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East Mississippi Community College wins the NJCAA national championship

East Mississippi Community College took home the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) national title Sunday night with a 52-32 win over Georgia Military College. The win completes a 12-0 season for the Lions and gives EMCC two national titles in three seasons. EMCC also posted a 12-0 national championship season in 2011.

"So many of our guys had big games or made big plays that all contributed to the win in the end," EMCC head coach Buddy Stephens said. "I honestly could not be prouder of the way our young men played and I'm so happy for all they've accomplished.

"Our guys were looking forward to this from the very first day of summer. They were focused and they showed tremendous leadership. I love these kids, love our fans, love East Mississippi Community College."

EMCC trailed 16-14 after one quarter, but outscored Georgia Military 30-13 over the second and third quarters to take a commanding 44-32 lead heading into the final frame. The Lions accounted for 585 yards of total offense on 76 plays (7.7 per play), rushing 40 times for 260 yards and completing 16-of-36 passes for 325 yards. 

It was a fitting end for the top offense in NJCAA history and one of the highest-producing offenses in college football. EMCC finished the season averaging 62.2 points per game and 608.9 yards per game. The Lions threw for 355.4 yards per game on 9.4 yards per completion, and rushed 253.5 yards per game on 6.5 yards per rush. 

"To get that second national championship," Stephens added, "to go out and beat a team like (NJCAA Football Coaches Hall of Famer) Bert Williams' No. 1 ranked team and put yourself on a national stage, I really think our program made a statement.

"I've said it before and I'll say it again: Our administration had a vision to make our athletics successful and let the school build off that success and they've given us everything we needed to be successful.

"I love being at EMCC and the school has paid us back ten-fold. It truly is a great time to be at East Mississippi Community College."

Congratulations to Coach Stephens and his staff.