/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.

Sep. 16: All times Eastern
Final
at Worcester State 42, Fitchburg State 26
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at Ursinus 35, Juniata 28
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Salve Regina 27, at Dean 0
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at Johns Hopkins 37, Moravian 7
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Massachusetts Maritime 34, at Maine Maritime 25
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Wesley 33, at TCNJ 0
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at RPI 31, Western New England 14
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Buffalo State 53, at Morrisville State 48
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at Rochester 14, Alfred State 7
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Stevenson 52, at FDU-Florham 14
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Union 31, at Gallaudet 21
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at Williams 28, Bowdoin 14
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Sewanee 29, at Austin 17
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at Middlebury 30, Wesleyan 27
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at Tufts 35, Hamilton 28
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Salisbury 21, at Kean 13
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at Olivet 37, Aurora 21
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at Amherst 41, Bates 17
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at Trinity (Conn.) 35, Colby 0
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at Franklin and Marshall 43, McDaniel 41
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Montclair State 24, at Southern Virginia 0
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Rowan 41, at William Paterson 14
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Springfield 66, at Mount Ida 20
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UW-Platteville 38, at Hampden-Sydney 29
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DePauw 55, at Hiram 28
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at Alma 45, Benedictine 40
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at Trine 55, Wisconsin Lutheran 7
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at Albion 79, Concordia (Wis.) 7
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Dickinson 24, at Gettysburg 21
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at Wooster 38, Ohio Wesleyan 20
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Thiel 28, at Bethany 13
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LaGrange 39, at Methodist 30
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at Wabash 62, Kenyon 7
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King's 44, at Lebanon Valley 39
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at Martin Luther 42, Iowa Wesleyan 20
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at MIT 31, Endicott 26
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at Alfred 24, Utica 17
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Maryville (Tenn.) 56, at Emory and Henry 46
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Averett 19, at Ferrum 7
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at Catholic 25, Randolph-Macon 20
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Susquehanna 14, at Muhlenberg 11
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at Cortland 31, Hartwick 30
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Brevard 63, at Greensboro 7
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Ithaca 24, at St. Lawrence 13
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at St. Scholastica 48, Westminster (Mo.) 18
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MacMurray 48, at Crown 34
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at Greenville 21, Northwestern (Minn.) 15
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Eureka 48, at Minnesota-Morris 20
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UW-Whitewater 40, at Washington U. 21
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at Widener 34, Misericordia 21
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at Coast Guard 13, Nichols 0
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at Hope 37, Lakeland 35
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Heidelberg 40, at Ohio Northern 21
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Carnegie Mellon 30, at Waynesburg 20
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Mount Union 69, at Marietta 3
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at Centre 52, Hendrix 42
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Albright 21, at Lycoming 17
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Final
Bluffton 32, at Mount St. Joseph 31
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at Franklin 42, Defiance 12
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at Anderson 27, Earlham 16
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Final
SUNY-Maritime 38, at Merchant Marine 31
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Final
Concordia-Chicago 41, at Kalamazoo 29
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Final
at Rose-Hulman 38, Hanover 28
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Final
John Carroll 24, at Baldwin Wallace 21
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Final
at Otterbein 56, Wilmington 28
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Final
Trinity (Texas) 28, at Millsaps 26
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Final - OT
at Buena Vista 39, Central 38
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Final
at Concordia-Moorhead 31, Bethel 7
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Final
St. John's 56, at St. Olaf 7
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Final
Gustavus Adolphus 42, at Augsburg 37
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Final
Coe 35, at Nebraska Wesleyan 25
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Wartburg 40, at Simpson 31
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Final
Elmhurst 23, at North Park 20
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Final
at Huntingdon 41, N.C. Wesleyan 30
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Final
at Hardin-Simmons 55, Louisiana College 10
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Final
UW-River Falls 30, at Missouri Baptist 3
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Final
at Whitworth 53, La Verne 0
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Final
St. Thomas 63, at Carleton 0
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Final
Denison 62, at Allegheny 26
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Final
Lewis and Clark 40, at Pomona-Pitzer 29
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Final
at Wittenberg 34, Oberlin 0
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Final
at Western Connecticut 37, Plymouth State 29
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Final
Washington and Lee 24, at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 14
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Cancelled
Warner at Pacific Lutheran
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Final
Cal Lutheran 28, at Willamette 13
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Final
Mary Hardin-Baylor 24, at Linfield 3
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Final
at George Fox 13, Redlands 10
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Final
at Mass-Dartmouth 51, Westfield State 26
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Final
at Castleton 28, Norwich 14
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Final
at Berry 34, Rhodes 13
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Final
Brockport 38, at St. John Fisher 7
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Final
at WPI 38, Becker 0
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Final
at Adrian 62, Rockford 7
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Final
Frostburg State 33, at Christopher Newport 30
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Final
at Hobart 56, Shenandoah 30
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Final
at Case Western Reserve 42, Grove City 10
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Final
at Davidson 42, Guilford 21
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Final
at Bridgewater 52, The Apprentice School 0
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Final
at Capital 39, Muskingum 28
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Final
at Washington and Jefferson 37, Thomas More 29
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Final
at North Central (Ill.) 26, Illinois Wesleyan 13
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at McMurry 33, Howard Payne 21
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at Dubuque 27, Loras 24
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 37, Carthage 14
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Final
at Texas Lutheran 37, Belhaven 0
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at Carroll 28, Augustana 25
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St. Vincent 31, at Geneva 27
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East Texas Baptist 28, at Southwestern 10
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Cancelled
Pacific at Occidental
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Sep. 16: All times Eastern
Final
Wesley 33, at TCNJ 0
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Final
at Johns Hopkins 37, Moravian 7
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Final
at Alfred 24, Utica 17
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Final
UW-Platteville 38, at Hampden-Sydney 29
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Final
Mount Union 69, at Marietta 3
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Final
John Carroll 24, at Baldwin Wallace 21
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Final
at Hardin-Simmons 55, Louisiana College 10
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
St. John's 56, at St. Olaf 7
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Final
at Concordia-Moorhead 31, Bethel 7
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Final
at Whitworth 53, La Verne 0
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
St. Thomas 63, at Carleton 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Wittenberg 34, Oberlin 0
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Final
Mary Hardin-Baylor 24, at Linfield 3
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at George Fox 13, Redlands 10
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Final
Brockport 38, at St. John Fisher 7
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Final
Frostburg State 33, at Christopher Newport 30
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Case Western Reserve 42, Grove City 10
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Final
at Washington and Jefferson 37, Thomas More 29
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Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 37, Carthage 14
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Final
at North Central (Ill.) 26, Illinois Wesleyan 13
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