NJCAA Games to Watch – Week 5
#21 Jones County at #7 Mississippi Gulf Coast - Gulf Coast always has a lot of talent on both sides of the ball and this year is no different. At wideout, the Bulldogs feature Auburn-bound Dhaquille Williams and complimenting him is RB Antwon Wells who had a big game last week in MGCC's 41-34 win over Hinds. On defense, LB Cavellis Luckett will try and top last week's 14-tackle effort. He's hearing from a number of schools, but is still waiting on that first offer. For Jones, they have a loaded offensive attack, led by freshman QB Steven Swindle who has a number of targets at his disposal including top wideout JaMicheal Willis who already has 24 receptions for over 400 yards and four scores in three games. Defensively, freshman Kendall Island mans the middle linebacker spot and he leads the team with 35 tackles in just three games and don't sleep on DE Steven Eddings who leads the team with two sacks to go along with 17 tackles and S D'Andre Jackson leads the team with two interceptions and ranks third in tackles with 30 from his safety spot.
Prediction: Jones 30 – Mississippi Gulf Coast 21
Hinds at #13 Copiah-Lincoln - Hinds lost a tough one to Gulf Coast last week, but hope to rebound behind the exploits of freshman QB James Summers who is a threat with both his legs and his arm. So far, Keithon Redding appears to be Summers' favorite target. Defensively, Khiry Lucas is the leader in the deep patrol and his three interceptions and four passes defensed show he's tough in coverage. The Wolfpack feature several impressive looking prospects on both sides of the ball. RB Kelton Smith is coming off a three-touchdown, 86-yard performance last week against East Central and on defense sophomore LB Jordan Harris is the one garnering scouts' attention with his eye-popping 46 tackles in three games.
Prediction: Copiah-Lincoln 28 – Hinds 24
Lackawanna at Louisburg - The Northeast Football Conference sports one of the more unsung, at least so far, undefeated teams in Louisburg. While the Hurricanes have put together a nice start to the season, they get their first big test when the Falcons come to town. So far, Louisburg has used a very good defense and a strong running attack to grind out games. Leading them in rushing right now is sophomore Chris Brown, but since he's been splitting carries with several other backs, his numbers aren't all that impressive. On defense, linebackers Stephen Williams and Kendall Wright both are strong at the point-of-attack and both are sure-tacklers. They will be tested by Lackawanna's solid tailback trio of sophomores DeChavon Hayes and Jaymar Anderson and freshman Kahleel Artis. The Falcons defensive is stout up front with the likes of LB Gabe Tillman leading the way with DE Andre Davis and LB Raynard Revels each posting three sacks.
Lackawanna 24 – Louisburg 10
Blinn at Tyler - This SWJCFC matchup features two teams who are vying to see who will challenge for the spot behind Navarro at the top of the rankings. Blinn is 2-2 while Tyler is 3-0, but over the past couple of weeks, the Buc's offense has really picked it up and this should be a barn-burner in the Lonestar State. Expect a heavy dose of QB Randy Price, both running and throwing, when Tyler has the ball. Joining him in the backfield are a pair of very good tailbacks in freshman Terrance Taylor (223 yards and 4 TDs) and sophomore Leroy Dobbins (205 yards and 2 TDs). Up front, the Apaches feature Drew Sarvary a hot prospect for four-year programs looking for a leader along the offensive line. On defense, DE Will Coleman is the big name as he has double-digit offers, but, from a productivity standpoint, safety Kenny Iloka (27 tackles and two sacks) and CB Caleb Williams (23 tackles and three interceptions) are leading the way. For Blinn, they will run at you and when you get tired, they will just run some more with the likes of Klartel Claridy (314 yards and five TDs) and Spencer Cowley (218 yards and three TDs). There also might not be a better linebacking corps than what the Bucs throw on the field every week with Keil Heidman, Lance Duran and Ryan Flannigan all putting up big numbers.
Prediction: Tyler 31 – Blinn 27
Fort Scott at Dodge City - The Greyhounds have a lot of talent, but so far, they have a big fat zero in the win column to show for their efforts so far this season, while the upstart Conqs are coming off one of their most impressive wins in recent memory as they defeated nationally ranked Hutchinson last week. Dodge City does it behind a strong offensive line and the power running of sophomore RB Tyreis Thomas who has ripped off 406 yards and six touchdowns in four games so far this season. Another key for the Conq's fast start is the play of QB Deondre Ford who has been a consistent threat throwing the ball (58.3% completions for 865 yards and eight touchdowns with just one interception). When Ford drops back to pass, he definitely has a connection with freshman wideout William French and they will hope to exploit that against a talented, but underperforming Fort Scott secondary. Fort Scott QB Jason Stewart has had a solid season thus far, but he would probably trade his stats for some wins. Running the ball has been an adventure for the Greyhounds, but something seemed to click for freshman RB Kyle Hammonds last week when he posted 120 yards and three touchdowns on 28 carries in a loss to Coffeyville. At receiver, Chevelle Buie and Jared Dangerfield both had big games last week and if they can find some openings, they should be able to help keep the chains moving against a good, but not great Dodge City defense. When Fort Scott's defense is on the field, the big names are up front – defensive tackles Demetrius Hill and South Carolina-bound Abu Lamin – as well as freshman DB Terry McMillon who should get plenty of attention from four year schools next year.
Prediction: Fort Scott 31 – Dodge City 27
Other Games of Note: Itawamba vs. Holmes (Thursday); Kilgore at Navarro (Saturday); Eastern Arizona at New Mexico Military (Saturday)
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