East Central Community College wide receiver Xavier Willis (9) maintains possession following this second-quarter reception despite receiving a hard lick from a Pearl River Community College defender during the Thursday night battle at Bailey Stadium. Willis, a sophomore, is a product of Newton County High School. The visiting Wildcats held on for a 10-2 MACJC South Division victory.
DECATUR - Turnovers and missed scoring opportunities were too much to overcome for the East Central Community College Warriors who fell 10-2 in the season finale with Pearl River Community College Thursday night at Bailey Stadium.
EC finished 3-6 overall and 1-5 in the MACJC South Division under second-year head coach Ken Karcher. The Wildcats went 5-4 and 3-6 under second-year head mentor William Jones.
The Warrior defense forced four turnovers during the low-scoring contest, but the offense was unable to take advantage of the opportunities, which included a fumble at the Wildcats’ one-yard-line and two missed field goals.
“We have to take advantage when presented with opportunities,” said Coach Karcher. “We missed a couple of field goals, and we turned the ball back over to them. You’re not going to beat many teams doing that.”
Karcher utilized both freshman quarterbacks for the division battle, as Trey Willis directed the offense in the first half and Andrew Dunn took over for the final two quarters. They combined for 57 yards passing on five-of-17 attempts and three interceptions.
Willis (5-5, 165) is a product of Forest Hill High School and Dunn (6-7, 230) hails from Pascagoula High School.
“We have young guys in multiple positions,” said Karcher. “We have a freshman-laden team. We struggled all year at quarterback with turnovers. You can’t do that, and we’ll have to get that corrected in the final season. Each quarterback played a half, they are young guys who need to improve, and that’s my job.”
In addition to the four turnovers, EC’s defense limited Pearl River to just 210 yards and recorded three quarterback sacks.
“Our defense did a very good job all year outside of one game (Copiah-Lincoln),” Karcher said. “The defensive coaches (Scott Brock, Mickey Mays and Charles Jones) have done an outstanding job this year, and our defensive line play does not surprise me. (Defensive line coach) Mays can coach, anywhere in the country, in my mind. I’ve worked with him before, and he’s one of the best on the business.”
EC’s defense forced turnovers on two of the first three offensive plays by Pearl River, but could not muster any points.
Aubrey Bourn’s interception off a deflected pass from quarterback Kaylon Cooper gave EC possession on its 33, but the Warriors were forced to punt after earning one first down. Bourn is a freshman linebacker from Hattiesburg.
The Wildcats fumbled on their next possession, as defensive lineman Jadarius Ceasar burst through the line and stripped Cooper of the ball and made the recovery at the Pearl River eight-yard-line.
EC’s offense was unable to cash in on the scoring opportunity, as Brennan O’Keefe was unsuccessful on his 25-yard field goal attempt. O’Keefe is a freshman and product of St. Martin High School.
Bourn gave EC another scoring opportunity following his second takeaway on the Wildcat 35-yard-line.
Willis led the Warrior offense on an impressive drive, which included a 57-yard pass completion to running back Marquis Hedge to the Wildcat 24-yard-line. Hedge, a sophomore from Forest Hill, followed with runs of four and six yards to the 14, and speedster Lamarcus Franks toted the pigskin 14 yards to the one-yard-line. Willis tried to sneak over the goal line from the one, but he apparently fumbled before reaching pay dirt, according to officials. (Franks, a sophomore running back from Greene County High School, finished the night with 94 yards on 26 carries. He was 39 yards shy of reaching the 1,000-yard mark for the 2014 season.)
Pearl River took possession on the one, but three plays later EC was awarded a safety when a Wildcat lineman was penalized for holding in the end zone with 6:20 left before halftime.
EC’s 2-0 advantage lasted only a few minutes, as the Wildcats capitalized on a Willis interception at the Warrior 27. Two plays later, sophomore running back Darrell Robison scored on a one-yard plunge with 1:49 remaining in the half. Freshman kicker Jovon Detto added the PAT. Robison is a Noxubee County product and Detto is from Pearl River Central.
After a scoreless third period, the Warriors missed another scoring opportunity early in the fourth stanza when O’Keefe’s 39-yard field goal was unsuccessful. EC began the drive near midfield following a Pearl River turnover.
The game’s final points came on Devon’s 35-yard field goal with 4:27 remaining, and resulted from a Warrior turnover near midfield.
The season finale marked the final game for 16 Warrior sophomores.
“I just told them in the locker room, that I am very proud of those guys,” Karcher said. “Those guys laid a foundation and a mentality that’s going to carry this program to where it needs to go.”
These sophomores on the 2014 East Central Community College football team received special recognition prior to the season finale with Pearl River Community College Thursday, Oct. 23 at Bailey Stadium on the Decatur campus. Completing their careers as Warriors are (kneeling from left) defensive back JaDerrick Farrow (3) of Bleckley County (Cochran, GA), quarterback Ethan Hamilton (8) of Noxapater, wide receiver Xavier Willis (9) of Newton County, running backs Marquis Hedge (21) of Forest Hill and Lamarcus Franks (22) of Greene County, linebacker Grant Landrum (26) of Sumrall and defensive backs Raphael McClain (39) of Starkville and Kenadaira “Junior” Watts of Newton; and (standing from left) linebacker Thomas McCool (38) and Darrion Burnside (42), both of Neshoba Central; defensive lineman Tyler Pace (45) of Newton, long snapper Trent Haden (50) of Sumrall, offensive lineman Marcus Johnson (79) of New Hope, wide receiver Jimmy Cockrell (89) of Columbus, defensive linemen Kendrick Maxwell (90) of Houston and Darryl Rogers (91) of Laurel, and filmer Tyler Armistad of Caledonia. Ken Karcher serves as head coach.
These East Central Community College faculty members were recently selected to attend the annual Lamplighters Conference, which honors outstanding community and junior college instructors throughout the state. Lamplighters and their respective teaching areas include (from left) Natalie Emmons, music keyboard; Kristie Pilgrim, surgical technology; and Sherri Cliburn, special populations reading. This year’s conference was hosted by Coahoma Community College in Clarksdale.
The East Central Community College choral music department hosted its annual District High School Choir Festival Thursday, October 23 on the Decatur campus. Dr. Gary Packwood (right), Director of Choral Activities at Mississippi State University, served as clinician for the 352 students from Newton County, Neshoba Central, Scott Central and Philadelphia high schools who attended. Special exhibition performances were presented by the ECCC Concert Choir and the Ac’cents show choir. The day concluded with a mass choir performance by all festival participants. For more information contact Vicki Blaylock, ECCC vocal/choral music instructor/Fine Arts Department Chair, at 601-635-6225. The e-mail address is email@example.com.
These participants captured first-place honors in their respective divisions of the annual East Central Community College 5K Race held as part of Homecoming activities Saturday, October 11, 2014 on the Decatur campus. Pictured are (seated, from left) Griffin Bailey of Decatur (Kids’ One-Mile Fun Run), Matthew Nowell of Philadelphia (Male 0-12), Kiersten Selman (Female 0-12) and Lori McMullan (Female 40-49), both of Decatur; Lanette Hanna of Louisville (Female Overall Masters) and Donna Luke Pierce of Philadelphia (Female Overall Grand Masters); and (standing, from left) Charlie Creel of Sebastopol (Male Overall Masters), Hunter Collins of Noxapater (Male 20-29), Jerry Lewis of Lake (Male 30-39), Krissi Munn of Decatur (Female Overall), Erin Thornton of Walnut Grove (Female 20-29), Amanda Lewis of Lake (Female 30-39), Becky Monk (Female Walker Overall) and Stacy Monk (Male 50-59), both of Hickory. ECCC instructors Scott Hill and Susan Fox-Smith served as co-chairmen of the annual event.
The East Central Community College women’s soccer team experienced a rare loss after falling to Hinds Community College 3-0 Friday, Oct. 17 at Bailey Stadium on the Decatur campus.
The playoff-bound Lady Soccer Warriors are now 12-2-1 overall and 5-1-1 in the MACJC North Division prior to the completion of regular season action this week.
Gray Massey is in his second year as head coach.
On the men’s side, EC was unable to maintain a 1-0 halftime lead and fell to the visiting Eagles by a 4-2 margin.
Scoring for the Warriors were Carlos Gutierrez and Eliud Alvarez. Connor Brennan was credited with a scoring assist for each goal.
Gutierrez is a freshman defender and product of Mooreville High School. Alvarez is a sophomore midfielder from Forest. Brennan, a sophomore midfielder, hails from Pearl High School.
The Warriors traveled to Itawamba Community College in Fulton Sunday, Oct. 19, for a division battle that was rescheduled due to inclement weather.
EC fell 3-1 to the host Indians. Jordan Alonso scored the lone goal for the Warriors, who dropped to 5-8-2 overall and 1-6 in league play under head coach Kenneth Thompson. Alonso is a sophomore midfielder and product of Newton County High School.
Both EC soccer squads travel to Holmes Community College for division contests scheduled Wednesday, Oct. 22 on the Ridgeland campus. Game times are noon and 2 p.m.
The regular season finale is scheduled with Pearl River Community College Friday, Oct. 24. The Lady Warrior contest begins at 2 p.m. and will be followed by the men’s game at 4 p.m. Sophomore players will be recognized during the non-division matchups.
A preview of East Central Community College’s basketball talent for the 2014-15 campaign will be available Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, when the annual “Haunted House of Hoops” is held on the Decatur campus. Activities begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Brackeen-Wood Physical Education Building.
Brief scrimmages by the Lady Warriors and Warriors will highlight the event, which also includes introductions of players by their respective head coaches, Crandal Porter and Robert Thompson.
A three-point shooting competition featuring Lady Warrior and Warrior players is also scheduled.
In addition, members of the women’s fast-pitch softball, baseball, golf and tennis teams will receive special recognition. Providing introductions are the respective head coaches – Kristin Chaney (softball), Neal Holliman (baseball), Chris Clark (golf) and Dianne O’Neill (adjunct instructor for tennis).
Providing entertainment for the Haunted House of Hoops will be the Centralettes, the dance line for the Wall O’ Sound Marching Band; the Wall O’ Sound Drum Line; and cheerleading squad.
“Trick or treat” candy will be available for youngsters wanting to get an early start on Halloween activities. A Halloween costume contest is also scheduled for ECCC students and staff members.
Refreshments and hot wings will be provided by Valley Food Services, Inc., and served by the Student Body Association officers, event sponsors.
There is no charge for admission and the public is invited to attend.
For more information contact Kristi Smith, director of housing/student activities, 601-635-6213 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members of the 1994 East Central Community College Lady Warrior basketball team were recognized during the 2014 Homecoming festivities held Saturday, October 11. Joining then head coach Sammy Pace (seated, third from left) were team members (front row, from left) Genia Griffin Jackson of Morton, Evelyn Nelson Dupree of Brandon, and Rena Reed Pierre of Springfield, LA; and (standing, from left) Nikki Ross of Philadelphia, Jamala Odom Black of Forest and Carla Leflore Lewis of Brandon. The 1994 Lady Warriors captured the NJCAA Consolation Bracket Championship, the Region 23 Championship and finished ranked 7th in the nation.
Members of the East Central Community College Classes of 1957, 1958 and 1959 were among special groups honored during the 2014 Homecoming festivities held Saturday, October 11 on the Decatur campus. Class members in attendance and their respective hometowns included (front row, from left) Wilmer James, Brandon; Carol Vickers and Jeanette Thrash, both of Decatur; Lois Cooper, Madison; and Dr. Beverly O. Martin, Roanoke, VA; and (back row, from left) Mack Shelton, Pearl; Jimmie Rea, Flora; and Nancy Haggard, Clinton.