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NJCAA Football Game of the Week

NJCAA Football Game of the Week #13 Georgia Military College at Louisburg College (N.C.) Sunday, Sept. 23, 2007 By: Mark Krug NJCAA 1755 Telstar Dr., Suite 103 Colorado Springs, CO 80920 Phone: 719.590.9788 ext. 284 Fax: 719.590.7324 mkrug@njcaa.org 3-0 Louisburg Hosts #13 Georgia Military in NJCAA Football Game of the Week COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 20, 2007) – One of the best two-year college football programs will take on an upstart program that is off to a 3-0 start this season this Sunday when Georgia Military College travels north to face Louisburg College (N.C.). Georgia Military has a national championship under its belt (2001) and two runner-up finishes (’02 and ’05). Louisburg launched its program in 2005 after a 70 year absence of the sport on its campus. The two teams are both independents in NJCAA Football and face each other twice this season. The two teams have met three separate times on the football field with the Bulldogs winning all three contests. How they fared last week: #13 Georgia Military College weathered the rain and wet conditions last Friday to shutout Valdosta State JV 26-0 for their second win of the season. The severe weather caused several delays in the game and actually pushed the start of the game back an hour. The Bulldogs were able to control the game on the ground as they ran 46 times and passed the ball on just 10 occasions. Fernando Pitts led the way with 100 yards on 18 carries. James Poe added 82 yards on 10 attempts and two touchdowns. Georgia Military is averaging 213 rushing yards per contest, ranking 10th in the NJCAA. GMC forced seven turnovers in the contest; six interceptions and one fumble recovery. Dondsay Hardmen led the way with two picks, including one return for a touchdown. The Bulldogs currently rank ninth in the country in total defense (186.7 yards per game). Leading the defense with 16.5 tackles is defensive back Rashad McCrae, who also has six tackles for loss. The Bulldogs lone loss this season came in a double overtime thriller to Trinity Valley Community College (Texas). GMC built a 17-14 halftime lead, but Trinity Valley put together a long scoring drive in their first possession of the second half to take the lead. Trinity Valley increased its lead to 31-17 early in fourth quarter before the then-No. 5 Bulldogs mounted their comeback. Taikwon Paige took the ensuing kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown to cut the score to 31-23. The Bulldogs then tied the game with 52 seconds left on a nine-yard pass from Joei Fiegler to Fernando Washington. A successful two-point conversion tied the game at 31-31. Neither team scored in the first overtime as the Bulldogs turned the ball over via an interception, but Trinity Valley missed a field goal. In the second extra frame, TVCC got on the board with a touchdown on a 19-yard pass play. The Bulldogs’ bid to keep the game alive died on a dropped pass on fourth down and the upset went the Cardinals 38-31. Though the game was exciting for fans, Georgia Military knew it let the game slip away as they turned the ball over six times — three interceptions and three fumbles. Louisburg College is under the direction of Rick Mohlmann, who begins his third season as head coach of the Hurricanes. Prior to Louisburg, he spent over thirty years coaching in the Louisburg, N.C., region. The Hurricanes are off to a 3-0 start; their best start since the re-introduction of the program in 2005. All three of their victories have come on the road. Last week they shut out Averett University JV (Va., NCAA DIII) 50-0. In the victory over Averett, quarterback Darren Perkins, in his first start of the season, completed nine of 12 passes for 207 yards and two touchdown strikes. Perkins’ two TD passes were to Isaac Hill, who finished the game with six receptions for 94 yards. On the ground, Dij’jon Lee needed just five carries to amass 103 yards and two scores. For the season, Ladarius Lee leads the team with 303 rushing yards on 46 carries. He also has four touchdowns. Their first two wins for Louisburg came against George Mason University JV on Sept. 2 (14-0) and Hargrave Military Academy on Sept. 9 (22-12). The Last Time They Met: Louisburg and Georgia Military met twice last year with the Bulldogs taking both games. GMC shut out Louisburg 32-0 in their first meeting on Sept. 30th. However, their second meeting was much closer with the Bulldogs pulling out a 16-10 win. Important Notes about the two teams: Georgia Military College is looking to earn its 12th bowl berth and its ninth post-season bowl appearance in the last 10 years. Bulldog head coach Bert Williams is in his seventh season at the helm of the Georgia Military football program and was named 2002 NJCAA Football Coach of the Year. Before taking the reigns at GMC, he served as an assistant at the University of Georgia under former head coach Ray Groff. Georgia Military has a 4-7 all-time bowl record and is coming off a 21-0 loss to Copiah-Lincoln Community College (Miss.) in the 2006 Sea Island Company Golden Isles Bowl Classic. The Bulldogs finished the 2006 season with an 8-3 record and No. 10 national ranking. Based on final NJCAA Polls the past three decades, the Bulldog football program was voted the 13th-best of the 1990’s and the fourth-best program of the 2000’s. Georgia Military won its first and lone NJCAA Football Championship in 2001 and was runner-up in 2002 and 2005. There have been 16 all-time First-Team NJCAA All-Americans from Georgia Military, including offensive lineman Vince Vance in 2006. The program has seen 31 of its players continue their careers at NCAA institutions the last two years; 21 went to NCAA Division I-A or I-AA programs. Since 1995, 20 former Georgia Military players have played in the NFL and CFL, including Derrick Wimbash of the Jacksonville Jaguars (2005 NFL All-Rookie Team) and Keith Stokes (2005 CFL Special Teams Player of the Year). Louisburg College football made its return to the campus after a seventy year absence in 2005. The Hurricanes posted a 3-6 record in 2006. As the only NJCAA football program in the North Carolina region, head coach Rick Mohlmann is beginning to recruit talented players from in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Since the program was re-introduced in ’05, 22 Louisburg football players have successfully transferred to NCAA institutions. Of those 22 transfers, seven went to Division I-A or I-AA programs, 12 transferred to Division II and three to Division III.