Homecoming was sweet at Mississippi Delta Community College. The Trojans (2-4 overall, 2-2 conference) led the whole way and an exciting finish capped off a 20-13 conference win over Northeast Community College (3-3 overall, 2-2 conference) and gave MDCC a two-game winning streak. They’ll put that streak on the line as they travel today to take on Itawamba Community College, 2-4 overall, 2-2 conference.)
With students and alumni on campus celebrating all things homecoming with this year’s theme “Under the Big Top,” M'Priss Lott, was selected as the Trojans 2019 Homecoming Queen. With two wins in a row, the Trojan defense stood tall in the second conference win of the season.
“Guys played hard and they came out ready to play,” Coach Jeff Tatum said. “Sometimes you wonder if homecoming is going to be a distraction but all the homecoming activities got them excited about the game and they played really, really well. I thought Coach Turner and Coach Grays did a really good job of scouting Northeast and had a good game plan for them.”
The Trojan defense came up with four interceptions, five sacks and one fumble recovery and held Northeast to only 83 yards rushing on 34 attempts for a 2.4 yards per carry average. They did, however, give up 305 yards through the air but two big plays made up a bulk of that stat for Northeast.
“Other than two missed assignments, they played about as well as they could play,” Coach Tatum said. “On one play, we checked the coverage and one of our defensive backs (Su’Metris Stewart) got beat but one of the things that make you feel better is that when he came to the sideline, he knew he had let the whole team down, not just himself. He was also the one that intercepted the pass and ran it back at the end of the game. But he still thinks he played bad because he gave up the long touchdown.”
The other defensive miscue was a fake quick screen that the Trojans overcommitted on.
“They faked it and threw a long pass. Other than that, I thought our defense played really well,” Coach Tatum said. “All three levels of our defense played well. They took care of one another and played as a unit.”
As the Trojans travel to Fulton, MDCC Head Coach Jeff Tatum faces an old foe and knows he’s got his work cut out for him.
“Coach Cannon has done a great job at ICC. I’ve known Sean a long time and we both went to graduate school together at Delta State,” Coach Tatum said. “He’s been a defensive coordinator at Delta State, defensive coordinator at North Alabama, a defensive coordinator out at New Mexico Military Institute and he was also the defensive coordinator at ICC before becoming head coach.”
Tatum and his staff are hoping that one of Cannon’s strong points can also be a weakness for this week’s game.
“He does a great job of scouting his opponent,” Coach Tatum said. “That’s one thing we’ve worked on. We’ve watched them in three games and they have done three different variations of their defense because of what the other team’s tendencies are. We’ve worked on what he may think our team’s tendencies are and we’re going to take advantage of that and let him outcoach himself, so to speak.”
The Trojans have picked up on their coaches’ laser like focus and are putting it in play much more quickly each week as the season progresses.
“They’ve come out ready to play, especially the last two weeks. On offense we came out and moved the ball early. Didn’t score like we wanted to in the first quarter but our defense has come out and stopped them. We’re excited about the challenge on Thursday night.”
Currently, Northwest, East and Holmes sit atop the North Division standings tied for first of the MACJC with 2-1 records in division. Northeast, Itawamba and Mississippi Delta are tied for second with 2-2 records while Coahoma sits at the bottom with an 0-3 division record.
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College is tied with East Central for the top spot in the South Division with 3-0 records. Jones is next at 3-1 followed by Hinds at 2-1, Copiah-Lincoln at 1-2 while Pearl River and Southwest are tied for last place with 0-4 division records.