August 23, 2011

Choctaws Look to Solidify Special Teams 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 – TODAY
Offense – TOMORROW
Defense – August 25th
Overall – August 26th

Legendary Alabama head football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant coined the phrase, "Offense sells tickets; Defense wins championships."  That may be true, but the kicking game tends to make the difference between a victory and a defeat.

In 2009, on the strength of a Brannon Walls 31-yard field goal against Mary Hardin-Baylor, the Choctaws advanced to the NCAA Division III playoffs for the first time in school history and won their first ASC championship since 1997.

Due to injury, the 2010 special teams lacked consistency as seven different Choctaws recorded at least two punts and head coach Norman Joseph used an MC soccer player to kick long field goals as the season progressed.

Heading into 2011, the Choctaws seemed to have solidified some concerns in that area.  Junior Chris Campbell(Hattiesburg, MS, Presbyterian Christian School) will open the season as the team's top placekicker after trading in his shin guards for shoulder pads in the middle of last season.  Campbell connected on 3-4 field goals with a long of 47 yards.  Chris was also the team's leading kickoff specialist last season as he averaged 63.8 yards per kick and recorded two touchbacks.

Last season, the Choctaws finished the year ranked eighth out of nine teams in the American Southwest Conference in net punt average (28.1 ypp).  MC spent the season continually searching for someone to step in and take the job after freshman Brandt Moore (Central, LA, Central Private School) was lost for the season in the "Backyard Brawl" after just two kicks.  The Choctaws used seven different players at the position, including long snapper Jared Cummins, offensive lineman David Hardy, and quarterback Tommy Reyer (Athens, AL, West Limestone High School).

Coming into 2011, Moore is healthy and has looked good in the preseason.  He averaged 33.0 yards per punt last season before being lost to injury.  There will be a competition for the position, however, as senior transfer Jacob Chancellor(Quitman, MS, Belhaven University) joined the Choctaws after one season at Belhaven.  Chancellor averaged 43.1 yards per punt last season and was rated as the #1 punter in NAIA prior to this season by the Super 72 group.

One luxury the Choctaws will not have is the services of Jared Cummins as the team's long snapper.  The Madison, MS native started all but one game of his four years at the position and leaves a hole that must be filled.  Enter sophomore Chad Phillips (Madison, MS, University of Mississippi) of Madison Central.  Phillips went to Ole Miss in his first season and was named the SEC Honor Roll.

Head coach Norman Joseph discussed the special teams, "Our kickers have done a great job in camp.  Chris (Campbell) has been impressive and has improved with a year under his belt.  Being with us for the whole year can do nothing but help him.  Brandt (Moore) and Jacob (Chancellor) have been battling back and forth all preseason.   It may come down to the last week to decide who the starter will be."

Tomorrow we will preview the offensive unit.

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Sep. 24: All times Eastern
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MIT 30, at Maine Maritime 13
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Salisbury 35, at Southern Virginia 0
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Albright 20, at Delaware Valley 17
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Lycoming 28, at Misericordia 24
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at Plymouth State 30, Mass-Dartmouth 14
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at Husson 35, Alfred State 0
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at Springfield 28, WPI 23
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at McDaniel 30, Ursinus 27
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at John Carroll 42, Heidelberg 14
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Ohio Northern 16, at Otterbein 10
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Case Western Reserve 35, at Waynesburg 7
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Rose-Hulman 23, at Defiance 15
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Hanover 49, at Anderson 25
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Johns Hopkins 30, at Muhlenberg 24
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Concordia-Chicago 42, at Maranatha Baptist 10
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Washington U. 36, at Birmingham-Southern 21
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UW-Platteville 56, at Lakeland 0
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at Northwestern (Minn.) 38, Martin Luther 20
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at Westminster (Mo.) 35, Greenville 14
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Dubuque 30, at Luther 17
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Monmouth 52, at Lake Forest 6
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St. Thomas 33, at St. John's 21
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Bethel 44, at St. Olaf 7
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Simpson 17, at Buena Vista 9
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at St. Scholastica 49, Crown 13
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Cornell 46, at Beloit 41
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at Carthage 27, Augustana 24
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Coe 48, at Nebraska Wesleyan 17
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at Wartburg 56, Finlandia 0
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 10, Elmhurst 6
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Hendrix 42, at Millsaps 14
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Final
Illinois Wesleyan 45, at North Park 10
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at Macalester 34, Grinnell 0
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at Ripon 33, Knox 19
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Illinois College 40, at Lawrence 15
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UW-Oshkosh 77, at Morthland College (Ill.) 0
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Final
Central 42, at Loras 34
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Final
at Geneva 35, Thiel 27
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Final
UW-Eau Claire 40, at Wisconsin Lutheran 14
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Final
St. John Fisher 42, at Brockport 38
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UW-Stevens Point 44, at Adrian 19
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UW-La Crosse 41, at Carroll 7
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at Berry 41, Sewanee 3
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Final
Westminster (Pa.) 38, at Bethany 9
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Final
Ohio Wesleyan 29, at Oberlin 16
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Final
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Mount Union 49, at Baldwin Wallace 7
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Cancelled
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Video Live Stats
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Final
at Chapman 19, Trinity (Texas) 17
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Sep. 29: All times Eastern
6:30 PM
Randolph-Macon at Shenandoah
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Sep. 24: All times Eastern
Final
at Thomas More 20, Carnegie Mellon 16
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hobart 27, Union 23
Box Score Recap
Final
Christopher Newport 17, at TCNJ 0
Final
at Wittenberg 24, Wabash 14
Box Score
Final
Salisbury 35, at Southern Virginia 0
Box Score
Final
Albright 20, at Delaware Valley 17
Box Score Recap
Final
at Utica 24, Cortland 13
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Stevenson 54, FDU-Florham 15
Box Score Recap
Final
at Franklin 44, Bluffton 38
Box Score Recap
Final
Johns Hopkins 30, at Muhlenberg 24
Box Score Recap
Final
St. Thomas 33, at St. John's 21
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at UW-Whitewater 35, Morningside 21
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hardin-Simmons 48, Texas Lutheran 38
Box Score Photos
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 10, Elmhurst 6
Box Score Recap
Final
UW-Platteville 56, at Lakeland 0
Box Score
Final
UW-Oshkosh 77, at Morthland College (Ill.) 0
Box Score
Final
Central 42, at Loras 34
Box Score Recap
Final
St. John Fisher 42, at Brockport 38
Box Score Recap
Final
Mount Union 49, at Baldwin Wallace 7
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 42, Millikin 7
Box Score Recap