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Second half lifts Co-Lin over E. Central Warriors

WESSON – Copiah-Lincoln Community College celebrated Homecoming2006 in Stone Stadium. For the first 30 minutes, it appeared thatthe Wolfpack would go down in defeat. Homecoming Queen LaceyWilliams of Crystal Springs and her court observed nervously, asturnovers plagued Co-Lin.

A football game is played in 4 quarters, as evidenced by theWolves rising to the occasion in the second half. A murderizingdefense and a Cedric Johnson touchdown as the game concluded, ledCo-Lin to a 23-10 South Division win over the East CentralCommunity College Warriors.

With the win, Co-Lin improves to 5-2 overall and 4-1 in theSouth Division. East Central fell to 1-6 and 0-5.

“It was an ugly win for us tonight,” said Co-Lin head coachGlenn Davis. “We had to fight for this one. East Central has one ofthe better defenses in this league.”

The Warriors, coached by Terry Underwood, backed up Davis’statement in the first half. East Central halted the Wolves’ first2 possession of the game with interceptions by Ray Frierson andAndrew Harrington.

It would be Harrington’s pick that would get the Warriors on thescoreboard at the 1:52 mark of the opening period. Freddie Parhamcaught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Mike Dunn. Grey LaPrade tackedon the PAT kick and the Warriors led 7-0, on a 3-play, 24-yarddrive that took 1-minute, 43 seconds to complete.

Co-Lin would take the ensuing kickoff; marching 65 yards in 12plays. Johnson, a 5-foot-10, 166-pound sophomore from Americus,Ga., scored on a 2-yard jaunt with 4 minutes, 21 seconds into thesecond period. Wesson’s Nick Gunter and his teammates realized a7-7 deadlock with his PAT kick, on a march that lasted over 6minutes.

Grey LaPrade, a 6-foot sophomore from Forest, added a 20-yardfield goal with no time left on the first half clock. The Warriorsheld a 10-7 lead at the intermission.

“We did not play well in the first half,” said Coach Davis.

The Wolves opened the second half by taking the kickoff;marching 84 yards in 8 plays in 4 minutes. Gunter nailed a43-yarder to tie the game at 10-10. Key play in the drive was a49-yard pass completion from Johnson to Thomas Hinton, Jr. on firstdown at the Co-Lin 27.

Then the Wolfpack defense went to work. Co-Lin stayed in theEast Central backfield throughout the second half. They sackedWarrior quarterback Mike Dunn 6 times. Dunn would finish the gamewith 9 carries for minus-47 yards rushing. It would be Dunn’sfumble at his own 36 that would lead to Co-Lin’s nexttouchdown.

Kentario Hardy, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound sophomore from Monticello,picked up Dunn’s muff; racing 36 yards for the score. Gunter’s kickmade the score 17-10 with 3:22 left in the third.

“I am proud of the defense tonight,” added Davis. “They pickedit up in the second half. They made some huge plays.”

Both teams committed several turnovers that halted somepotential scoring opportunities.

The game was finally concluded, when Johnson scored on a 3-yardrun, as time expired.

“We got four turnovers and did not get anything out of them,”said Warrior head coach Terry Underwood. “The turnovers we had,they got touchdowns. Turnovers were the difference in thegame.”

The Co-Lin defense held East Central to minus-1-yard rushing and135 yards of total offense. The Wolves forced 2 turnovers.

East Central picked off 3 Co-Lin passes and forced a fumble.

Co-Lin travels to East Mississippi Saturday for a non-divisiongame, while East Central hosts Hinds.