Simple Offense, Little Distraction Helps EMCC Dominate

By: Louis Montesi, III
By: Louis Montesi, III

After a 90-7 victory over Coahoma Community College, all eyes have turned the undefeated and No. 2 ranked Lions of East Mississippi have outscored their opponents 337-13 through five games. Every game has been one-sided and the lions' secondary has scored more points than their opponents combined.

So what is it that makes the lions so good?

"We try to run a simple offense that looks complex because we run the same plays out of fifteen different formations, and we try to run 'em as fast as we can," says Head Coach Buddy Stephens. "We've got a defense that gets us the ball back really quick, and we're playing just sound fundamental offense and defense right now."

"I mean we just run the plays so fast," says sophomore receiver Brandon Bell. "Sometimes the defense doesn't even have time to react and get set up and go.

Bell is one of nine receivers who has caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Dontreal Pruitt. The sophomore has thrown 21 touchdown passes and just two interceptions.

"We're basically [lining up] four or five wide, so whenever I'm looking at coverage, I figure out pre-snap read which way I'm going before the ball's even in my hand."

Coach Stephens and his players say being isolated in small town Scooba is actually a bit helpful.

" We spend so much time together down here in Scooba," says defensive back A.J. Stamps. "Less distraction and more competition... that's really what makes the team."

But the school's quiet location doesn't free them of all challenges .

"They've got to balance class. They've got to balance football with getting ready and prepared, and then they've got division one college coaches calling them and trying to get them to go to their school. And it's a tough thing," says Stephens. "A lot of their time is monopolized."

"We all want to play at the next level. I hope that's what everyone's dream is since they've been a little kid. But at the time, we've got to focus on now," says Stamps. "Our motto is W.I.N., what's important now, and winning at East Mississippi is what's important now. If we win here, that's what will get us out to the next level."

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