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MACJC title game produced offensive show

The late, great Coach Robert “Bull, Hurricane” Sullivan probablyrolled over in his grave when he heard the final score. However,the legendary East Mississippi Community College coach probablygrunted with satisfaction after the Lions outscored Gulf Coast75-71 for the MACJC State Championship.

Recognized best for his aggressive, smash-mouth unyieldingdefensive mindset, Sullivan would have been amazed by the number ofpoints put on the scoreboard. Back in 1963, Sullivan had coachedthe Lions to a 10-1-1 record, including an 18-14 victory over Tyler(Texas) JC in the Hospitality Bowl played in Gulfport.

One of those 50-year-old Sullivan stories relives the time whenhe put his defensive team on the bank of a lake during practice andtold the offense to shove them in the water. To say the least, itwas a hard-hitting, no-holds-barred mud brawl.

It would be safe to observe that there was little if any defenselast Saturday when the Lions (10-1) won their first-ever statetitle, defeating the 2-time defending state champion Bulldogs (9-2)in Scooba.

If you like statistics, consider these numbers. The Lionsamassed 622 yards total offense. Gulf Coast collected 597 yards.That amounts to over 1,200 yards.

EMCC quarterback Randall Mackey, the 2-time MACJC Most ValuablePlayer, completed 31 of 42 passes for 477 yards and 7 touchdowns.Mackey also rushed for 125 yards.

Mackey probably could have sold popcorn during timeouts andtooted the trumpet during the halftime show, too, if necessary.Mackey (6-0, 185 soph.) is from Port Sulphur, La.

By contrast, Gulf Coast quarterback Greg Jenkins completed 14 of21 passes for 331 yards and 5 touchdowns. Jenkins (6-2, 210,soph.), from Dade City, Fla., rushed for 69 yards.

Certainly, Mackey and Jenkins are known as impact players. Theyare high on many senior college recruiting lists.

Co-Lin battled East Mississippi before losing 27-13 in theseason opener for both teams. The Wolfpack lost 38-14 to Gulf Coastin the sixth game of the season and finished 6-3 overall, 4-2 inthe South Division.

Co-Lin head football coach Glenn Davis and his staff are busyrecruiting players for the 2010 campaign. They have a solidoffensive backfield returning, led by quarterback Percy Turner.Large shoes must be filled on the offensive and defensive lines andin the secondary.

Davis said sophomore defensive end Ken Adams has committed toTennessee. The Volunteers also crave cornerback Dequan Menzie.

Many Co-Lin players are making campus visits as they enjoyrecruiting trips. Davis said two Brookhaven High School products;linebacker Bobo Rancifer and center Darion Smith are high on thelist of several D-I colleges.

Meanwhile, Professor Hoopla, B.S., is high on severalmost-wanted lists. He’s been wearing camouflage since the footballseason began because he agitates some readers with hisprognostications.

Last week, Hoopla predicted the winners of 21 games and got 18right. Finally, it must be football weather.

Hoopla will start his forecast with some Friday night highschool playoff games.

Brookhaven at Moss Point: It’s a 4-hour haul to Jackson Countyand a long ride home for the Panthers. Moss Point 31-13.

Centreville Academy at Brookhaven Academy: This shapes up as anoffensive showcase. Cougars pass and Tigers run. Brookhaven Academy38-30.

Loyd Star at Bassfield: Offense should dominate this Class 2Ashowdown. Bassfield 42-29.

Laurel at Lawrence County: Cougars must consistently run thefootball to beat the Golden Tornados in the Class 4A second round.Lawrence County 28-14.

Franklin County at Philadelphia: Bulldogs need a solid game tobeat the Tornadoes on their home turf. Franklin County 21-10.

Bogue Chitto at Nanih Waiya: Bobcats made the most of awholesale rebuilding year by reaching the Class 1A state playoffs.Warriors have too many weapons. Nanih Waiya 27-17.

North Pike at West Lauderdale: Jaguars are in unchartedterritory but they’re enjoying the scenery in the Class 4A stateplayoffs. North Pike 19-14.

After cleaning his deer rifle, Hoopla focuses on Saturday’scollegiate scene.

Tennessee at Ole Miss: Coach O returns to Oxford as defensivecoordinator and slows down the Rebels. Tennessee 23-13.

Alabama at Mississippi State: Saturday night has all the makingsof an upset but the unbeaten Crimson Tide will take care ofbusiness in Starkville. Alabama 34-24.

Southern Miss at Marshall: After an open date to patch up theirdefense, the Golden Eagles escape West Virginia with a narrow win.Southern Miss 34-24.

Jackson State at Alabama A&M: Late-season improvements helpthe Tigers win their second straight game. Jackson State 28-18.

In other Magnolia State action, Prairie View over Alcorn State38-19, Millsaps over Birmingham-Southern 21-10, Belhaven over Union20-10, Valley State over Lincoln 27-21 and Mississippi College overTexas Lutheran 35-21.

Write to sports editor Tom Goetz, c/o The DAILY LEADER, P.O. Box551, Brookhaven, MS 39602 or e-mail sports@dailyleader.com