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Lions win final home game of season

By By Rocky Higginbotham / special to The Star
Oct. 24, 2003
SCOOBA It's not often that the team trailing in total yardage at halftime is two touchdowns ahead. But the breaks finally went the way of the East Mississippi Community College Lions here Thursday night.
EMCC took advantage of six turnovers by visiting Coahoma, and the Lions smacked the Tigers 43-14 in a North Division contest at Sullivan-Windham Memorial Field.
It was the final home contest of the year for coach Tom Goode's Lions, who improved to 3-5 overall and 2-4 in the North. Coahoma dropped to 1-7 and 1-4.
EMCC actually trailed Coahoma in total yardage at the half, but the Tigers had five turnovers in the first 30 minutes and were down 30-14 at halftime.
The Lions got things rolling offensively in the second half, however, and wound up piling up 456 yards on the night. John Henderson ran for 131 yards and four touchdowns on 20 carries, while Jarious Williams had 115 yards and a TD on 14 carries.
Former Meridian High standout Daniel Spinks also saw his most extensive action of the season, and he was 10-of-21 passing for 131 yards.
Coahoma quarterbacks Johnny Carter and A.J. Lash split time with one another because each was injured, and they wound up combining for 17-of-36 passing for 254 yards and a couple of TDs both of them to the Julius McClellan. But Coahoma threw three interceptions, lost three fumbles and had just 19 yards on the ground.
McClellan, the Tigers' flashy 6-4, 220-pound freshman from Kathleen, Fla., scored the game's first TD on Coahoma's opening drive when he hauled in a 33-yard bullet from Carter.
EMCC tied the game at 7-7 by answering on its first drive, with Henderson going in from 5 yards out. Will Moseley's PAT kick tied it with 8:10 still left in the first.
A 1-yard touchdown run by Henderson on the first play of the second quarter and a Moseley kick made it 14-7; and the Lions extended their lead to 16-7 midway through the period when Coahoma snapped the ball out of the back of the end zone on a punt attempt.
McClellan's second score was a beauty, as he took a short wide receiver screen from Lash and made two highlight-reel moves on his way to a 56-yard touchdown. Ray Brown's kick pulled the Tigers within 16-14 with just 3:18 left before the half.
But the last two minutes of the second quarter were deadly for Coahoma.
EMCC went three-and-out after McClellan's score, but on Coahoma's next play, Bernard George picked off a Tiger pass and returned it to the Coahoma 20. Three plays later, Henderson scored from 7 yards out, with Moseley's kick making it 23-14 with 1:14 still on the clock.
Then, on the final play of the first half, EMCC's Demetrius Derico picked off a Lash pass and made a dazzling 83-yard return for a touchdown. Jonathan Russell added the kick this time, and the Lions were up 30-14 at the half.
Neither team scored in the third quarter but two plays into the fourth Spinks hit a laid-out Josh Carwile for a 49-yard completion to the Coahoma 5. Henderson scored on the next play for a 37-14 lead.
The Lions' final TD of the night came on another dazzling play, as Williams busted out of a pack of defenders and raced 58 yards down the left sideline. Russell's kick made it 43-14 with 8:44 on the clock.

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