Angry Lions await 14th ranked Jones
By By Jeff Byrd/The Meridian Star
Oct. 10, 2001
To say the East Mississippi Lions are still steaming is an understatement.
Last Saturday at Itawamba Community College, the Lions saw a potential game-winning field goal waved off because of a delay of game penalty. Itawamba held on for the 18-17 victory for its first win of the year. The loss dropped the Lions to 2-3 overall and 1-2 in the North Division.
On Tuesday, East Mississippi coach Tom Goode was still miffed about the loss.
Goode and his team's anger can be traced to the tactics Itawamba used in harrassing the Lions' kicking game.
East Mississippi will hope to let out its frustrations on Thursday night when they play host to 14th ranked Jones County Junior College in Scooba. The non-divisional game is set for 7 p.m. kickoff at Windham-Sullivan Field.
The Bobcats, who entered the NJCAA Top 15 this week, have allowed opponents to rush for a miserly total of 31.5 yards per game.
On offense, Jones has used the run to build its record which includes a win over previously unbeaten Pearl River CC.
East Mississippi will seek to play a competitive game at home. They have been blown out in their two previous home games, a 22-0 loss to Copiah Lincoln and a 41-14 loss to Northeast.
Goode said all he could ask is for an effort similar to the one given by the club at Itawamba.
The Lions, however, are banged up.
Sophomore wide receiver Matt Vaughn of West Lauderdale suffered a concussion in the Itawamba game and will be held out of the Jones contest. Guard Ronnie Outlaw has a bad ankle and may be out as well. Defensive end Jonathan West is also banged up but might play.
Quarterback Scotty Elliot, who was hurt in the season opening game at Southwest, has improved.
Before the Itawamba game, the Lions were averaging 125 yards per game rushing and 90 passing. Both numbers should go up when the new stats are released.
The Lions defense is led by linebackers Joe White and Kenneth Hollis. Jeremy Foster keys the defensive line while Meridian's Fines Tate and Otis Bumpers key the secondary.
Jeff Byrd is a sports writer for the Meridian Star. He can be reached at 693-1551 or by e-mail at email@example.com.