CATEGORY: FOC College Football

AUTHOR: WHEELE

HED: Despite loss, ICC still in North Division playoff hunt

By D.E. Wheeler

Daily Journal

FULTON All is not bad after for the Itawamba Community College Indians.

Despite a 28-17 loss to Mississippi Delta Saturday, and despite being 3-3 overall, Itawamba's playoff chances are still very much alive and well. But that also means that the Indians must hold up their end by winning their last four games, starting with Coahoma Community College today in Clarksdale.

"We're still in the hunt," Itawamba coach Jay Miller said of his Indians' North Division title chances. "There are only two undefeated teams in the division, Holmes and Northwest.

"Both have to play us, both have to play each other, and both have to play Delta."

Both Holmes and Northwest are 3-0 in the division while ICC and Delta are both 1-1. And in the competitive world of Mississippi junior college football, both Itawamba and Delta still have shots at the lone playoff berth out of the North.

But while Miller is still looking at the playoffs out of the corner of one eye, he is mainly staring at unpredictable Coahoma (0-6, 0-3), which ICC plays at 7 p.m.

"All of the games are important, but this is a game you always dread because Coahoma is up and down," Miller said. "I just don't know what kind of team we're up against.

"They may be real good, or they may be real bad."

After the pain of Saturday's loss subsided, and with time to look at the game films, Miller is feeling better about the Indians' effort against Delta.

"Despite everything, we probably played better against Delta than I thought we had Saturday," Miller said. "They really only had six big plays that hurt us, and some of those were our own dumb mistakes."

One play Miller pointed towards that was not a mistake by the Indians, but a good effort by Delta was the first score of the game. Delta running back Corey Holmes came out of the backfield, made a good site adjustment on a pass, then broke three tackles to complete a 64-yard touchdown.

"Other than than those big plays, the game wasn't that bad," Miller said. "But Delta does have a good football team."

Team Notes: After six games, Miller can point to at least three players who have contributed more than originally expected. Two are from Tupelo freshmen Cameron Coleman and John Bradley. Coleman, a safety, is in only his second season of organized football and is third on the team in tackles. "Talking about guys you don't expect to get much mileage out of," Miller said. At tight end, Bradley is leading the team in receptions. And on a once battered offensive line, Miller points towards the play of sophomore Justin Swan of Amory as a reason for that unit's resurgence.

Thursday Schedule

Itawamba at Coahoma, 7 p.m.

East Mississippi at Northeast, 6:30 p.m.

Northwest at Southwest, 7 p.m.

Mississippi Delta at Holmes, 7 p.m.

Jones at Hinds, 7 p.m.

Saturday Schedule

Copiah-Lincoln at Pearl River, 6 p.m.

Gulf Coast at East Central, 2:30 p.m.

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