Jones College capitalized on numerous East Central miscues early on to build an insurmountable first half lead as the No. 7 Bobcats rolled to a 45-20 MACJC South Division football win over the Warriors Thursday, Oct. 25, on the ECCC campus in Decatur.
The regular season finale for both teams was played in a steady rain on the synthetic turf in Bailey Stadium. It was sophomore night for East Central, as 18 players and one manager were honored prior to kickoff.
Even though East Central outgained Jones on the evening 296 total yards of offense to 279 and led in time of possession, the Warriors couldn't overcome several early mistakes.
On its opening drive of the game, Jones drove 65 yards for a score aided by three costly East Central penalties, two of which came on fourth down plays to keep the drive alive.
The Bobcats added three other first-half touchdowns on scoop and scores. Two came on blocked punts and another on an East Central fumble as the Warriors were driving in Jones territory.
Jones would lead 38-0 at the intermission, which meant a running clock until 12:57 of the fourth quarter when East Central put its second touchdown on the scoreboard.
East Central got in the scoring column with 4:03 to play in the third quarter on a 15-yard run by freshman running back Marquavious Qualls of Lake. The point after attempt by Sam Cox (Starkville Academy) was no good. The big play of the drive as a25-yard pass from quarterback Brady Anderson (Brandon) to freshman wide receiver Depodray Coburn II of Noxapater.
Warrior safety Tre' Young (McGill-Toolen Catholic, Mobile, Ala.) recovered a Jones fumble on the Bobcats next possession and five plays later quarterback Mario Asagunla (Hillcrest Christian, Jackson) hit freshman wide receiver Jaylen Zachery (Dayton, Ohio) with a 27-yard scoring pass. Asagunla then passed to Qualls for the two-point conversion to make the score 45-14.
East Central added its final score with 8:56 to play one a one-yard sneak by Asagunla. The drive covered 81 yards in just three plays and included a 40-yard pass from Asagunla to Zachery and another 40 yarder to Coburn.
For the game, Qualls finished with 94 yards rushing on 18 carries. Zachery pulled down four passes for 90 yards.
The Warrior defense held Grandberry, the MACJC's leading rusher, to just 82 yards on the night, well below his 132-yard per game average. Young picked off a couple of Jones passes in the second half.
The Jones defense intercepted four East Central passes in the game.
East Central finished the 2018 season with 4-5 overall record and 3-3 in MACJC South Division play. Jones improved to 8-1 overall and a perfect 6-0 in the division. The Bobcats will host Northwest next Saturday in a first round MACJC State Playoff contest in Ellisville.