The Copiah-Lincoln Wolves overcame an early 14-0 East Central lead to spoil Homecoming 2018 for the Warriors with a 42-17 MACJC South Division football win Thursday, Oct. 4, in Bailey Stadium on the ECCC campus in Decatur.
Another big crowd was on hand to see the Warriors play, and they did not disappoint during the opening minutes of the contest between two teams unbeaten in the South Division. Early on, East Central showed no signs of letdown after last week's emotional last-second loss to No. 1 East Mississippi.
East Central took the opening kickoff 81 yards in seven plays to quickly grab a 7-0 lead, mostly on the running of James Smith III (Velma Jackson, Canton). Smith rushed for 76 yards on the drive, including 66 on one play. Freshman Marquavious Qualls of Lake got the touchdown on a four-yard run. Sam Cox (Starkville Academy) kicked the extra point.
On Co-Lin's ensuing possession, the Warriors forced a fumble which was scooped up by East Central safety Daniel Little (Terry) who raced down the sideline for 39 yards to the Wolves' 18-yard line. Six plays later, Smith III scored from the three. With 9:44 still to play in the first quarter, East Central's lead was 14-0.
From there, a punishing Co-Lin ground gain took over. The Wolves would score the next 21 points to post a 21-14 halftime lead.
Running back Deion Dampier (Mendenhall) rushed for 179 yards on just 18 carries for the Wolves, including 133 in the first half. Dampier scored a pair of touchdowns, one in the second quarter from two yards out and another in the fourth from the 16.
Co-Lin quarterback Hayden Davis (Madison-Ridgeland) had a touchdown pass of 15 yards in the first half, and 13 and 56 yards in the second half. Wide receiver Del Thigpen (Wesson) added a 50-yard run on a reverse to close out the first half scoring.
East Central's only points after the first two drives of the game came on a 23-yard Cox field goal early in the third quarter to close the lead to 21-17, but the Warriors would get no closer. East Central had a 28-yard field goal attempt blocked in the second quarter.
For the game, East Central managed 320 yards of offense, while Co-Lin put up 532 yards, including 334 on the ground. Smith III led East Central in the running game with 122 yards and a score. It was his fourth 100-yard rushing game of the season. Freshman tight end Jamarvis Echols (North Panola) had four receptions for the Warriors for 32 yards. It was the first game this season that sophomore quarterback Mario Asagunla (Hillcrest Christian, Jackson) failed to throw a touchdown pass.
The loss dropped the Warriors to 3-3 overall on the season and 2-1 in MACJC South Division play. Co-Lin improved to 4-2 overall and 3-0 in the division.
It was Homecoming 2018 at East Central. Sophomore pre-nursing major Jasmin Cole of Hickory, a graduate of Newton County High School, was crowned the 2018 Homecoming Queen during halftime ceremonies.
Alumni George Taylor of Forest, retired vice chairman of Community Bank of Mississippi, and Gina Hollingsworth Gordon, gifted education teacher with the Newton Municipal School District, were honored as Alumnus and Alumna of the Year, and Aubry Cox of Carthage, a former Warrior basketball standout, and Kristin Chaney of Little Rock, a former basketball and softball standout and the college's only two-sport All-American, were inducted into the ECCC Athletic Hall of Fame. The Class of 1968 celebrated its 50th reunion, and the 1998 Warrior baseball team returned to campus in recognition of the 20-year anniversary of winning the college's first state baseball championship.
The Warriors continue MACJC South Division play next Thursday when they travel to Perkinston to face Gulf Coast. Kickoff from A.L. May Memorial Stadium is set for 7 p.m.
The game can be heard on WKOZ Cruisin 98.3 or via audio stream and live stream video at www.eccc.edu/eccc-media.