The first-ever Mississippi Bowl is literally a dogfight.
The Georgia Military College Bulldogs (9-1, ranked No. 3 in the NJCAA poll) has accepted a bid to take on the 2008 MACJC State Champion and 2007 NJCAA Co-National Champion Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Bulldogs (9-2, ranked No. 7 in the NJCAA poll) in the Mississippi Bowl Sunday, Dec. 7, at 2 p.m. at Biloxi Indian Stadium in Biloxi, Ms.
“We are thrilled to have an outstanding matchup like this between two high-caliber teams,” said Ladd Taylor, Gulf Coast Athletic Director. “Both colleges bring tradition, honor, and a hunger to win to this ground-breaking event. It should be a terrific football game and three days of food, fun, and entertainment for everyone involved.”
Gulf Coast qualified for the Mississippi Bowl by defeating archrival Pearl River 52-7 in the MACJC State Championship game Nov. 8 at the college’s Perkinston Campus. It marked the first time the Bulldogs have won back-to-back MACJC state titles since 1966-67. In 2007, Gulf Coast went 12-0 and earned a share of the NJCAA national title with Butler (Kansas) Community College. The 2008 squad is currently riding a five-game winning streak and has outscored its opponents 220-64.
Gulf Coast also ranked No. 4 in the nation in rushing offense (No. 18 overall offense) and No. 3 in the nation in rushing defense (No. 30 overall defense).
“Georgia Military College will be a major challenge for us,” said Gulf Coast head coach Steve Campbell. “If you look at what they’ve done this season, they’re certainly a tough football team.”
Georgia Military comes into the contest raiding its own eight-game winning streak, with the Bulldogs only loss coming to No. 1 ranked Navarro 25-13 back on Sept. 6. Since then, the Bulldogs have scored 40 points or more in five of their seven wins. Georgia Military’s passing offense is ranked No. 4 in the nation (No. 11 overall offense) while the Bulldog’s run defense is ranked No. 4 in the nation (No. 6 overall defense).
“We are very excited to have the opportunity to play in the inaugural Mississippi Bowl against one of the top teams in the country,” said Bert Williams, Georgia Military head football coach and athletic director. “I think fans will be able to witness two of the best programs in junior college football playing each other in quite possibly the best bowl event in junior college. We are very grateful to the bowl committee for extending us the invitation and we look forward to the entire weekend in Biloxi.”
Gulf Coast has won four national championships in football (1948, 1971, 1984, and 2007) while Georgia Military won the 2001 national title and finished as NJCAA runners-up in 2002 and 2005.
In 2008, Gulf Coast played and defeated NJCAA ranked teams three times, while Georgia Military has played ranked teams twice this season and gone 1-1.
“Gulf Coast has been one of the top-flight programs in the country and will be a great opponent for our team,” Williams added. “They are extremely strong on both sides of the ball and I think it will be a great matchup in the bowl game. The fans will see a very hard fought, exciting game December 7.”
Mississippi Bowl committee chairman Dr. Willis Lott will make a formal announcement on Georgia Military accepting a bid play in the event on Thursday, Nov. 20, at 2:30 p.m. at the college’s Jefferson Davis Campus. Fans can access more bowl game information at www.mississippibowl.com.
The Mississippi Bowl can be heard on WAOY 91.7 FM, and via streaming audio at www.mgccc.edu.