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East Mississippi wins NJCAA Football National Championship

The title is the second straight for the Lions while the program’s five championships have all come since 2011.

Posted: Nov 30, 2018 12:28 AM
Updated: Nov 30, 2018 12:29 AM

PITTSBURG, Kan. (WTVA/NJCAA) – The 2018 NJCAA eTeamSponsor Football National Championship game came down to a defensive struggle, but it was No. 1 East Mississippi who prevailed with a 10-9 victory over No. 2 Garden City on Thursday night at Carnie Smith Stadium on the campus of Pittsburg State University.

The title is the fifth in program history for the Lions.

In the first-ever NJCAA national championship event on live national television, East Mississippi used a second quarter fumble recovery returned for a touchdown by Everitt Cunningham to pull away from Garden City. The lone touchdown for the Lions made the difference as the East Mississippi defense stopped a fourth quarter two-point conversion attempt by the Broncbusters to seal the victory.

Cunningham’s performance on the defensive front led to top honors as the sophomore was tabbed the eTeamSponsor Most Valuable Player. Along with Cunningham’s fumble recovery for a touchdown, the defensive lineman tallied eight tackles, one tackle for a loss, and a second fumble recovery.

East Mississippi head coach Buddy Stephens collected his fifth national championship as the Lions finished a perfect 12-0 on the year. Stephens’ overall record now sits at 110-13 with a winning percentage of .894, the best mark in NJCAA football history.

The title is the second straight for the Lions while the program’s five championships have all come since 2011.
Four of the Lions’ five titles have come with a perfect 12-0 record.
Garden City’s season-long effort of dominating the run game continued as the Broncbusters tallied 255 yards on the ground as Charles West ran for a game-high 114 and Dedrick Mills added 79 on 28 attempts.
Mills provided Garden City’s only touchdown, a one-yard run with 7:49 to play in the fourth quarter.
Josh Smith provided East Mississippi’s only other points with a first quarter field goal from 36 yards.
Aside from Mills’ touchdown run, Garden City’s scoring effort came from Ben Raybon with a 24-yard field goal in the third quarter.
Defensive teammates Untareo Johnson and JaQuez Akins teamed up for the crucial two-point conversion stop late in the fourth quarter that all be clinched the victory for the Lions.
Messiah deWeaver completed 17-29 passes for East Mississippi.
Eriq Kitchen led the champions with a game-high 13 tackles, including 2.5 stops for a loss.
Deric Rucker led the defensive unit for Garden City with 10 total tackles and a forced fumble on the night.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 473413

Reported Deaths: 9214
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison32339474
Hinds30703575
DeSoto29814346
Jackson23263336
Rankin21111358
Lee14600217
Madison14043265
Jones13165218
Forrest12953233
Lauderdale11418297
Lowndes10249175
Lamar10048128
Pearl River8737209
Lafayette8078136
Hancock7324111
Washington6837147
Oktibbeha6820118
Neshoba6404201
Monroe6372158
Warren6326161
Pontotoc610393
Panola6071124
Bolivar6016143
Marshall5972118
Union564086
Pike5491133
Lincoln5232130
Alcorn520888
George457868
Scott451993
Leflore4401140
Prentiss437276
Itawamba436198
Tippah436180
Simpson4268111
Copiah425586
Wayne424863
Tate4234100
Adams4219114
Yazoo415886
Sunflower4088104
Covington407391
Marion4032100
Leake393185
Coahoma388198
Newton364474
Grenada3517101
Stone345657
Tishomingo324888
Attala321185
Jasper310262
Winston300391
Clay288273
Chickasaw282164
Clarke277487
Calhoun259739
Holmes259485
Smith243947
Yalobusha216747
Tallahatchie215649
Walthall205557
Greene204045
Lawrence203831
Perry196453
Amite193751
Webster191941
Noxubee174538
Montgomery169853
Jefferson Davis165541
Carroll159937
Tunica148434
Benton139433
Kemper137439
Claiborne125634
Choctaw124925
Humphreys123337
Franklin115227
Quitman101825
Wilkinson99835
Jefferson86632
Sharkey62120
Issaquena1916
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 764839

Reported Deaths: 13048
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1089971721
Mobile698041173
Madison48181574
Baldwin35619445
Shelby35053289
Tuscaloosa32903508
Montgomery32475655
Lee21787203
Calhoun19941374
Morgan19234315
Etowah18509422
Marshall17217258
Houston16028347
St. Clair14866275
Limestone14059179
Elmore13943241
Cullman13942234
Lauderdale13030266
Talladega12307211
DeKalb11829226
Walker10171306
Autauga9439124
Blount9357149
Jackson9055136
Coffee8625157
Colbert8287164
Dale8241151
Escambia6436103
Tallapoosa6353166
Covington6291154
Chilton6215129
Russell590154
Franklin561294
Chambers5211130
Dallas4610176
Marion4579114
Clarke449471
Pike448289
Geneva4223102
Winston404685
Lawrence4040101
Bibb394776
Barbour337067
Marengo319979
Monroe310346
Butler308483
Pickens298369
Randolph291655
Henry291455
Hale285281
Cherokee278249
Fayette270671
Washington242645
Crenshaw231664
Clay220761
Macon213254
Cleburne208746
Lamar186339
Conecuh176538
Lowndes168756
Coosa162531
Wilcox153934
Bullock146842
Perry134035
Sumter122935
Greene118541
Choctaw72225
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