PERKINSTON – No. 3 East Mississippi defeated No. 13 Kilgore 27-17 in the 2016 Mississippi Bowl at A.L. May Memorial Stadium in Perkinston on Sunday.
Vijay Miller finished off a five-play, 80-yard drive with a 2-yard plunge to break a 14-14 halftime tie. De’Andre Johnson ran for 59 yarsd on the opening play of the drive, and later had a 19-yard competition to Damion Willis to set up the touchdown.
The Lions are undefeated in four Mississippi Bowl appearances. MACJC teams have won eight of the nine Mississippi Bowls.
Johnson was named Mississippi Bowl Offensive MVP for the Lions (11-1) after completing 16 of 30 passes for 163 yards and rushing for another 84 yards on 13 carries. He also was named Mississippi Bowl Committee Player of the Year for the season.
Johnson connected with Willis for a 22-yard touchdown later in the third quarter to push the Lions’ margin to 27-14.
Kilgore (6-5) got a 28-yard Alvin Kenworthy field goal with 10:15 left, but would get no closer.
Raphael Leonard caught a 36-yard touchdown pass from Miller just over five minutes into the game, and Jacquez Horsley made it 14-0 with a 1-yard run just before the end of the quarter.
Kilgore didn’t have a first down in the first quarter, but backup Cam Martin gave the Rangers a spark after the starting quarterback was injured. Marquis Broussard ran in a 14-yard score on that drive.
Martin connected with Zach Newbell on a 25-yard strike just 65 seconds later to tie it up. The Rangers missed a 31-yard field goal at the first-half buzzer that would have given them a lead.
Martin was named Kilgore’s Offensive MVP by finishing 25-of-31 for 218 yards and a touchdown. Defensive lineman Matthew McClellan earned the Defensive MVP award by compiling five tackles, including two sacks among his 2.5 tackles for loss.
Linebacker Diamante Pounds was East Mississippi’s Defensive MVP. He had nine tackles, including two sacks and three tackles for loss.
- Download complete 2016 Mississippi Bowl stats.
Mississippi Bowl results
2008: Gulf Coast 41, Georgia Military College 7
2009: East Mississippi 27, Arizona Western 24
2010: Gulf Coast 62, Grand Rapids 53
2011: Gulf Coast 46, Blinn 17
2012: Garden City 31, Copiah-Lincoln 29
2013: East Mississippi 52, Georgia Military College 32
2014: East Mississippi 34, Iowa Western 17
2015: Northwest Mississippi 66, Rochester 13
2016: East Mississippi 27, Kilgore 17