Rewind Back to Choctaw Football/by Elliot Reeder
I decided that since we do not have sports going on right now that I would look back at football season and do a full season recap of the Mississippi College 2019 football season.
Things really started to click this season for the Choctaws. The triple option offense started taking over games and the defense became a force. After a week one loss to Division I Alcorn State, MC returned home and overcame a 10-0 halftime deficit to tie the game with Albany State at 17-17. Then Jaylin Jones scored with 27 seconds left to give the Choctaws the 24-17 win. Then in game three, MC outscored North Greenville 26-13 in the final three quarters to knock off NGU 39-27 and start off 1-0 in GSC play and improve to 2-1 on the year.
Then MC would hit the road again to take on eventual Division II National Champions in West Florida. MC jumped out to a 14-0 lead before West Florida came back to take a 21-14 lead in the fourth quarter. Then quarterback Detric Hawthorn scored from five yards out on the last play of regulation to tie the game up at 21 and send it into overtime. West Florida would eventually score the walk off TD in overtime to win 27-21. Then, still on the road, MC would take on number one ranked Valdosta State. Valdosta State jumped out to a 14-0 lead, but then MC came back and cut the lead to 21-17. Valdosta State would pull away with three touchdowns in the final 16 minutes to win 42-17 and knock the Choctaws to 2-3 overall and 1-2 in GSC play.
Next, the Choctaws returned home to take on Florida Tech. MC would dominate the second half and win the game 34-14 thanks to 271 yards rushing as a team (with 126 coming from Jaylin Jones). Then it was time for Homecoming against Shorter. MC would dominate as they lead 34-7 after the third quarter and would eventually win 41-20 to improve to 4-3 overall and 3-2 in GSC play. The Choctaws ran for a whopping 395 yards on Shorter with both Jordan Wright and Detric Hawthorn topping 100 yards individually for the game. This put MC within striking distance of a potential birth in the Division II playoffs with three games left.
MC would take on West Georgia next, and the Choctaws led 21-7 at halftime, but West Georgia came back with 28 unanswered in the second half and would win 35-21. Detric Hawthorn ran for 142 yards in the game. Then the 4-4 Choctaws took a trip to West Alabama. MC led 14-7 in the 2nd quarter, but another 28-0 run saw the Choctaws fall once again by the score 35-21.
The Choctaws then geared up for a Senior Day game at home against rival Delta State…with a chance to keep the Statesmen out of the Division II tournament. MC and Delta State traded scores early with MC leading 9-6 with a minute left in the first half. Then Detric Hawthorn hit Moregon Sharp for a touchdown with 35 seconds left, then right afterwards, Turner Rotenberry took a pick-6 to the house and just like that, MC led 23-6 at the half. Detric Hawthorn would add a touchdown on a short QB keeper in the third to extend the MC lead to 30-6. Then came the play. Delta State had marched all the way to inside the MC five-yard line and was looking to score to get back into the game. Then Derric Hawthorn poked the ball loose from the DSU QB and picked it up himself and went 97 yards the other way to put MC up 37-6 and put the nail in the coffin. MC would win the game 37-13 and finish the season 5-5 overall and 4-4 in the GSC.
The Choctaws ended up going a perfect 5-0 at home on the year. Detric Hawthorn led the team in rushing yards with 586 and nine touchdowns. Jordan Wright (480), Jaylin Jones (397) and Ja’Mori Mark (376) all ran for at least 375 yards on the season. Detric also threw for 635 yards on the year. Cole Rotenberry led the team with 309 yards receiving and three receiving touchdowns. On the defensive side of the ball, Derric Hawthorn led the team with 59 tackles. Jonathan Jones (55) and Josh Miller (51) both also had over 50 tackles on the season. Jones led the team with 8.5 tackles for loss. Fred Walls led the team with 3 sacks.