Freshman Jesse Blakemore (10) took over signal calling duties for the East Central Community College Warriors after starting quarterback Mitch Manley was injured at the end of first period action in a key MACJC South Division battle with Hinds Community College Thursday night in Raymond. Blakemore responded with a 21-yard TD strike to wide receiver KeiVondre Watford and later scored on a one-yard plunge. Both scores came in the final minutes of ECCC’s 31-19 setback to the Eagles. Blakemore is a product of The Veritas School in Ridgeland and Watford hails from Tuscaloosa (Ala.) Central High School.
Lakenneth Weidman (83), a freshman defensive lineman for the East Central Community College Warriors, brings down Hinds Community College running back Jeremy Parker (34) during the MACJC South Division battle Thursday night in Raymond. The Eagles won the homecoming contest by a 31-19 margin. Weidman is a product of South Leake High School
Another setback for the East Central Community College football team proved even more costly as freshman quarterback Mitch Manley sustained a possible season-ending knee injury in first-half action of the Warriors’ 31-19 defeat to Hinds Community College Thursday night in Raymond. Manley, who was on track to have his most productive night as the Warrior signal caller, was injured during a tackle by a Hinds defender on the last play of the first quarter with the Eagles holding a 7-0 advantage. Manley had led EC from its own 20 to the Hinds’ 21 when the mishap occurred. Manley’s helmet came off as a result of the tackle. The freshman from Pittsburg (Texas) High School left the game after completing three of seven passes for 37 yards and one pick. He also had three carries for 13 yards. He was rated one of the state’s top passers prior to the Hinds game. “It’s just so unfortunate,” said Warrior head coach Brian Anderson referring to Manley’s injury. “Mitch was really pumped up for this game and was having a good night leading the team. It appears he will miss the rest of the season but we won’t know for sure until we have the results from the MRI.” East Central, which fell to 1-4 overall and 0-2 in MACJC South Division, was seeking a second-straight win over their division rival and had hopes of playing the role of spoiler for the Eagles’ homecoming. But Hinds had other ideas and used a potent passing attack to post a 31-19 decision. The Eagles improved to 4-1 and 2-0 following the key division contest. The Eagles were led by quarterback Deon Anthony, who ripped the Warrior defense by completing 12 of 24 passes for 268 yards and three scores. Anthony, a 6-1, 205-pound sophomore from Westgate High School in New Iberia, La., tossed a 36-yard TD strike to Adam McWilliams of Clinton, and connected on 59 - and six-yard scoring pass plays with Quantavius Leslie, a product of Callaway High School in Hogansville, Ga. Hinds also scored on a four-yard run by freshman Jabari Baker of Forest Hill. Kicker Kyle Williams of Pearl completed the Eagles’ scoring by connecting on a 21-yard field goal and three PATs. East Central scored in the second and fourth stanzas but missed an opportunity to take an early lead on the game’s opening possession. On the first play of scrimmage, sophomore speedster Reggie Hall raced 54 yards to the Hinds 26 but the drive later stalled when Manley’s pass was intercepted in the end zone two plays later. Hall is a product of Neville High School in Monroe, La. However, the Warriors did find the end zone early in the second quarter on a 23-yard TD toss from freshman LaVadius Lyles of Forest to sophomore wide receiver Cory Collier of Tuscaloosa County High School. Jacob Carpenter of Winona added the PAT to knot the score at 7-7. The TD came two plays after Manley’s injury. EC’s other two scores came late in the contest. Freshman quarterback Jesse Blakemore fired a 21-yard TD strike to wide receiver KeiVondre Watford with 7:41 remaining, and Blakemore sneaked over the goal line for a one-yard tally with 18 seconds remaining. The PATs were not successful. Both scores were set up by Eagle turnovers. Blakemore, a product of The Veritas School in Ridgeland, completed five of 12 passes for 32 yards and one interception. He had eight rushes for 38 yards. Sophomore Dennis Thames of Louisville led EC rushers with 22 carries for 65 yards. Hall had one carry for 54 yards. Freshman Jaabir Stephens had eight carries for 38 yards. Stephens hails from Hillcrest High School in Tuscaloosa. Collier was EC’s top receiver with three catches for 31 yards and a score. Hall also had three grabs for 25 yards. Watford, a Tuscaloosa Central product, had the one catch for 22 yards and a score. Defensively, sophomore linebacker Chris Ficklin led the Warriors with seven tackles and two assists. Ficklin is a product of Scott Central High School. Linebacker Tyrone Williams had six tackles. Williams hails from Thomasville (Ga.) High School. East Central hosts Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Saturday, Oct. 8 in the annual homecoming battle. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. at Bailey Stadium. The Bulldogs, ranked 12th in the latest NJCAA poll, defeated Pearl River Community College 17-10 Thursday night to improve to 4-1 and 3-0. All Warrior football games can be heard on the ECCC Web site (www.eccc.edu) and on the 98.3 “The Groove” (WKOZ-FM in Carthage/Philadelphia) featuring veteran broadcasters Melvin Wooten and Gilbert Barham. Warrior home contests are also streamed live on the College’s Web site. Click on “Warrior-Cast” to watch all the action, including the halftime presentation of the 2011 homecoming court and performance of the Wall O’ Sound Marching Band.
LaJoya Griffin (center), a 2011 graduate of Philadelphia High School, is shown signing a national letter of intent to play softball at East Central Community College in Decatur. Griffin, an outfielder/infielder, earned most valuable player honors in fast-pitch and was selected best offensive and best defensive player in slow-pitch during 2009-10. She missed most of her junior and senior campaigns due to an injury. The special honors graduate was also selected homecoming queen. Shown with the new Lady Diamond Warrior are (left) her mother, Juliet Griffin of Philadelphia, and ECCC head softball coach Scott Hill. LaJoya is also the daughter of Ken Griffin of Philadelphia.
Former East Central Community College golfer Luke Brown of Carthage is continuing his career at Delta State University in Cleveland, announced Chris Clark, ECCC golf coach.
Brown was a two-year standout on the Warrior golf team, earning All-Region 23 honors as a freshman and MACJC All-State recognition following his sophomore season. He finished in the top 40 at the 2010 NCJCAA Division II Golf Tournament held at the Palm Valley Golf Course in Goodyear, Arizona. Brown was also named the Warrior’s most valuable golfer at the 2011 Spring Sports Awards Banquet. “It was a pleasure to coach Luke,” said Clark. “Not only is he a talented golfer and a tremendous competitor, but more importantly he is a fine young man who represented ECCC well. We at East Central wish Luke our very best as he continues his career at Delta State University.” Brown was an All-State and All-District selection in golf at Carthage High School, where he received additional awards in athletics and academics. He was also chosen Mr. Carthage High School.
He is the son of Jimmy and Paula Brown of Carthage