Flashback: 1984 National Championship

Flashback: 1984 National Championship

We're building up to the 2019 NJCAA Football Championship on Dec. 5, which will pit No. 1 Gulf Coast against No. 2 Lackawanna in Pittsburg, Kansas. Today, we'll remember the third national championship at Perkinston back in 1984. This is from MGCCC Archivist Charles Sullivan's book "Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College: A History, 1911-2000."

Gulf Coast, still coached by George Sekul, dominated the state in the regular season, outscoring its opposition 226-118. Only one team, Copiah-Lincoln, stayed within seven points of the Bulldogs.

Gulf Coast faced East Mississippi in the state semifinals and ran the Lions off the field 50-7. The Bulldogs took over the No. 1 ranking in the poll and got ready to play Jones, with the winner heading to play Harford in the East Bowl.

After a scoreless first half, Gulf Coast put up 17 points in the third quarter. Jones stormed back with 16 in the fourth, and the Bobcats had third-and-goal from the 3-yard line with 1:14 to play. The Bobcats gained two yards to get inside the 1, and Sekul could only do one thing. "I reached in my pocket, grabbed my rosary, and prayed," he said. Bobcats running back Antonio Prewitt leaped to go over the top, and 6-foot-3, 220-pound Bulldogs linebacker Joe Jackson met him there. Jones fans would insist Prewitt scored, but Gulf Coast fans agreed with the officials who said he didn't.

Jones had beaten then No. 1 Harford in the previous year's East Bowl to deny the Fighting Owls the national championship, and Harford wanted revenge against Mississippi's representative. Ike Wells recovered a fumble at the Harford 24-yard line in the first quarter, setting up a short drive capped by James Evans' touchdown and two-point conversion. Anthony "Shake and Fake" Harris threw two touchdown passes to Gary Taylor before halftime for a 21-0 lead. Harford could manage only one score in the second half, and the 21-7 win clinched Sekul's second NJCAA title in 13 years and a 13-0 season.

Allen Montgomery was named a first-team NJCAA All-American, and Allen Williams made the second team.

Pictured above: The 1948 Perkinston Junior College national championship team.

Pictured below: Bulldog team captains Allen Montgomery (No. 40) and Allen Williams (No. 36) proudly display the Sixth Annual East Bowl trophy after defeating the Harford Owls 21-7.