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Pruitt-Mack tandem fuels EMCC's attack

 

Scott Walters

 

MOORHEAD -- Dontreal Pruitt and Justin Mack teamed up to help lead Laurel High School to the Mississippi High School Activities Association's Class 4A North State championship in 2011. 

 

On Thursday night at Joe Randall Stadium, the duo showed they still have that chemistry. 

 

Mack was part of Pruitt's career-high 495-yard passing night that helped the No. 5 East Mississippi Community College football team roll past Mississippi Delta C.C. 70-0 in its MACJC North Division opener. 

 

Mack had a career-high three receptions for 61 yards, including a 43-yard touchdown in the second quarter. 

 

"It is great to be a part of such a high-scoring offense," Mack said. "We could have scored more, but sometimes we just try to take it easy. Everybody rotates in and out and gets a lot of playing time. Dontreal is our leader out there, and he gets the ball to everybody." 

 

Pruitt was 30 of 41 for 495 yards. His touchdowns to Antoinne Adkins, Mack, and Brandon Acker give him 16 for the season. The lone interception was on a tipped ball. The 495 passing yards is third most in a game in Buddy Stephens' six seasons as head coach at the school. 

 

"When we are on the left hash, he is a high probability of getting the ball," Pruitt said. "It all depends on the coverage because I am trying to get the ball to everybody. The thing about Justin is he always has my back. I know he is always prepared to make a play." 

 

While nine EMCC players caught at least one pass Thursday night, there is something special about a Pruitt-to-Mack connection. The duo found the end zone together 21 times as seniors at Laurel. 

 

"It feels great to still be together after all these years," Mack said. "We try to keep going to see how much better we can become." 

 

Dominant defense 

 

EMCC first-year defensive coordinator Jordan Lesley said no major changes were planned for the defense this season. However, he said the Lions would do things much faster, hoping to replicate the up-tempo style of play from the offense. 

 

"We have less reads this year," EMCC sophomore defensive back A.J. Stamps said. "It is all about reacting to the ball. This team has been known for its offense all of these years. We are trying to bring something on our side of the ball." 

 

Mississippi Delta had 217 yards of total offense and 20 first downs. However, the Trojans crossed midfield three times and got no closer than the EMCC 28-yard line on the game's final possession. 

 

EMCC has three-straight shutouts and has allowed a nation-best one touchdown this season. The Lions had monster games from D.J. Pettway, Jimmie Gipson, and Stamps. 

 

EMCC also had six interceptions, and now holds a 17-7 turnover advantage for the season. 

 

Around the MACJC 

 

The biggest news around the MACJC on Thursday night happened in Perkinston, where No. 14 Jones Junior College beat No. 1 Mississippi Gulf Coast C.C. 52-42. Jones (4-0) has beaten Gulf Coast in back-to-back seasons. 

 

EMCC, Jones, No. 6 Copiah-Lincoln C.C., and No. 9 Itawamba C.C. are the state's remaining undefeated teams -- each at 4-0. EMCC only faces one in that group in the regular season -- ICC on Oct. 24 in Scooba. 

 

Notes 

 

EMCC has outscored its first four opponents 247-6, including 163-0 in the first half. ... The Lions haven't allowed a point in 13 straight quarters. ... Buddy Stephens is 6-0 against Mississippi Delta. The Trojans had won nine straight meetings before his arrival. ... The 70 points scored is the second most in school history, and the margin of victory is the all-time largest. ... Seven of EMCC's eight offensive possessions were under the magic mark of two minutes. ... With seven receptions for 136 yards, Antoinne Adkins became the first 100-yard receiver for EMCC this season. The 136 yards is 14th-most by a receiver under Stephens. 

 

Follow Scott Walters on Twitter @dispatchscott. 

 

 

Scott is sports copy editor and reporter

 

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