South Jones product Scott Phillips gains ground for the Bobcats Thursday vs. East Miss. (Photo, jucoweekly.org)

Lions roar back to down ’Cats

SCOOBA – Jones County Junior College held a 28-14 lead over No. 2 East Mississippi early in the third quarter.

But the Lions grabbed the momentum with a blocked extra-point return and scored the game’s final 26 points en route to a 47-34 victory over the Bobcats Thursday night at a windy Sullivan-Windham Field.

The game featured big plays by both teams.

JCJC quarterback Detric Hawthorn (Collins) threw for 179 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 27 yards. Quarterback Chris Weaver (Bay Minette, Ala.) threw for 128 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 60 yards.

Wide receiver Harry Ballard (Florissant, Mo.), a University of Missouri commit, had two receptions for 129 yards and two scores. Running back Scott Phillips (South Jones), an Ole Miss commit, rushed 19 times for 91 yards and a touchdown and wide receiver Kendall Parham (Oak Grove), a Louisiana-Lafayette commit, had seven catches for 58 yards.

Safety Deontai Williams (Jacksonville, Fla.), a University of Florida commit, had 11 tackles and linebacker Brad Zaffram (Buffalo, N.Y.) had nine stops. Defensive backs Tyrek Moody (Petal) and Derric Hawthorn (Collins) had pass interceptions.

EMCC struck first when quarterback Lindsay Scott Jr. (an LSU transfer) connected on a 49-yard touchdown pass to Dontario Drummond, a Laurel High product, to end a 73-yard, eight-play drive. Taylor Crabtree’s conversion made it 7-0 with 2:39 left in the first quarter.

But Jones responded immediately.

After taking over at the 20 following the kickoff, Weaver found Ballard for a 78-yard scoring strike. Mike Kroeze’s extra point made it 7-7 with 1:46 left in the first quarter.

EMCC grabbed a 14-7 lead before JCJC scored to tie the game at the half.

The Bobcats built a two-TD lead, 28-14, in the third quarter following a 46-yard TD scamper by Phillips and a 51-yard TD strike form Hawthorn to Ballard.

The Lions cut the deficit to seven, 28-21, before the Bobcats struck again when Diondre Champaigne connected with Weaver on a  9-yard scoring strike, but the game’s momentum swung on the PAT. The Lions blocked the kick and Denzell Bonner scooped up the loose ball and returned it for two points.

The Lions roared from there as they scored the game’s final 26 points to build a 47-34 advantage with 5:07 to play.

The Bobcats had one more possession, but turned the ball over on downs as East Miss. improved to 33-1 at home under head coach Buddy Stephens since 2011.

Jones had 21 first downs, 201 yards rushing and 307 yards passing. The Bobcats had 79 plays for 506 yards.

East Mississippi had 26 first downs, 148 yards rushing and 418 yards passing. The Lions ran 83 plays for 566 yards.

JCJC, 0-1, hosts Miss. Delta at 7 p.m. on Thursday in the annual Hall of Fame game. The contest will air on www.jcjc.tv with Mark Easley and Chris Robinson on the call.

East Miss., 1-0, hosts Miss. Gulf Coast on Thursday.

—By Shawn Wansley, JCJC Sports Information Director

SCORING SUMMARY

Jones County  (0-1) 7 … 7 … 20 … 0 – 34

East Mississippi (1-0) 7 … 7 … 16 … 17 – 47

1st QUARTER

EMCC, Dontario Drummond 49-yard pass from Lindsay Scott Jr., 2:39. Taylor Crabtree PAT. EMCC, 7-0.

JCJC, Harry Ballard 78-yard pass from Chris Weaver, 1:46. Mike Kroeze PAT. 7-7.

2nd QUARTER

EMCC, Dorrean McLaurin 17-yard pass from Scott, 6:57. Crabtree PAT. EMCC, 14-0.

JCJC, Jeriko Morris 9-yard pass from Detric Hawthorn, :43. Kroeze PAT. 14-14.

3rd QUARTER

JCJC, Scott Phillips 46-yard run, 13:09. Kroeze PAT. JCJC, 21-14.

 JCJC, Ballard 51-yard pass from Detric Hawthorn, 11:39. Kroeze PAT. JCJC, 28-14.

 EMCC, Mike Williams 46-yard pass from Scott, 8:27. Crabtree PAT. JCJC, 28-21.

JCJC, Diondre Champaigne 9-yard pass from Weaver, 5:37. PAT blocked. JCJC, 34-21.

EMCC, Denzell Bonner blocked PAT return, 5:37. JCJC, 34-23.

EMCC, Kirk Merritt 80-yard pass from Scott, 2:02. Crabtree PAT. JCJC, 34-30.

4th QUARTER

EMCC, Tyrell Price 7-yard run, 14:05. Crabtree PAT. EMCC, 37-34.

EMCC, Merritt 1-yard run, 8:52. Crabtree PAT. EMCC, 44-34.

EMCC, Crabtree 24-yard field goal, 5:07. EMCC, 47-34.