JACKSON – East Mississippi Community College sophomores Jason Brownlee, Josh Smith and Terence Cherry have been named to the 2019 NJCAA All-Region 23 football team, as selected by the MACJC's head football coaches and announced Thursday by MACJC Commissioner Steven Martin.
Chosen as the MACJC North Division's Most Valuable Player among offensive backs, Brownlee currently ranks as the NJCAA's statistical leader with 75 pass receptions and 1,055 receiving yards. Along with establishing a new single-season EMCC standard (Buddy Stephens era) for receiving yards this year, the West Point product came up one catch shy of former Oklahoma receiver Lacoltan Bester's single-season EMCC mark (Stephens era) of 76 receptions set during the Lions' 2011 national championship season. This year, Brownlee posted five 100-yard receiving efforts and had at least one touchdown catch during all nine regular-season contests. His 12 touchdown grabs on the year presently rank second among the NJCAA's individual leaders.
Smith, who handled all of the Lions' kicking and punting duties throughout the 2019 season, presently stands 11th among the NJCAA's kicking leaders with an MACJC-best 66 points on 8-of-10 field goal attempts and 42-of-46 point-after-touchdown tries. The Tupelo native also averaged 35.4 yards per punt on the season. Smith completed his EMCC football playing days with 140 career points scored on 14-of-19 (73.7%) field goals and 98-of-105 (93.3%) PATs. The dual-sport standout is also a left-handed pitcher and outfielder for head coach Brett Kimbrel's EMCC Lions baseball team.
On the defensive side of the football for the 6-4 EMCC Lions, Cherry was the team's top pass rusher this past season with a team-leading 12 tackles for loss, including eight quarterback sacks, among his 29 total tackles on the year. The West Point native also led the Lions with three forced fumbles in 2019. For his EMCC career, Cherry had 16 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including a dozen sacks, along with forcing five fumbles.
While having participated in the MACJC football playoffs for the 11th time in a dozen seasons under head coach Buddy Stephens' guidance, the 2019 EMCC Lions are currently ranked second nationally as a team in passing offense (304.5 yds/gm), seventh in total offense (457.4 yds/gm) and 12th in scoring offense (34.8 pts/gm). With Stephens sporting a career EMCC head coaching record of 116-17 (.872), including five national championships, seven state titles and nine MACJC North Division regular-season crowns, the No. 16 Lions have now been ranked in 117 consecutive NJCAA football polls, including preseason and final rankings, dating back to the start of the 2011 season.