"The committee is excited about the opportunity to host the 2013 NJCAA Football National Championship," said Mississippi Bowl committee chair Ladd Taylor. "It's a tremendous responsibility and our event staff is determined to make the 2013 Mississippi Bowl the best and most memorable one to date. "It's also an honor to host these two fantastic NJCAA teams."
The top ranked Georgia Military College Bulldogs are no strangers to the Mississippi Bowl having played in the first ever game in 2008 against Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. The Bulldogs ran the regular season table and come to the Coast with a perfect 11-0 record. It's the second trip to South Mississippi for head coach Bert Williams and his squad after beginning the season with a 37-21 neutral site victory over Blinn. That game was played at A.L. May Memorial Stadium in Perkinston, the home field of MGCCC. Ga. Military has won each game by an average score of 46-17 and leads the NJCAA in rushing with 299 yards per game. The Bulldogs also boast the NJCAA'S 10th ranked defense that's forced 36 turnovers, had 38 sacks, and scored 5 touchdowns. GMC has been to the National Championship game three times since 2000 and won it all in 2001.
"It's hard to play at such a high level for a long stretch of time," said GMC head coach Bert Williams. "I'm proud of our guys for maintaining that level of play throughout the season. I feel like we're at full strength heading into the biggest game of the year."
No. 2 East Mississippi also rolls into Biloxi with a perfect 11-0 record and is fresh off the college's third MACJC title in the last five seasons after a 61-24 victory over Jones Nov. 9. The Lions have outscored opponents 685-85 in 2013 and won by an average score of 63-7. East Miss. features an offense that averages 611 yards per game which is tops in the NJCAA. In contrast the Lion defense is also ranks No. 1 in the NJCAA, allowing only 206 yards per contest and racking up 40 turnovers, 61 sacks, and eight touchdowns. East Miss. head coach Buddy Stephens and his Lions won the 2009 Miss. Bowl 27-24 over Western Arizona and in 2011 East brought home the NJCAA National Championship.
"I'm very proud of our team," EMCC head coach Buddy Stephens said. "I feel extremely blessed to be a part of East Mississippi Community College, and hopefully this will carry on a little bit further in a few weeks."
The three-day event also features off-the-field activities, including players from both teams spending time with local children at two Boys and Girls club locations on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
The Mississippi Bowl can be viewed via streaming video at www.mississippibowl.com and NJCAA TV (www.njcaatv.com). Kickoff is set for Sunday, Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. at Biloxi Indian Stadium.