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Co-Lin comeback surprises Gulf Coast

WESSON – Coach David Poinsett and his Co-Lin Wolves proudlypromote the F word, also known as faith. They refused to foldThursday night, erased a 14-0 deficit and surprised the MississippiGulf Coast Community College Bulldogs 28-23 in Stone Stadium beforean estimated crowd of 2,000.

It was the second straight win for the Wolves (2-1, 1-0) andtheir first South Division test of the season. Gulf Coast, slowedby 5 turnovers, fell to 1-2, 0-1 with the loss.

Asked about his team’s 14-0, second-quarter deficit, Poinsettanswered, “We still had faith. That’s our F word, faith. It was agood, hard-fought win for us.”

Sophomore tight end Billy Williams caught 2 Co-Lin touchdownpasses last night. He took a 5-yard pass from sophomore quarterbackTy Smith in the second quarter to gain a 21-21 halftime deadlockwith 42 seconds left on the clock.

In the third quarter, Williams made a leaping catch in the backof the end zone and pulled in a 28-yard scoring connection fromfreshman quarterback Johnathan Little. Thomas Garland’s PAT kickput Co-Lin ahead 28-21 with 5:24 left on the clock.

“I want to give all the credit to my offensive line,” saidWilliams, a Brookhaven product. “We had to come out and play hardto win this game.”

Adam Speeg, a sophomore defensive end from Brookhaven (LoydStar) agreed. “I knew we could come back, no doubt in my mind. Wewere in real good shape. We worked hard and deserved to win.”

The Wolves were staring at a14-0 deficit as Gulf Coast got 2 bigscoring plays from freshman quarterback Dwain Bannister of NewOrleans. Bannister hit Jason Morgan with a 23-yard slant pass forhis team’s first touchdown of the season. On the third play of thesecond quarter, Bannister scrambled 16 yards for a TD.

Christopher Symmes kicked both extra points and the Bulldogs led14-0.

Co-Lin finally capitalized on a Bulldog turnover when Bannisterfumbled a high snap out of the shotgun formation at his 2-yardline. Brandon Williams recovered and running back Shermaine Vaughnscored on first down, reducing his team’s deficit to 14-7 and 4:08left in the first half.

On the next series, Bannister fumbled when he was tackled at his10-yard line. Defensive lineman Lemoine Robinson scooped up theball and lumbered across the goal line, tying the score at14-14.

Gulf Coast responded with a dazzling 92-yard kickoff return byDe’Sean Jordan. The PAT kick by Symmes gave the Bulldogs a 21-14advantage.

The Wolves replied with a fourth-down Smith scoring pass toWilliams as Co-Lin gained a 21-21 knot just 42 seconds beforehalftime.

“We knew we were capable of scoring on offense,” said Poinsett.”Both of our quarterbacks did a great job. So did our receivers. Wehad five running backs who did a good job, too. Our line blockedwell.

“We had a great effort from our defense,” Poinsett pointed out.”Gulf Coast has tremendous team speed.”

The Bulldogs got a safety with 8:26 left in the game. Underheavy pressure, Little was flagged for intentional grounding in theend zone. Gulf Coast had 2 more possessions but the first drive washalted when defensive back Howard Overby intercepted quarterbackVernon Jones at the Co-Lin 25.

The Wolves stopped the last Bulldog drive at midfield whenBannister threw 3 straight incomplete passes.

“This one got away from us,” said Gulf Coast head coach BillLee. “Momentum started going Co-Lin’s way and we couldn’t stopthem. Co-Lin made plays and we didn’t. They have an explosiveteam.”

Co-Lin finished with 382 yards total offense, gaining 167 yardson the ground. The Wolves overcame 4 turnovers, 3 of theminterceptions.

Little completed 6 of 15 passes for 62 yards and was interceptedtwice. He rushed 13 times for 60 yards.

Smith completed 3 of 5 passes for 53 yards and threw 1interception. Johnathan McLaurin caught 1 pass for 36 yards andJohnathan Walker caught 2 for 21.

Co-Lin resumes play Sept. 27, at Jones County Junior College inEllisville. JCJC will unveil its new stadium that afternoon.