Mississippi Bowl week begins

Team captains from MGCCC (left) and Grand Rapids shake hands before the 2010 Miss. Bowl.

Preparing for bowl games is nothing new for Blinn College and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Blinn, the No. 5 ranked team in the NJCAA, is playing init’s fourth straight bowl game while Gulf Coast is geared up for it’s fifth straight bowl contest. The Buccaneers (9-1) and Bulldogs (9-2) are set to tangle at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Fourth Annual Mississippi Bowl in Biloxi.

“I’m extremely excited for the players and coaches who worked so hard this season,” said Blinn head coach Ronny Feldman. “We are proud to represent Blinn College and the Brenham community in one of the top junior college bowls in the country against one of the top teams.”

Blinn comes to Biloxi with the NJCAA’S third ranked offense, which averages nearly 513 yards per game an has scored 50 or more points five times in 2011. The Bucs began the 2011 season ranked #4 and then spent five weeks at No. 1 before dropping a 37-34 overtime decision to Tyler on Nov. 5. Blinn is led by quarterback Eric Matthews, who threw for 2,399 yards and 20TD’s in 2011. He also racked up 717 yards and 13 TD’S on the ground. The Bucs offense also relies on running back Marion Grace (1,052 yards, 16 TD’S) and wide receiver Xavier Maxwell (630 yards, 6 TD’S.)

Gulf Coast once again won the MAJC South Division title in 2011 and made its fifth straight trip to the MACJC title game. The Bulldogs feature running back James Gillum (931 yards, 7 TD’S) and NJCAA All-American wide receiver Javon Bell (822 yards, 8 TD’S).

“The Mississippi Bowl is the one you want to go to,” said Gulf Coast head coach Steve Campbell. “This is a great reward for our players and a great opportunity to play a top-ranked team like Blinn.”

On Friday both coaches will take part in the Mississippi Bowl news conference set for 5 p.m. at the Bay Breeze Event Center on Keesler Air Force Base, followed by the Mississippi Bowl Banquet. On Dec. 3 both teams will hold walk-through practices at Biloxi Indian Stadium and visit local Boys and Girls Club centers. Sunday’s game, which is set to kickoff at 2 p.m., can be seen via streaming video at www.mississippibowl.com and heard on 103.1 FM WOSM.

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