National juco title game today in Biloxi

Bob Smith | EMCC East Mississippi running back Lakenderic Thomas, from West Point, has rushed for 1,086 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Bob Smith | EMCC
East Mississippi running back Lakenderic Thomas, from West Point, has rushed for 1,086 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Daily Journal reports

BILOXI – The junior college national football championship is up for grabs today as No. 1 Georgia Military plays second-ranked East Mississippi in the sixth annual Mississippi Bowl.

“Both teams found a way to get through the season unscathed,” Georgia Military coach Bert Williams said. ”It will be a special game for us in this atmosphere. It’s a great opportunity to play a great team.”

His team has won its games by an average score of 46-17; East Mississippi won by an average score of 63-7 on the way to its third state title in five years.

The game kicks off at 2 p.m. at Biloxi Indian Stadium. Live streaming video will be available at www.mississippibowl.com.

Five things to watch

Area ties: There are seven significant East Mississippi players with ties to the Daily Journal circulation area.

Kicker and punter Drew White (Tupelo) has 105 points this season and is the school’s all-time single-season scoring leader.

Lankendrick Thomas (West Point) has rushed for 1,086 yards and TD TDs. The offensive line includes Wiley Maddox (Bruce) and Brandon Hodges (Aberdeen).

The defense includes linemen Zavia Forshee (Aberdeen; 23 tackles and 2 sacks) and Wesley Ragin (Saltillo; 19 tackles, 1 sack) and linebacker Justin Lucas (Aberdeen; 22 tackles, 1.5 sacks).

Road warriors: Six of Georgia Military’s games were played on the road – several far away from home, including an Aug. 31 trip to play Snow College in Utah.

“We have an interesting challenge each and every year being an independent,” Williams said. ”We have to reach far and wide to find people to play. The seven-hour trip from home to Biloxi was shorter than most of our other trips.”

Recruit watch: Georgia Military RB Akeem Judd is an Ole Miss commitment. The team’s top prospect, DE DaVonte Lambert, plans to sign with Tennessee.

East Mississippi DE D.J. Pettway has offers from Ole Miss, Florida State and Tennessee. DT Jarran Reed is commited to Alabama.

Fast risers: While East Mississippi has been among the nation’s top-ranked teams all season, Georgia Military was unranked in the preseason. The Bulldogs moved into the No. 1 spot in the first week of October.

Championship experience: Both schools have won national titles – Georgia Military in 2001 and East Mississippi, led by QB Bo Wallace, in 2011.