September 1, 2017
East Central sophomore running back Dwayne Barnett fights for yards on the wet field in first half action at Holmes. (EC Photo)
The Holmes Community College Bulldogs opened a 21-0 halftime lead en route to a 49-14 win over the East Central Community College Warriors in the season opener for both schools Thursday, Aug. 31.
The non-division matchup at Ras Branch Field in Goodman was played in a steady rain with winds gusting to 30 mph at times, thanks to the remnants of Hurricane Harvey.
With the loss, East Central drops to 0-1 on the season. Holmes is 1-0.
Holmes got on the scoreboard first in the ballgame with an impressive 75-yard, 12-play opening drive capped by a five-yard run by running back Cameryn Brent with 8:12 to play in the first quarter.
East Central drove to the Bulldog 15 yard line on its opening drive of the game, but fumbled the ball back to Holmes on a fourth and two play.
The Warriors fumbled away another chance to tie the game early in the second quarter when sophomore running back Antonio Gibson rambled 46 yards to the end zone before fumbling the football. Holmes recovered in the end zone for the touchback. The Bulldogs then drove 80 yards in seven plays to move in front 14-0 with 7:08 to play before halftime. The score came on a 13-yard run by Sanchez Berry.
Following a short East Central punt, Holmes took over again, this time in Warrior territory and drove 41 yards for the third touchdown of the first half. Quarterback Josh Dodd bulled in from the one-yard line and the Bulldogs took a 21-0 lead to the locker room at halftime.
The Warriors drove deep into Holmes territory to start the second half, but couldn’t convert on a fourth down play. Holmes quickly drove 65 yards in three plays to put the game away at 28-0. Brent scampered 25 yards for his second score of the game.
East Central finally put points on the scoreboard in the third quarter when quarterback Quentin Gibson connected with freshman wide receiver Kevontaye Caston out of Trinity Episcopal in Natchez from 24 yards out. Lamar School product Zach Engell kicked the point after. Holmes lead was 28-7.
After a failed on-side kick attempt, Holmes went up 35-7 on a five-yard run by Dodd with 6:08 to play in the third. The drive covered 54 yards.
The Holmes scoring would continue in the third quarter. Dodd broke loose on a 54-yard run to extend the Bulldogs’ lead to 42-7 with 2:35 remaining.
A one-yard run by Gibson gave East Central another score late in the third quarter. Engell’s point after made the score Holmes 42, East Central 14.
Holmes capped off the scoring in the game with 8:05 to play on a 10-yard keeper by backup quarterback Jesse Wilson.
The Bulldogs finished with 494 yards total offense, with 457 of those coming on the ground. East Central managed 353 yards, including 201 running the football.
East Central remains on the road next week with a trip to Booneville to face Northeast Mississippi Community College at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 7.