Bulldogs fall in Mississippi Bowl
GMC Bulldogs fall in Mississippi Bowl
David Brent Martin
Coach Bert Williams and the GMC Bulldogs had aspirations for a national championship this season, but had their hopes dashed when they were defeated by then-No. 1 ranked Navarro 25-13 on Sept. 6, a game in which the Bulldogs committed several costly turnovers.
The loss inspired GMC, and they swept through the rest of their regular season undefeated, propelling them to the inaugural Mississippi Bowl at Indians Stadium in Biloxi, Miss.
During the season GMC held five opponents to single digits with two shutouts.
GMC carried momentum and a No. 3 ranking into Sunday’s game, but ran head-on into another pack of hungry Bulldogs, the 7th ranked Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Bulldogs, last year’s JUCO Co-National Champions.
Gulf Coast stifled GMC’s offense from the start and rolled to an impressive 41-7 victory, but had a month to prepare for Sunday’s game.
The bowl was practically a home game for MGCCC (10-2), who controlled the lines of scrimmage throughout. After building a 20-0 lead in the first half they never looked back.
GMC (9-2) scored a lone touchdown on a 29-yard scoring pass from Joei Fiegler to Chleb Ravenell. The Bulldogs finished the game with 167 yards of offense. Gulf Coast tallied 333 total yards.
“We obviously didn’t finish the way we wanted to, but the guys fought well after an early loss and rebounded. We still have a chance to finish in the top 10, which is overall a good season,” said Williams.
GMC had won eight straight games before Sunday’s loss, and was ranked fourth nationally in pass offense and sixth in total defense.
The Mississippi Bowl was also the final JUCO bowl game of the season, pitting GMC versus a team that won the Mississippi Association of Community & Junior Colleges Athletic Conference. MJCCC also shared last year’s title with Butler (Kansas) Community College. Coming into Sunday’s game MJCCC had outscored opponents 220-64.
The final JUCO rankings have yet to be released, but Williams anticipates the Bulldogs will finish the season in the top 10.
So now all eyes will focus on next season.
“As for next year, we’ll be losing all our linebacking corps, but we have a great free safety returning. Our defensive line will be solid, but we’ll be losing more guys on the defensive side than the offensive side,” remarked Williams.
GMC expects to be strong again next year and will be working to improve a few key areas of the team, especially on defense.
“We’ll be out recruiting tomorrow. And the All-American team will also be released tomorrow, so we hope to have a few guys on there.”
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