Co-Lin hosting GC in big MACCC match

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, September 29, 2021

An 0-2 road start to the season was a hole that the Copiah-Lincoln football team and coach Glenn Davis have clawed their way out of.

The Wolves now sit at 2-0 in MACCC South Division play after whipping Southwest at home and winning big last week on the road at Pearl River.

Year in and year out, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Bulldogs are a measuring stick for teams in the division to separate the contenders and the pretenders.

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Expect a big crowd in H.L. “Hook” Stone Stadium when Co-Lin and Gulf Coast renew their rivalry Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Last Thursday coach Jack Wright’s Bulldogs suffered a shocking defeat on the field at Hinds and then an even bigger loss in the early hours of Friday morning.

Freshman defensive lineman Levi Madison was killed in a single car crash at 1:24 a.m. in Wiggins. Running back Cam Thomas and offensive lineman Brandon Cunningham were also part of the accident as the vehicle left the road, struck a pole and caught fire.

MGCCC had arrived back in Perkinston earlier after losing 42-37 Thursday in Raymond.

Gulf Coast was ranked No. 5 in the nation prior to the loss at Hinds and the defeat broke a streak of 16 straight south division wins for the school.

Hinds trailed 31-3 before coming alive in the second quarter and cutting that deficit to 31-23 at the halftime break.

Co-Lin and Gulf Coast didn’t play last year after the Wolves cancelled their season after three games due to COVID-19. The Bulldogs went 5-0 against south division foes before losing 40-13 to Northwest in the state title game.

In 2019, Mississippi Gulf Coast beat Co-Lin 38-20 in Stone Stadium. The previous season the Wolves won 38-13 in Perkinston.

MS Gulf Coast has one of the biggest, if not the biggest football budgets in the MACCC. The school won the 2019 NJCAA National Championship under Wright after previously winning a national title in 2007 for then-coach Steve Campbell.

Davis is 5-13 all time against Gulf Coast in his 18 seasons at Co-Lin. The Wolves memorably beat Gulf Coast 41-37 in the 2012 state title game in Perkinston after losing to the Bulldogs a few weeks prior in the regular season. The schools also met in the 2010 for a state championship.

There is much familiarity between the coaching staffs at Gulf Coast and Co-Lin.

MGCCC defensive coordinator Dr. Brett Shufelt served in that same role for much of his time as an assistant at Co-Lin from 2004-2015.

Defensive backs coach Clarence McDougal was also on the 2012 state championship winning Co-Lin staff before leaving for Hinds and then Gulf Coast. First year cornerbacks’ coach Lashard Durr played for Davis at Co-Lin and is in his first year on the MGCCC staff.

Davis has reached out to his former coaches on the Gulf Coast staff as they process the loss of Madison while trying to prepare football on Thursday and then his funeral services on Friday and Saturday.

It’s a heartache that Davis knows too well during his long career as a college coach.

In 2011, Co-Lin defensive tackle Bobby O’Quinn died trying to save two young girls that were struggling to swim in Lake Okhissa. O’Quinn was able to get one of the girls to safety, but he and 7-year-old Audrienna Shante Lofton of Jackson drowned.

In 2007, CLCC defensive lineman Larry Winters perished in a car wreck on Old Highway 51. Winters and Peyton Culver, both 18-year-old freshmen from Brookhaven, were killed in the single car crash.

“Until you’ve lost a player, you don’t really know how to deal with it,” said Davis. “There isn’t really anything you can say or anything someone can tell you other than time. Time the biggest thing for the healing process.”