No. 10-ranked Jones College has

impressed in its first two games of

the season. But that means little

heading into this week’s MACCC

South Division opener at East

Central. Head coach Steve Buckley

said the game will be a challenge

for his Bobcats.

“It is our first time taking a

bunch of young kids on the road

and that’s always an experience,”

he said. “We had better be ready

to play. I’ve known (East Central)

Coach (Ken) Karcher for a long

time. They know what they are

doing and they have an excellent

football team.”

The Bobcats visit Decatur for a

6:30 p.m. kickoff tonight (Thurs-

day). The game will air on JCJC.

TV, WLAU-FM, 99.3, and Super-

TalkLaurel.com with Mark Easley

and Luke Johnson on the call.

The Bobcats (2-0) have beaten

Northeast Mississippi 41-17 and

No. 14 Northwest Mississippi 31-9

in its first two games. The Rangers

were second in the nation until

they lost to Jones.

East Central (0-2) has lost to

No. 11 East Mississippi 32-7 and

Mississippi Delta, 16-14. The War-

riors led MDCC 14-6 entering the

final quarter, but a 35-yard field

goal by the Trojans with 1:49 left

proved to be the difference.

“If you look at both films,

they’ve played two close ball-

games,” Buckley said. “They have

lost to two teams that are (com-

bined) 4-0 in East Mississippi and

Mississippi Delta.”

Buckley could not find much

fault with the Bobcats in their play

vs. Northwest.

“We played extremely hard and

we played extremely physical,” he

said. “Most importantly, I thought

we executed in all three phases of

the game. The kids were locked in,

focused and ready to play. At the

same time, there is a lot of im-

provement that can be made.

“We left some plays on the field

on both sides of the ball. We’ve

got to clean up a lot of little things

to be really good. But we had a lot

of things going our way the other

night.”

On offense, quarterback Quate-

rius Hawkins was sharp, complet-

ing 20-of-28 passes for 260 yards

and two touchdowns. In the week

one win over Northeast, he was

just 6-of-18 for 63 yards.

“I think DaeDae is a heckuva

quarterback,” Buckley said of

Hawkins. “When things don’t al-

ways go like you want in the pass-

ing game, everybody thinks it’s the

quarterback and it’s not always the

quarterback. We threw and caught

the ball well. I think we had one

drop, maybe two, last week, and

we had six the week before.

“The receivers played excellent.

What DaeDae does not surprise

me as his coach. He was locked in

and ready to play like he always is

and had a really big night.”

Wide receiver Bud Tolbert had

seven catches for 82 yards and a

touchdown and wide receiver Qua

Sanders had five catches for 94

yards and a score. Running back

La’Damian Webb had another big

game with 161 yards on 27 carries

and two touchdowns, including a

game-clinching 61-yard run late in

the fourth quarter. Buckley noted

the play of the offensive line made

it possible for the Bobcats to pile

up 449 yards of offense.

“It starts up front,” he said. “The

offensive line played well. They

(Northwest) were going to try and

stop La’Damian and we knew we

had to throw the ball to win the

ballgame. We threw the ball and

caught the ball well and it starts

with the protection. The offensive

line did a great job giving us time.”

On the other side of the ball, the

Bobcats limited a potent North-

west offense to only 11 first downs

and 276 yards of offense. Defen-

sive back Lardarius Webb Jr. had

six tackles, two tackles for loss and

three pass breakups. Linebacker

Mike Cockream led the team in

tackles for the second straight

game with seven stops and two

quarterback hurries.

“The defensive line did well,”

Buckley said. “I think we held

them to 86 yards rushing. It was

just a tremendous effort on that

side of the ball. Little Webb played

well. Our back end is very talented.

They are smart kids, they align

correctly and they cover well. They

understand man and they under-

stand zone.

“It was a great team effort on

defense. Coach Pollard and the

defensive staff did a great job

preparing for Northwest, who can

score some points.”

But Buckley knows the Bobcats

cannot rest on last week’s perfor-

mance as they get ready for East

Central, especially with this being

the division opener for both teams.

“There is a lot of parity in this

league right now and if we are

not ready to play it will be a long

night for the Bobcats,” he said.

“East Central is well-coached and

they play hard. They do a great job

scheme-wise. We had better be

ready to play.”

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