Co-Lin holds off No. 19 East Central 31-28

Published 10:30 pm Saturday, September 26, 2015

Co-Lin Media / Natalie Davis / Co-Lin defensive end Paul James III (88) rushes East Central quarterback Jesse Hosket (8) in Thursday's JUCO football action at Decatur.

Co-Lin Media / Natalie Davis / Co-Lin defensive end Paul James III (88) rushes East Central quarterback Jesse Hosket (8) in Thursday’s JUCO football action at Decatur.

DECATUR- The No. 1 ranked Co-Lin Wolfpack would escape with a 31-28 win over the No. 19 ranked East Central Warriors on Thursday night.

The Wolfpack defense came up with a game-saving play with just over 2 minutes to play in the fourth quarter to preserve the win. East Central drove the ball down to the Co-Lin 22 yard line, when Warrior quarterback Jesse Hosket hit receiver Devin McIntosh across the middle of the field, but the Wolfpack defense stripped the ball recovered the ball at the 13-yard line ending the East Central drive. Co-Lin ran out the clock to secure the victory.

The Wolfpack (5-0, 2-0) took the opening drive down deep into East Central territory and took a 3-0 lead on a Greg Nickles 26-yard field goal at the 7:09 mark. Co-Lin running back Lakedric Lee plunged 2 yards into the end zone with 31 seconds left in the quarter. Nickles’ was good on the PAT giving the Wolfpack a 10-0 lead.

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The Warriors drove the ball down to the Wolfpack 25 yard line, but East Central running back Tredarian Gamble fumbled, and Co-Lin’s Lashard Durr scooped it up and romped 75 yards to pay dirt. Nickles’ PAT was good, and the Wolfpack took a 17-0 lead with 12:38 remaining in the second quarter.

The East Central offense got on track as they took advantage of a Co-Lin fumble as Gamble score on a 2-yard run to pull the Warriors to 17-7 with 11:01 left in the half. On the ensuing kickoff, the Warriors recovered the onside kick and scored seven players later on a 7-yard touchdown run from Gamble with 8 minutes to play in the first half to cut the lead to 17-14.

But Lee added his second touchdown of the game at 3:23 left in the half, a 4-yard scamper to give the Wolfpack some breathing room at 24-14.

In the third quarter, East Central’s Gamble would score his third touchdown of the game finding the end zone from 3-yards out to cut the Co-Lin lead to 24-21.

Co-Lin took advantage of Gamble’s second fumble of the game as he fumbled a punt deep in East Central territory. Wolfpack quarterback Garrett Kruzcek found Dayall Harris in the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown pass to give the Wolfpack a 31-21 lead with 7:04 left in the third quarter.

Warrior kicker Aaron Garrett missed a 32-yard field goal that would have cut the deficit to seven late in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Hosket kept ECCC’s hopes alive with a 60-yard touchdown strike to Jordan Thomas with 8 minutes left the fourth quarter to close the gap to 31-28.

Co-Lin’s Kruzcek had a very good night completing 25-of-28 passes for 201 yards and one touchdown. Lee had 85 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns. Jacen Murphy led the Co-Lin receivers four catches for 48 yards.

The Wolfpack will celebrate homecoming against the Pearl River Wildcats on Saturday, Oct. 3. Kick off is at 2:30 p.m. Watch live at or listen on WMJU 104.3 FM in Brookhaven.