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Co-Lin routes Hinds for homecoming

DAILY LEADER / JONATHON ALFORD / Co-Lin's freshmen Donald Gray (2) uses his speed to break free from a Hinds defender in Saturday's Homecoming win.

DAILY LEADER / JONATHON ALFORD / Co-Lin’s freshmen Donald Gray (2) uses his speed to break free from a Hinds defender in Saturday’s Homecoming win.

WESSON – At times in the first half Saturday, Hinds and Copiah-Lincoln looked like the unseasonably hot weather was getting to both teams during their homecoming showdown in Wesson. It would be the Wolfpack who took off in the second half after only leading by three at the break for a 41-21 victory over the Eagles.

As has often been the case this season for Co-Lin (5-2, 3-1), the shot of adrenaline came from redshirt freshman wide receiver Donald Gray. Gray hauled in a 70-yard touchdown catch from Daniel Fitzwater that gave Co-Lin a 17-14 lead that they would never relinquish. The big play by Gray came at a crucial time for Co-Lin as Hinds (4-3, 2-2) had just quickly snatched back a lead that Co-Lin could only hold for 27 seconds.

Hinds opened the game’s scoring with a 40-yard touchdown pass from James Summers to Marquez McNair with nine minutes remaining in the first quarter. Co-Lin got on the board with a 31-yard field goal from Greg Nickles in the first quarter.

DAILY LEADER / JONATHON ALFORD / Co-Lin's Diquan Davis (33) eludes an out stretch arm of a Hinds defender in Saturday JUCO action

DAILY LEADER / JONATHON ALFORD / Co-Lin’s Diquan Davis (33) eludes an out stretch arm of a Hinds defender in Saturday JUCO action

The Wolfpack took a 10-7 lead on a tough 28-yard touchdown run by sophomore Joshua Bates. The score was set up by a Nick Beasley interception of Summers. Hinds got a huge kickoff return following the Co-Lin score and would quickly retake a 14-10 lead on a 33-yard rushing TD by Summers and Co-Lin would see their first lead of the game not even last 30 seconds.

The following drive was when Gray worked his magic. The Mississippi State commit tight roped the sideline for a 20-yard gain and then turned on the burners, leaving four defensive backs in his dust, as he raced the final 50 yards for the score. Gray finished with five catches for 155 yards.

Leading 17-10 after halftime, Co-Lin started the second half with a 6:21 drive that culminated with a 25-yard Nickles field goal. Co-Lin added another third quarter TD when Diquan Davis ran in from 35-yards.

The final two Wolfpack scores came in the fourth quarter when Bates scored his second rushing touchdown, this one from 3-yards out, and Fitzwater hit Julius Craft from 15-yards for the final Co-Lin TD.

Hinds lone second half score came on a Joshua Dixon 39-yard run with 4:57 remaining in the game.

Fitzwater finished 18-of-26 for 270 yards and two touchdowns. The four-man running back platoon of De’Lance Turner, Lakedric Lee, Davis, and Bates rushed for 248 yards on the ground for the Wolfpack. Turner ran the ball 10 times for 85 yards and Bates rushed 12 times for 74 yards and two scores.

The Co-Lin defense was outstanding for a second straight week as they harassed the athletic Summers into 9-for-22 passing. Marico Page, Deshon Cooper, Deion Pope, Darrell Vanerson, and Ryan Duckworth each notched a sack apiece for Co-Lin. Demond Tucker sacked Summers twice.

Co-Lin returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 18 when they travel to Gulf Coast for a 2 p.m. kickoff in Perkinston.