East Mississippi wins NJCAA championship in Biloxi

BILOXI, Miss. (Bill Snyder) -- No. 2 East Mississippi Community College overcame 21 penalties and a solid effort by Georgia Military to win Mississippi Bowl VI 52-32 and claim the 2013 NJCAA Championship.

The Lions (12-0) have now won two out of the last three NJCAA Championships and also claimed their second Mississippi Bowl title.

"We just went out and executed our game plan," said East Miss. quarterback and offensive MVP Dontreal Pruitt, who went 16-of-36 for 325 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. "We were kind of going back-and-forth with those guys but we had a lot of emotion today and we came out on top."

The Lions' offense also rushed for 260 yards -- 248 of those from running back Lakenderic Thomas, who also scored three times. Lions wide receiver Antoine Adkins caught six passes for 186 yards and two scores in the victory.

After taking a 24-19 halftime lead, Georgia Military running back Javon Robinson broke off a 74-yard touchdown run on the first play of the third quarter that gave the No. 1 Bulldogs a 26-25 lead. Robinson, the NJCAA's leading rusher, carried the ball 38 times for 238 yards and three touchdowns on the afternoon.

East Mississippi countered with 13 unanswered points before Robinson added another touchdown for Georgia Military.

After East Mississippi took the game's opening kickoff and scored on a 15-yard run by Thomas, Georgia Military (11-1) jumped out to a 16-7 lead in the first quarter behind a Patrick Thomas TD run, a 21-yard score by Robinson, and a 21-yard field goal by Brandon Rutherford. East Mississippi answered with 17 points of their own to take the lead at halftime.

Thirty penalties were called during the game -- 20 infractions committed by East Mississippi. Despite foggy, drizzly weather, more than 4,000 fans attended the game. In the six years of the event, the MACJC Champion team is 5-1.