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E. Central overturns Wolves

DECATUR – East Central Community College head coach TerryUnderwood may have to put his football team on a diet the wayCopiah-Lincoln Community College kept feeding the Warriorsturnovers Saturday afternoon.

ECCC took advantage of five Co-Lin mishaps to claim a 42-19MACJC South Division homecoming win over the Wolves. In snapping athree-game losing streak, the Warriors improved to 1-2 in thedivision and 2-3 overall. Co-Lin fell to 1-2 and 2-3.

“We got some turnovers that were a key in the game and we wereable to capitalize on them,” Underwood said. “I want to give ourguys credit for creating those turnovers. We got some breaks in thekicking game as well as interceptions.

“Our kids fought hard. At halftime, it was anybody’s game. Wechallenged our kids and they really responded in the secondhalf.”

Co-Lin took a 7-0 lead with 11:06 left in the first quarter on a5-yard pass from quarterback Ty Smith to tight end Billy Williamsin the back of the end zone. Thomas Garland kicked the extra point.A 39-yard pass from Smith to Leon Stewart to the 5 set up thescore.

Two possessions later, the Wolves’ Jonathan McLaurin attemptedan end around pass that ECCC’s Leron Yarbrough picked off andreturned 39 yards to the 11. Four plays later, Kenshay Hunterscored from a yard out. Mitch Myers’ PAT tied the game at 7-7.

The Warriors had to punt on their next possession, but took overat the Co-Lin 20 when the ball hit Co-Lin’s Howard Overby and LeeFairchilds recovered. On fourth-and-one just outside the 10, Hunterraced up the middle to put the Warriors up 14-7 following Myers’kick.

Aided by a 58-yard toss from Johnathan Little to Williams, theWolves drew to within 14-13 with 2:08 left in the first half on a1-yard run by Corey Rhodes. Yarbrough blocked Garland’s PAT as ECCCcarried a one-point lead into the break.

The Wolves reclaimed the lead at 19-14 with 10:02 showing in thethird quarter when Smith found Johnathan Walker between fiveWarriors and the Co-Lin receiver scored untouched on the 39-yardplay. A two-point pass was incomplete.

It was feeding time again for the Warriors when Whitney Wilkinsmuffed a diving attempt to catch a punt and ECCC recovered at theCo-Lin 18. Four plays later, Warrior quarterback Terrell Robinsonbootlegged around right end as ECCC went up 21-19 with 6:35remaining in the third period.

Three plays later, the Warriors had another feeding frenzy asTommy Searight picked off a Smith pass and returned it 15 yards tothe Co-Lin 28. Three plays after the pick, Robinson hit BobbyLindsey, who juked past Damien Gary at the 10 and continued intothe end zone for a 28-19 lead with 3:04 to go in the thirdquarter.

The Warriors covered 63 yards to go up 35-19 with 12:48 left inthe game. Speedy Titus Ryan outran the Wolves around left end for a28-yard score.

The Wolves fed the Warriors for the last time when a high snapresulted in a 17-yard punt by Garland. Starting at the Co-Lin 45,it took seven plays for ECCC to go up 42-19 on a 1-yard plunge byDarryl Mapp with 6:14 remaining. Robinson teamed with a wide openCameron Tawater for an 18-yard gain on the preceding play.

Co-Lin had the ball at the ECCC 11 and again at the Warrior 6following a fumble recovery in the final six minutes only to comeaway empty both times.

“We took advantage of the opportunities which is something wehaven’t been doing,” Underwood said. “I thought our offense playedsuper. I don’t think they really stopped us in the second half. Andour defense played good overall, except for two or three big passplays.

“We needed a win. Maybe this is something we can build on.”

ECCC had 330 total yards with 248 coming on 47 rushes. GermaineSmith had 76 yards on seven carries with 53 coming on one run onECCC’s final possession.

The Wolves had 313 total yards with 301 coming through the air.The Wolves had just 12 yards rushing on 29 attempts. Co-Lin had 12carries for minus-37 yards in the second half.