Clinton, MS – North Greenville led early but wasn’t able to hold on as Mississippi College earned the conference win over the Crusaders 39-27.
North Greenville went up 14-0 early in the first quarter capitalizing on its first two drives. Semaj Lakin scored his first touchdown of the season while London Johnson found Kyle Belack for another score to put NGU up two scores early on in the game.
The momentum quickly turned though in the second frame after a long punt return from the Choctaws set them up for their first score which made it 14-7. Mississippi College tacked on another score a few minutes later but trailed 14-13 after missing the PAT.
North Greenville added one more score in the second period as Jordan Helms was found by Johnson in the end-zone, matching a second quarter TD by the Choctaws. The score would be 21-20 in favor of NGU. The Crusaders had an opportunity to extend its lead before the half, but a turnover on downs after a failed attempt on fourth down was converted into a touchdown for MC, giving the Choctaws a 26-21 lead at intermission.
Kyle Belack earned his second score of the night in the fourth quarter which put the Crusaders back in front 27-26. Belack finished the game with 92-yards on seven catches. Johnson finished with a season high 259 yards to go along with three touchdowns. He connected with six different receivers in the effort.
Mississippi College answered the Belack touchdown with a pair of quick touchdowns including one offensive score and one touchdown on defense. The Choctaws got a rushing touchdown to re-take the lead 32-27 after a failed two-point attempt, and were able to get some separation from North Greenville after an interception returned for a score extended the lead to 12-points.
In the end, NGU’s best offensive effort of the season fell short. A pair of fourth down turnovers would allow the Choctaws to run down the clock and earn their first Gulf South win of the season and first over a team not named Shorter College.
North Greenville finished the night with a season high 466-yards offensively including 207 yards on the ground. Semaj Lakin led the Crusaders with 77 and a touchdown. Matthew Martin was the second leading receiver with 64-yards on five catches while Helms finished with 44-yards and a touchdown.
Johnny Worthy finished the night as the leading tackler with seven stops. Caleb Bynum led the team with a pair of TFL’s while Chauncy Haney and Bynum were both credited with a sack.
North Greenville hosts Delta State next Saturday at 7 PM in Younts Stadium.