem,” said Davis. “We have to keep him hemmed up. He’s an athleticguy who makes a lot of plays for them.”

Love is the team’s second leading rusher with 197 yards and 2touchdowns. He has completed 26 of 45 passes for 214 yards and 1TD.

Barnes is more of a thrower. He has completed 46 of 84 passesfor 479 yards and 4 TDs.

“They have a good receiver in Carlos Everett who makes a lot ofplays for them,” said Davis. Everett (6-1, 192, fr.) is from SouthSumter, Fla., He has caught 18 catches for 267 yards and 2 TDS.

Another prime target is wide receiver Anthony Mayes (5-10, 160,fr.) of Utica (Hinds AHS). Mayes has 10 catches for 57 yards.

“Their offensive line is big and physical,” said Davis.Sophomore tailback Michael James (5-9,180) of Jackson Provine tookover when teammate Terrence Charles went down with an injuryagainst Jones County.

“Defensively, they play hard up front,” said Davis. “They run tothe ball.”

In the secondary, LeAndrew Hicks (5-9, 175, so.) of Richland,blitzes a lot. In the defensive line, Lewis Ellis (6-3, 306, so.)of Jackson (Lanier) is probably the best of the bunch.

Co-Lin was elevated to No. 16 in the nation after upsettingprevious No. 1 Pearl River two weeks ago. Gulf Coast playedinspired football last Saturday and the Wolves never got their acttogether.

Davis said his team struggled with a letdown after beating PearlRiver. “It (loss) hurt our pride at Gulf Coast. We kind of playedlike we prepared all last week.”

Co-Lin, led by quarterback Cedric Johnson, was unable to get itspotent passing attack in gear against Gulf Coast. “We had someoverthrows on touchdown passes,” said Davis, “and we also had somedrops, five or six.”

On offense, Johnson hooked up with wide receiver Bud Chatman ona 48-yard touchdown pass. Johnson completed 15 of 34 passes for 164yards.

Co-Lin’s rushing attack managed just 54 yards.

Davis said he has been encouraged by his team’s attitude inpractice this week. “We are trying to get back to doing the thingswe’ve been doing in previous games. Our kids have responded. Theyknow we didn’t play good at Gulf Coast.

“We need to win this one and the next four.” The top two teamsout of the South Division advance to the state playoffs.

On defense, safety Johnny Sanders and linebacker Michael Bibbsled Co-Lin in tackles.

“We are going to line up and get after Hinds,” predicted Co-Lindefensive coordinator Brett Shufelt. “Omar Love is a great athlete.Hinds has a lot of skill guys.”

Smith Returns To Co-Lin

Hinds head coach J. Mike Smith returns to his alma matertomorrow. A Magee native, Smith earned All-American honors atCo-Lin during the 1971-72 seasons. He later coached eight years atCo-Lin, serving as offensive line coach.

Smith will make a return visit to the Co-Lin campus nextSaturday, Oct. 14, as an inductee to the Co-Lin Sports Hall ofFame. In his fourth year as boss of the Eagles, Smith has a 23-11record.

Wolf Tails: Last year Hinds beat Co-Lin 28-13at Raymond. Co-Lin hasn’t beaten Hinds since 1999, when theWolfpack prevailed 36-29 at Wesson, under former head coach PhilBroome.