Wildcats face potent quarterback

Published 1:09 pm Friday, October 31, 2008

If Pearl River Community College is to advance to the juco state championship game for the fifth time in the past six seasons, the Wildcat defense will have to find a way to do something that not many teams have done so far this year..and that’s stop East Mississippi standout quarterback Randall Mackey.

Mackey, a true freshman from Port Sulphur, La., has completed 174 of 281 throws (61.9 percent ) this season with 14 interceptions and 20 touchdowns. Wildcat QB Emil Jones, a true freshman from North Forrest, is second in the league behind Mackey with a 143-of-271 mark (52.8 percent) for 2,134 yards with 12 interceptions and 15 TDs.

Mackey has been at the helm this season of the best juco offensive team in the nation, as the Lions have averaged an amazing 488.8 yards a game (No. 1 311.3 pass, fourth-best 177.4 rush) behind the strong armed signal-caller.

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“Mackey’s an excellent player,” said Hatten. “He can really throw it around and is very mobile. Even though they’ve got lots of talent on both sides of the ball, Mackey’s the key that makes Scooba’s offense click.”

Besides his passing talents, Mackey is the Lions’ second-leading rusher, averaging 50.1 yards a game (four TDs) behind top runner Pat Shed who is third in the league with an 80-yard per game average and 10 rushing Tds.

Leon Berry is Mackey’s primary receiving target, as the wide receiver has snagged 37 passes for 626 yards and four scores. His 69.6-yard average per game ranks third in the state, while wide out Montrez Mosley bests Berry with 40 catches, but boasts 599 yards and four touchdowns for a 66.6-yard average (fourth-best in the league).

Just like Jimmy Oliver did for PRCC several years ago, Mackey could well be on his way to earning national juco player of the year honors.

In leading the North Division Champion Lions to the school’s first state football playoff appearance since 1984, first-year EMCC head coach Buddy Stephens spent the previous seven seasons as an assistant coach at Pearl River Community College.

A former all-state offensive lineman at Pearl River, Stephens was a part of the PRCC coaching staff, as was current EMCC associate head coach/defensive coordinator William Jones, which produced four consecutive MACJC titles, including the 2004 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Championship.

Stephens and Jones have guided EMCC to its first ever home state playoff game and the first playoff game for the Lions in 24 years.