ICC up against star power

Lauren Wood | Buy at photos.djournal.com ICC quarterback Griff Loftis is averaging 310 passing yards per game.

Lauren Wood | Buy at photos.djournal.com
ICC quarterback Griff Loftis is averaging 310 passing yards per game.

By David Wheeler

Special to the Journal

The Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges 2013 football playoffs has more than its share of star power.

In fact, three of the four teams in the bracket are ranked in the Top 5 nationally by the NJCAA.

Jon Williams does not mind that other teams have that glitz and dazzle, as long as his Itawamba Indians maintain their focus.

The Indians travel to the No. 4 Jones County Bobcats on Saturday for semifinal action in the MACJC State Tournament, with a 3 p.m. kickoff.

“The focus for us all along this season is to take one week at a time,” Williams said. “When all the dust settles, we have our tenth opportunity to play 60 more minutes of football.

“You can over analysis things and lose the simplicity of the game – you have still got to block, and you have still got to tackle.”

Itawamba (6-3, 4-2) is the No. 2 seed from the North Division, while Jones (8-1, 5-1) is the South No. 1 seed.

Itawamba comes into the contest following a 59-13 loss to No. 2 nationally ranked East Mississippi (9-0, 6-0), which is on the other side of the bracket hosting No. 5 Mississippi Gulf Coast (8-1, 5-1) at 2 p.m. Saturday. Jones is fresh off a 52-3 victory against Northwest.

“Jones is an explosive football team, and they love to throw the ball deep,” Williams said. “The scary thing about them, they have the mentality that when the ball is in the air, it’s theirs.”

Williams feels that ICC has had success throwing the ball also this season. Mooreville sophomore quarterback Griff Loftis comes into the contest averaging 310 yards per game passing, with Fulton sophomore Shante Rogers leading the team at 60.3 yards per game receiving.

The ICC head coach also likes the season effort of the offensive line, led by center Tony Holmes. The tackle rotation of Greg Hadley from Amory, Kyle Harris Ga., and Joeseph Baccchus from Southaven has also been effective.