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Bulldogs drop to 8 in poll overhaul

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Three of the NJCAA’s top four teams, including No. 1 Navarro, lost during a wild sixth weekend of football.  As the Bulldogs became the second top-ranked team to go down in as many weeks, the NJCAA’s first computer rankings became a new factor in the poll released Tuesday.

Georgia Military College (6-0), which has beaten two No. 2 teams (Snow and Iowa Western) plus a No. 10 team (ASA), zoomed from fifth to first in the new rankings. Coach Bert Williams’ Bulldogs only had two votes from regional voters, but totaled 200.5 points to edge East Mississippi.

Coach Buddy Stephens’ Lions (5-0) had to be peeved.  On the heels of Saturday’s NJCAA record-tying 90-7 Homecoming victory over Coahoma, the EMCC Lions continue to lead the NJCAA in both scoring offense and scoring defense.  Having outscored their 2013 opposition by a composite point total of 337-13 on the year, the Lions are scoring an average of 67.4 points and allowing just 2.6 points per outing through the first five games of the season.  EMCC’s quick-strike offense has bettered its game scoring totals each week (49-59-69-70-90), while the Lions’ stifling defense has recorded 18-of-20 shutout quarters on the year.  Their five victims — including three teams with 0-5 marks – have a combined record of 5-20.

Now 49-10 (.831) overall and 29-3 (.906) in division play dating back to the 2008 season, East Mississippi will be looking to secure career win No. 50 and division victory No. 30 for Stephens when the Lions travel to Goodman on Thursday to take on the 1-4 Bulldogs of Holmes Community College.

Behind East Mississippi are two other MACJC teams — Jones County at No. 3 and Itawamba at No. 4.  Counting No. 9 Copiah-Lincoln and No. 10 Mississippi Gulf Coast, the 14-team Mississippi conference currently has five Top 10 clubs.

Nassau, NY., one of 8 unbeaten remaining in the latest rankings, climbed to 5th overall.  NCC has a battle looming with top-ranked GMC in Milledgeville, Ga., in two weeks.

They all took advantages of losses Saturday by Navarro, Iowa Western, and Copiah-Lincoln.

Coach Danny Palmer’s unbeaten Tyler Apaches wrested the badge from Navarro as the NJCAA’s highest-ranked Southwest Junior College Football Conference team.  The 6th-rated Apaches welcome coach Brian Mayper’s No. 8 Bulldogs to Trinity Mother Frances-Rose Stadium for a 7 pm Saturday as the East Texas Fair continues.

The Bulldogs suffered a 35-7 loss to rival Trinity Valley in a weather-delayed game at Tiger Stadium last Saturday.  Navarro saw a winning streak of 7 games spanning two seasons come to an end.  The Bulldogs, now 35-3 at Tiger Stadium since the end of 2006, also saw regular-season home winning streaks of 29 games overall and 23 in conference play wiped out.

NJCAA FOOTBALL POLL

No., Team                          Record

1. Georgia Military College     6-0

2. East Mississippi                    5-0

3. Jones County                         5-0

4. Itawamba                               5-0

5. Nassau                                    5-0

6. Tyler                                   5-0

7. Iowa Western                         5-1

8. Navarro                            4-1

9. Copiah-Lincoln                     4-1

10. Mississippi Gulf Coast       4-1

11. Scottsdale                              4-1

12. Arizona Western                 5-1

13. Rochester                              5-0

14. Dodge City                            5-1

15. Butler                                     4-1

16. Garden City                          4-1

17. Louisburg                              5-0

18. Minnesota West                  4-1

19. Ridgewater                           4-1

20. ASA                                        2-1