East Mississippi wins 5th National Championship with 10-9 win over Garden City

PITTSBURG, Kan. -- Buddy Stephens was emotional last season after winning his fourth national title at East Mississippi Community College, saying that no one in Mississippi had ever won four.

Stephens continues to separate himself from the rest of the state with National Championship number five.

The EMCC Lions narrowly defeated Garden City Community College in the 2018 NJCAA National Championship game Thursday night, 10-9. The second consecutive championship victory for East Mississippi.

Both sides put together outstanding performances on defense, holding the other to under 300 total yards on the night. The only touchdown in the game came from Lions defensive lineman Everitt Cunningham, who stripped Broncbusters running back Charles West of the football, returning 11 yards to give EMCC a 10-0 lead.

Garden City closed the gap in the second half with consistent success in the rushing attack, capped off by a Dedrick Mills 1-yard run on 4th and goal. GCCC coach Jeff Sims elected to go for two to give the Broncbusters a one-point lead, but the Lions defense stopped the attempt short of the goal line.

The Lions defense forced four Garden City turnovers, capping the night with Everitt Cunningham recovering his second fumble of the night to give EMCC the victory.

The win gives the Lions a 12-0 finish in 2018. Buddy Stephens is now 110-13 during his time at East Mississippi.