BILOXI – For the second year in a row, the Mississippi Bowl will host the NJCAA National Championship game. This year’s game between No.1-ranked East Mississippi Community College and No. 2-ranked Iowa Western Community College, the two most recent national champions, will kickoff at 2 p.m. on December 7 at Biloxi Indian Stadium.
East Mississippi CC Lions reclaimed the nation’s top spot in the new NJCAA Top 20 poll this week after spending two weeks at the runner-up position behind now-No. 2 Iowa Western Community College. This is the second year EMCC has hosted the championship at the Mississippi Bowl, playing and defeating the No. 1-ranked Georgia Military College Bulldogs in 2013.
“The NJCAA is pleased to again have its national championship football game be part of the prestigious Mississippi Bowl,” Bryce Roderick, NJCAA president, said. “Iowa Western and East Mississippi have both been impressive this season. It will be an exciting matchup that will showcase some of the top student-athletes in the NJCAA. These are the types of opportunities we strive to provide to the student-athletes of the NJCAA and we could not do it without the great partnerships we have with people like Ladd Taylor, Bert Pickard and their hard working staff of volunteers with the Mississippi Bowl.”
The EMCC Lions, finishing the season 11-0, are the returning national champions. They also took the championship in 2011 and have four MACJC State/NJCAA Region 23 titles under the belt (in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2014).
“We’re very excited and honored for the opportunity to represent Mississippi in another terrific Mississippi Bowl match-up against an outstanding Iowa Western ball club,” Buddy Stephens, EMCC’s head football coach, said. “We’re extremely thankful and very proud to be playing for another national championship on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Title sponsors Dub Herring and Barry Harper always do a tremendous job putting on a very special event for the teams and fans. Likewise, the city of Biloxi provides an excellent venue for the players, coaches and fans. And the staffs at Biloxi High School and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College are always such gracious hosts.”
Iowa Western CC Reivers, finishing the season 11-0, will play their second national championship game in three years, having claimed the title in 2012.
We feel extremely fortunate to be able to play in this years National Championship game,” Scott Strohmeier, head coach at Iowa Western, said. “Our team is excited about the opportunity to play against a very talented East Mississippi squad.”
The three-day event features off-the-field activities, including players from both teams spending time with local children at two Boys and Girls club locations on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. New this year, a former MVP from a previous Mississippi Bowl will be selected for the bowl’s Hall of Fame. An announcement about that selection will be made in the next few weeks.
The Mississippi Bowl can be viewed via streaming video.
Kickoff is set for Sunday, Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. at Biloxi Indian Stadium.