DECATUR, Miss. – The Co-Lin Wolves found themselves in a 14-0 hole early on Thursday night but bounced back in a big way to defeat the East Central Community College Warriors 42-17. The win moves the Wolves to 4-2 on the season and to 3-0 in MACJC South Division play. The loss drops the Warriors to 3-3 and 2-1. Co-Lin is now the lone team in the second place slot in the division behind Jones College who is 5-1, 4-0. The Wolves have another big South Division matchup next week as Co-Lin plays host to the Hinds Eagles in Wesson on Thursday, October 11 at 7 p.m. As of now, Hinds is 3-2, 2-1 with their sixth game of the season taking place this Saturday, October 6 versus Coahoma.
East Central took the field with furry Thursday after breaking the opening drive wide open with a 67-yard run from James Smith on the third play from scrimmage. ECCC's Marquavious Qualls capped the drive off just four plays later to put the Warriors in the lead, 7-0, with 12:46 remaining in the first.
The Warriors kept the momentum on the ensuing drive as ECCC stripped the ball from Co-Lin's Malik Heath's hands and returned it deep into the Wolves' territory. Smith took it in from three-yards out four plays later to stretch the Warriors' lead to 14-0 with 9:44 remaining in the first.
Co-Lin finally found their rhythm on the next drive as the Wolves marched 72 yards on seven plays to get on the scoreboard. Deion Dampier earned most of those yards on three carries two of which went for 33 yards and 17 yards. Hayden Davis connected with TK McLendon from 15-yards out to finish off the drive. Ashton Garner knocked the point after attempt through to cut the Warriors' lead to seven, 14-7, with 6:24 remaining in the first.
In the second, Co-Lin took the wind from ECCC's sails with a blocked field goal from 28-yards out. The block denied the Warriors an opportunity to capitalize on an interception, and the Wolves used that momentum to knot the game at 14-14. Dampier once again broke several big runs during the drive, two rushes over 20-yards, and finished the drive with a two-yard halfback dive. With 11:42 left in the opening half the game was tied.
After back-and-forth punts, Co-Lin took their first lead of the game with 4:14 remaining in the half. Dell Thigpen, a freshman from Wesson, got the ball on a reverse and took it 50-yards to the house. The score put the Wolves on top 21-14.
Co-Lin fumbled on the opening possession in the third quarter and ECCC took advantage. The Warriors drove to the Co-Lin one-yard line, but the Wolves made an excellent goal line stand to limit the damage to only a field goal. With 12:00 remaining in the third Co-Lin led 21-17.
Co-Lin quickly responded with an 11 play, 65-yard drive. The Wolves had really established the run game, which opened up passing opportunities. Davis connected with Kundarrius Taylor from 13-yards out with 6:45 on the clock to stretch the Co-Lin lead to 28-17.
After two turnovers on downs, ECCC took over at their own 16-yard line early in the fourth. Several plays later Smith, ECCC's running back, fumbled an exchange and Co-Lin's Edwin Whitlock was there on the recovery. The Wolves looked to capitalize on the momentum shift and Davis went deep to Taylor. Taylor used his speed to zip to the end zone on a 56-yard toss and catch touchdown. The score stretched the lead to 35-17 with 12:38 remaining in the game.
The Wolves pulled the game out of reach on the next possession as Co-Lin's Harrell Blackmon intercepted Mario Asagunla's pass and returned it 44-yards to ECCC's 16-yard line. Dampier got his number called on the first play and took it to the end zone on the first play from scrimmage. The score pulled Co-Lin's lead to 42-17.
Co-Lin's offense was unstoppable on the night as the team racked up 532 total yards, the most since the Wolves 2014 matchup against Jones County Junior College in 2014 where Co-Lin posted 601 total yards. The Wolves had 334 yards on the ground with 179 of that, and two scores, coming from Dampier on 18 attempts. Davis was 16-for-21 in the air for 190 yards and three scores. Taylor led the Wolves in receptions and yards with 103-yards on six catches and two touchdowns. Defensively, Jakaiszer Glass and Tyrus Wheat led the way with eight tackles each. Swayze Bozeman wrapped seven tackles and had three pass breakups on the night. Natrone Brooks, Blackmon, and Jordan Davis all finished with six tackles each.
East Central was held to 320 total yards with 161 passing and 159 rushing. Asagunla led the Warriors' passing attack with 97 yards on 12-of-26 passing. Smith led the ground game with 122 yards on 23 carries. Smith also posted the most receiving yards for East Central with 37. V.J. Swanier led ECCC's defense with nine tackles and one tackle for loss. William Morgan and Tanner Bullock added eight tackles each.
Next Thursday's game against Hinds is slated for a 7 p.m. kickoff in Wesson. The game will serve as Co-Lin's Breast Cancer Awareness game so fans are asked to wear pink. Thursday's game is also Educator Appreciation Night; any employee at an elementary, middle, or high school in Co-Lin's district will receive free entry with their school ID. Fans can watch the action live at colinathletics.com or listen live at WMJU 104.3 FM in Brookhaven. For more information about the Co-Lin football program follow @colinathletics or @CoLinFootball on Twitter.
1Q 12:46 East Central Community College - Marquavious Qualls 4 yd run. (Sam Cox kick is good). 0 - 7
1Q 09:44 East Central Community College - James Smith 3 yd run. (Sam Cox kick is good). 0 - 14
3Q 12:00 East Central Community College - Sam Cox 23 yd field goal. 21 - 17