Mississippi College Athletics had a busy weekend, with the final football game of the year coming just hours before the Men’s Basketball team opened their season.
The Choctaws closed out their final ASC season with a 56-30 loss to the #2 ranked University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.
Junior Quarterback Jonathon Redd produced 329 offensive yards and 4 touchdowns. Redd impressed this season, completing 58 percent of his passes for 1948 yards on his way to 18 touchdowns, and adding 323 yards-rushing and 11 scores. He is the first player in Mississippi College history to record double digit touchdown numbers for both passing and rushing categories.
Junior Jake Weddle forced his third fumble of the season, and recorded 18 tackles, raising his total to 125 on the year. That mark inscribes him in the MC record books with the 3rd most tackles in a single season.
Senior Doc Ward brought down Zach Anderson of UMHB for a 17 yard sack. On the year, he totaled 3.5 sacks for 45 yards, in addition to 6 tackles in the backfield for 50 yards. He also forced a fumble.
Freshmen receiver Matthew Rubal recorded his first two scores of the year in the game, both in the second quarter. The first score was a 78-yard pass from Redd, a yard shy of the quarterback’s season long 79-yarder.
Eight seniors played their final game for Mississippi College and were honored before kickoff.
MC finished with a 4-6 mark, a steady improvement over last year’s dismal 2-8 record. The Choctaws were predicted to finish fourth in the ASC in the preseason, but took third to second place Louisiana College. UMHB clinched its 9th straight ASC conference championship.
Next season, the Choctaws will face Division II opponents as they enter the transitional years into DII. The schedule will be sure to feature formidable Gulf South Conference competition, as MC is destined to finalize their return to the conference in 2016.
In the dome, the Mississippi College Men’s Basketball season started their season with a win. They defeated visiting Pensacola Christian College (2-4) 73-61, nearly cloning their 74-61 season opener vs PCC a year ago.
The Choctaws were led by transfer Junior Rayner Fredrick, who did not miss a shot from the field on his way to 18 points. Fredrick nailed each of his 4 shots from beyond the arc, but missed 2 free throw attempts. He also grabbed a team-high 7 rebounds and contributed 6 assists in his MC debut.
Lankin Ford added 13 points, and matched Fredrick’s 7 rebounds. Jaron Edwards and Jay Case each contributed 10 points, rounding out the double-digit scorers for MC. Edwards led the team with 8 assists.
As a team, the Choctaws shot 47 percent from the floor, including a 39 percent mark from beyond the three-point line.
The team will not play again until the Nov. 26, when they will host Rust College.
Mississippi College is ineligible for the NCAA postseason competition due to the ongoing transition to Division II.
The men’s cross country team competed in the National Christian College Athletic Association Division I National Championship meet, and took 18th place, with a team time of 28:18.25 in the 8k. Freshman Ryan Campbell finished first for the Choctaws with a 26:27.43 mark, good for 20th overall.
The women’s team sent two competitors to the NCCAA Championships, Meredith Johnson and Mallory Montgomery.
Women’s & Men’s Soccer
The women’s soccer team, who posted a 12-6 regular season record, fought to extend their year on Friday.
MC faced off against Tennessee Temple, and won with a 5-1 mark in Clinton. The Choctaws outshot TTU 25-3 on their way to victory. The win advances them to the NCCAA Mid-East Region Tournament.
Kaitlyn Kiss, Becca Dupuy, and Kristen Little all tallied their 8th goals of the season. Lauren Prescott contributed 2 assists.
The Choctaws will be back in action against Campbellsville University this Friday, in Cleveland, Tenn.
The men’s soccer team awaits the date and location of their first postseason match.
– Andy O’Brien, Sports Editor