/seasons/2011/contrib/20110824zc6ydb

Choctaw Offense Looks to Take Step Forward in 2011

More news about: Mississippi College

CLINTON, MS - In the coming weeks, we will take a chance to preview each position on the field for the Choctaws as we head toward the season opening "Backyard Brawl" on September 3rd against Millsaps.  We invite MC fans to take a look and get more acclimated with the 2011 group of Choctaws.

The schedule will be as follows:

Quarterbacks – August 15th
Running Backs – August 16th
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends – August 17th
Offensive Line – August 18th
Defensive Line – August 19th
Linebackers – August 20th
Secondary – August 22nd
Special Teams – August 23rd
Offense – TODAY

Defense – TOMORROW
Schedule – August 26th

In 2010, despite losing All-American running back Steven Knight (Pearl, MS, Hinds Community College) for the season due to injury, the Choctaw offense ranked 5th in the American Southwest Conference scoring offense (27.1 ppg) and total offense (396.4 ypg).  With the return of Knight and several key skill players having a year under their belt, there is no reason to think that the 2011 offense will take a step forward.

When a team has to replace the school's leading passer of all-time, it is a tough task for anyone to take over.  The Choctaws had the luxury of starting junior Tommy Reyer (Athens, AL, West Limestone High School) who was named ASC Offensive Freshman of the Year in his rookie season.  The Athens, AL native put his own name in the MC record books, finishing third in school history for single-season pass completions (211) and attempts (356).  Reyer also threw for 2,224 yards, which ranks sixth for a single season.  For his career, Tommy has the opportunity to finish in the top three in all major career passing categories.

The senior is a dual-threat quarterback that was leaned upon to throw more than run last season after the season-ending injury to Knight.  With a full complement of weapons heading into 2011, Tommy and the offense could be one of the more prolific units in the conference.

While Reyer stands to be the starter at the beginning of the season, the Choctaws have some talented depth that will back him up.  Sophomore Austin Gray (Hoover, AL, Bessemer Academy) saw significant playing time in 2010 as he went 6-14 for 89 yards and a touchdown in the season finale against McMurry.  Gray put on 15 pounds in the offseason and will provide depth at the position.

Freshman quarterback Beaux Gipson (Shreveport, LA, Glenbrook High School) has been impressive in preseason camp and will push Gray for the backup job as the season progresses.  The shifty signal-caller passed for over 3,200 yards and rushed for over 1,150 yards while scoring 55 touchdowns in high school.

For the Choctaws at running back, it is almost as though they picked up a prized recruit with the return of preseason All-American Steven Knight to the backfield after missing the final eight games of 2010.  In 2009, Knight rushed for 1,333 yards and 11 touchdowns on 263 carries.  The speedster earned First Team All-ASC honors and was a D3 Senior Classic Preseason All-American selection in 2010 and 2011.

Last season, Knight rushed for 132 yards and two touchdowns in the season-opening victory over Millsaps in the "Backyard Brawl".  The game was highlighted by two touchdown runs of over 50 yards.  In the Division III era, Knight ranks third in MC history in rushing yards (1,489), rushing attempts (290), touchdowns (13), and rushing yards per game (106.4).  If Steven can return to his 2009 form, the Choctaws will have the top running back in the ASC to go along with a senior quarterback.

The Choctaws will have to replace 2010 leading rusher Austin Divinity after the Utica native tallied 596 yards and four touchdowns on 122 carries.  MC will have depth in the backfield as senior Qin Mobley (Moss Point, MS, Hinds Community College)returns after rushing for 173 yards and a score in 2010.

Sophomore Josh Johnson (Plaquemine, LA, St. John High School) impressed in his rookie season on the junior varsity team, and will push Mobley for the backup tailback position.  Johnson has great speed and gives the Choctaws another home run threat in the backfield.  Sophomore Keith Villafranco (Kenner, LA, University of New Orleans) is another option at the position with his ability to come out of the backfield and catch passes.

The biggest offensive surprise in 2010 was the emergence of wide receiver Randal Pharr (Memphis, TN, Middle Tennessee State Univ.), who led the Choctaws with 47 catches for 660 yards and seven touchdowns.  The speedy pass-catcher recorded three consecutive 100-yard receiving games, topped off by a win over Howard Payne in which Pharr caught seven passes for 119 yards and three scores.

Senior Brian Richardson (Fairhope, AL, Fairhope High School) also returns to the field after starting at the position for three years.  The receiver everyone calls "rookie" is in the top 10 in MC history in the Division III era with 91 catches for 1,250 yards, and nine touchdown receptions.

The Choctaws will also have senior Matt Burke (Hernando, MS, Hernando High School) coming back after missing the final five games of 2009 and the entire 2010 season due to injury.  Burke caught 25 passes for 285 yards and two scores before going down two years ago.  Junior Fred Williams (Miami, FL, Miami Jackson Senior HS) gives the Choctaws another experienced option at receiver after catching 19 passes for 112 yards last season.

Seniors Bobby Martin (Greenville, AL, Ft. Dale Academy) and Tyler McClung (Athens, AL, West Limestone High School) give MC experience at tight end heading into the year.  Martin and McClung will try to fill the hole left by senior Cody Goss last season, who caught the game-winning touchdown against Millsaps in the season opener.

While the skill players will score the points, the offensive line will be the key as they open the holes and protect the quarterback.  The Choctaws will have to replace three All-ASC linemen from a season ago in Jonathan Shaw (Baton Rouge, LA, The Dunham School)Terrence Taylor (Jackson, MS, Hinds Community College), and Chris Williams (Meridian, MS, Lamar High School).  MC will have three players returning with starting experience and several talented newcomers that are on the cusp of contributing.

Senior Cory York returns as the anchor of the offensive line and will move to the center position after playing guard his first three seasons.  York earned a starting spot as a freshman and rebounded from an injury-plagued sophomore season to stabilize the line over the past two years.

Senior Justin Cardwell will return at the left tackle position after starting for two years.  Justin is one of the more talented linemen and has the size and footwork to be one of the top linemen in the ASC.  Sophomore Sylvain Alarcon (LaPlace, LA, St. Charles Catholic) earned the final four starts in 2010 and has made a huge jump athletically from his freshman to sophomore seasons.

Junior Brennan Herrmann (Baton Rouge, LA, Catholic High School) missed the entire 2010 season after being injured in the preseason.  The sizeable lineman was set to start last season and will be looked upon to lead the 2011 line.  The Choctaws will bring back several young linemen and will rely on the talented group of newcomers to provide depth as the season progresses.

Tomorrow, we will preview the entire defense.

Oct. 14: All times Eastern
Final
Salve Regina 45, at Nichols 10
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Mount Ida 14, at Dean 7
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Final
at Thomas More 59, Waynesburg 7
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Final
at Maine Maritime 34, Coast Guard 16
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Final
at Finlandia 27, Trinity Bible 21
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Final
Hamilton 28, at Bowdoin 7
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Final
at Delaware Valley 49, King's 14
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Final
at Olivet 47, Albion 26
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Final
at Wesleyan 41, Bates 23
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Final
Union 27, at Rochester 0
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Final
Amherst 40, at Colby 7
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Final
at Western New England 41, Endicott 14
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Final
at Brockport 48, Morrisville State 7
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Final - OT
at Plymouth State 16, Framingham State 13
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Final
at RPI 27, Ithaca 14
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Final
Hobart 49, at Hartwick 27
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Final
at Ferrum 34, LaGrange 20
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Final
at Carnegie Mellon 42, Geneva 27
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Final
Ohio Wesleyan 16, at Wabash 13
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Final
DePauw 26, at Denison 17
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Final
at Trine 42, Kalamazoo 7
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Final
at Washington and Lee 47, Guilford 26
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Final
at Husson 49, Castleton 0
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Final
Gallaudet 35, at Alfred State 19
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Final
at Wittenberg 49, Allegheny 15
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Final
Brevard 41, at Methodist 17
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Final
at Lebanon Valley 31, Stevenson 24
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Buffalo State 24, at St. Lawrence 21
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Final - OT
at Cortland 20, Alfred 17
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Final
at Randolph-Macon 52, Emory and Henry 29
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Final
at Wesley 29, Kean 9
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Final
at Hampden-Sydney 58, Apprentice 28
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Final
Frostburg State 59, at William Paterson 7
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Final
at N.C. Wesleyan 45, Greensboro 0
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Final
at Westminster (Pa.) 49, Grove City 27
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Final
Washington and Jefferson 49, at Bethany 14
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Final
at Westminster (Mo.) 56, Crown 15
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Final
at Northwestern (Minn.) 29, Iowa Wesleyan 7
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Final
at Knox 56, Grinnell 14
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Final
at Widener 31, Lycoming 17
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Final
Trinity (Conn.) 23, at Tufts 16
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount St. Joseph 66, Earlham 7
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Final - 2OT
Ohio Northern 27, at John Carroll 20
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Final
Baldwin Wallace 23, at Muskingum 20
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Final
at Mount Union 72, Capital 14
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Final
Rose-Hulman 44, at Manchester 13
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Final
at Hanover 31, Bluffton 28
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Final
Defiance 45, at Anderson 0
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Final
at Wartburg 42, Loras 11
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Final
Hiram 62, at Kenyon 56
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Final
Springfield 35, at Merchant Marine 13
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Final
Williams 27, at Middlebury 26
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Final
at Westfield State 33, Fitchburg State 21
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Final
Marietta 43, at Wilmington 33
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Final
at Berry 34, Hendrix 10
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Final
Curry 40, at Becker 0
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Final
TCNJ 20, at Rowan 14
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Final
at SUNY-Maritime 51, Anna Maria 15
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Final
Salisbury 28, at Montclair State 10
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Final
at Huntingdon 28, Maryville (Tenn.) 16
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Final
at Austin 33, Millsaps 19
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Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 65, Howard Payne 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Washington U. 55, Buena Vista 20
Video Video Box Score Recap
Final
Alma 27, at Aurora 19
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Final
at Rockford 29, Concordia-Chicago 14
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Final
Wisconsin Lutheran 22, at Concordia (Wis.) 19
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Final
at Lakeland 57, Benedictine 21
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Final
at St. Norbert 10, Chicago 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Concordia-Moorhead 45, at Hamline 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
St. Olaf 22, at Augsburg 20
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Final
Bethel 24, at Gustavus Adolphus 3
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Final
St. John's 35, at Carleton 0
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Final
at Eureka 30, Greenville 19
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Final
Centre 27, at Trinity (Texas) 21
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Final
Dubuque 42, at Nebraska Wesleyan 27
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Final
Central 30, at Coe 19
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Final
Lake Forest 56, at Cornell 28
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Final
at Carthage 31, Elmhurst 8
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Final
at Illinois Wesleyan 30, Carroll 0
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Final
Millikin 28, at Augustana 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Ripon 52, at Beloit 28
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Final
MacMurray 49, at Minnesota-Morris 13
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Final
Macalester 21, at Lawrence 18
Video Box Score
Final
at Monmouth 59, Illinois College 14
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Final
at UW-Stevens Point 26, UW-Eau Claire 3
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Final
Case Western Reserve 63, at Thiel 28
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Wooster 38, Oberlin 28
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Final
Texas Lutheran 41, at East Texas Baptist 34
Video Box Score
Final
at UW-Stout 21, UW-River Falls 16
Box Score Recap
Final
UW-Oshkosh 28, at UW-Platteville 14
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Sewanee 34, at Birmingham-Southern 13
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Hope 22, Adrian 3
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Linfield 49, at Lewis and Clark 14
Video Box Score
Cancelled
La Verne at Occidental
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Final
Whitworth 17, at Pacific Lutheran 14
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Final
at Cal Lutheran 42, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 20
Video Box Score
Final
at George Fox 58, Willamette 12
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Final
at Pacific 35, Puget Sound 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Pomona-Pitzer 45, at Whittier 23
Video Box Score
Final
at Western Connecticut 28, Massachusetts Maritime 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at St. Scholastica 56, Martin Luther 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final - 5OT
at St. John Fisher 39, Utica 36
Video Recap Live stats Audio
Final - OT
at Heidelberg 48, Otterbein 45
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Final
at Shenandoah 38, Bridgewater 20
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Southwestern 60, at Belhaven 31
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Final
Hardin-Simmons 35, at Sul Ross State 10
Box Score
Final
at Louisiana College 52, McMurry 34
Box Score
Final
at Simpson 38, Luther 17
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Final
at Chapman 45, Redlands 26
Video Video Box Score Recap Recap
Oct. 16: All times Eastern
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 42, North Central (Ill.) 20
Recap Box Score
Oct. 20: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Gettysburg at Johns Hopkins
Video Video Live stats Live stats
Oct. 14: All times Eastern
Final
at Delaware Valley 49, King's 14
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final - OT
at Cortland 20, Alfred 17
Box Score Recap Live stats
Final
at Wesley 29, Kean 9
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Frostburg State 59, at William Paterson 7
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Wittenberg 49, Allegheny 15
Video Box Score
Final
at Brockport 48, Morrisville State 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Washington and Jefferson 49, at Bethany 14
Video Box Score
Final
Ohio Wesleyan 16, at Wabash 13
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount Union 72, Capital 14
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Wartburg 42, Loras 11
Video Box Score
Final
at Berry 34, Hendrix 10
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Springfield 35, at Merchant Marine 13
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 65, Howard Payne 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
St. John's 35, at Carleton 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Illinois Wesleyan 30, Carroll 0
Video Box Score
Final
Concordia-Moorhead 45, at Hamline 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Case Western Reserve 63, at Thiel 28
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
UW-Oshkosh 28, at UW-Platteville 14
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Linfield 49, at Lewis and Clark 14
Video Box Score
Final
at George Fox 58, Willamette 12
Video Video Box Score
Final
Hardin-Simmons 35, at Sul Ross State 10
Box Score
Oct. 16: All times Eastern
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 42, North Central (Ill.) 20
Recap Box Score
Oct. 20: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Gettysburg at Johns Hopkins
Video Video Live stats Live stats