MILLEDGEVILLE — In the highly anticipated match-up between No. 1 Georgia Military College and No. 2 East Mississippi Community College on Sunday, Dec. 8 in the 2013 National Junior College Athletic Association football national championship at The Mississippi Bowl in Biloxi, Miss., the local Bulldogs came up short of the title by a score of 52-32.
Both teams came out of the blocks firing on all cylinders, each scoring on their first drive of the game to tie it up 7-7 within the first minute and a half of the first quarter.
With momentum shifting towards GMC in the first, the team faked the extra point after scoring to make it 13-7, but Bulldog kicker Brandon Rutherford was unable to turn the corner towards the end zone.
Rutherford made up for the missed 2-point conversion earlier in the quarter by later knocking down a field goal off of a Quintavius Knight interception to lead going into the second quarter 16-14.
Going into the ball game, it was understood that GMC would have to battle an explosive offense that can not only pass the football effectively, but run it as well.
The Lions demonstrated that in the second quarter with Lakenderic Thomas capitalizing on a few Bulldog mistakes and posting big yards to propel EMCC to a 24-19 lead at halftime.
GMC’s Jovon Robinson showed why he is the leading tailback in the NJCAA, surpassing his previous longest rush this season going 74 yards for a touchdown to put the Bulldogs up 25-24 right out of the locker room.
Robinson ended the day with three trips to the end zone against the Lions.
EMCC took over midway through the third quarter to grab the lead and never look back, giving GMC their first loss of the season
After running the table this season against many of the toughest teams in the NJCAA, the Bulldogs fall to 11-1 for 2013 and respectively finish as the runner-up in the league.