By David Wheeler/NEMS Daily Journal
FULTON – It’s no secret that Mississippi community college football is highly-competitive.
The Itawamba Indians have felt the extreme nature of that competition, as evident last week by their 48-7 loss to the East Mississippi Lions, ranked No. 4 in the nation.
But the Indians still have control of a successful season firmly in their hands, a fact they hope to demonstrate Saturday as they host the Mississippi Delta Trojans for homecoming in a 5 p.m. contest.
“We use our league as motivation in that anybody can beat anybody,” ICC coach Jon Williams said. “East has as good a defensive line as I’ve seen in this league in a long time, and it was hard for us to generate anything offensively.
“They were as good or better than we thought they would be. But we’re still upbeat, and we still feel we can beat anybody, and I would rather be good in the middle and at the end of the season.”
On the positive side from the East Mississippi contest, Williams points out that the Indians (0-4, 0-1) defense showed its ability to cause turnovers, with Ashton Ballard grabbing one of two interceptions. Ballard has four for the season, putting him in second place in the state.
“We have to accept the positive that’s been displayed by our defense, and keep making changes where needed,” Williams said. “And we have to generate more offense than we have been.”
Generating that offense will be a challenge against Delta (0-4, 0-1) which ranks third in the state in total defense, allowing 226 yards per game.
“The biggest thing is that we have to sustain drives and move the chains,” Williams said. “And that starts with staying in good down and distance situations.
“Their defense has a lot of speed. They’re very simple in what they do, which allows them to play fast.”
Looking to poke holes in the Trojans defense will be cousins DeShawn McGaughy from Fulton and Keon McGaughy from Shannon. DeShawn leads ICC in rushing with 171 yards from scrimmage, while Keon has 134 yards on the ground.