September 15, 2017
East Central tight end Chris Deloach dives over the goal line on a shuffle pass from Mario Asagunla for the Warriors second touchdown of the game. (EC Photo)
Freshman quarterback Markevion Quinn accounted for 433 yards of offense and four scores to lead the Pearl River Wildcats to a 59-40 win over East Central Community College in an MACJC South Division football game played at Bailey Stadium in Decatur Thursday, Sept. 14.
It was the home opener for East Central after two road games to open the season.
Quinn, who replaced injured starter Justin Agner, ran for 226 yards and three scores and passed for another 207 yards and a touchdown in his first career start for the Wildcats.
It appeared East Central would start the scoring in the first quarter, but a 35-yard field goal attempt by Zach Engell of the Lamar School was just short. Pearl River took over at the 20 and promptly marched 80 yards in just six plays. Running back Caleb Batie carried it in from the two, but the key play of the drive was a 70-yard scamper by Quinn to the Warrior three setting up the score with 7:59 to go.
The Warriors tied the game with 50 seconds to play in the opening quarter when freshman quarterback Mario Asagunla hit a streaking freshman wide receiver Octavious Olowo-ake from Jackson Murrah for a 41-yard touchdown. The drive covered 83 yards in just five plays. Engell’s PAT tied the game 7-7.
Before the first quarter horn could sound, the Wildcats were on the scoreboard again. Pearl River traveled 78 yards in just 39 seconds and two plays to regain the lead, 14-7. Quinn would call his own number and ramble 48 yards for the score.
On the ensuing kickoff, East Central’s Kevontaye Caston of Trinity Cathedral in Natchez raced to the Pearl River five-yard line before he was brought down to end the first quarter. On the second play of the second quarter, sophomore tight end Chris Deloach out of Columbus took a shuffle pass from Asagunla and carried it in from the five. A bad snap on the PAT attempt helped Pearl River remain in front 14-13.
The Warriors would take their first lead of the game just moments later on a second shuttle pass from Asagunla, this time to tight end Nigel Wood of Petal from the seven yard line. The PAT was good and East Central led 20-14 with 9:25 still to play in the first half. Asagunla, who prepped at Hillcrest Christian in Jackson, and Wood also connected on a 27-yard pass and catch on the 72-yard, nine-play drive.
From that point it was all Pearl River the remainder of the second quarter. The Wildcats added three more scores to take a 35-20 lead to the locker room. Quinn tossed a 26-yard pass to Jakwaize Walker and scored on a 22-yard run, and Tyler Polk scored from one yard out.
Pearl River started the third quarter where it left off in the second with its fourth straight touchdown of the game. The Wildcats drove 94 yards in 11 plays, taking 5:11 off the clock. Batie scored from the one to put Pearl River up 42-20 over East Central.
East Central ended its scoring drought on the next drive when freshman quarterback Jacob Carter from Pontotoc connected with Wood for the third shuffle pass score of the game. This one from 24 yards. The point after failed leaving the score 42-26 midway through the third quarter.
However, the Wildcats would answer East Central on their next possession with Polk scoring from the four to extend the lead to 49-26
The Warriors would get to within 12 points, 52-40, with 10:59 still to play after a 22-yard scoring strike from Jacob Carter to sophomore wide receiver Antonio Gibson and a two-yard run by freshman running back James Smith III, sandwiched around a 39-yard field goal by Pearl River.
The elusive Quinn put the game away for good with 7:39 to play on a seven yard run, his third of the game.
Pearl River finished the game with 602 yards total offense, including 395 on the ground. The Warriors piled up 484 yards on the game. East Central produced 22 first downs in the game, to 19 for Pearl River.
Leading East Central offensively was Asagunla, who threw for 233 yards and three scores before leaving the game in the second half with an injury. Smith III out of Velma Jackson led the Warriors on the ground with 100 yards rushing and a score. Gibson of Stockbridge, Ga., pulled in five passes for 89 yards and one touchdown, and Olowo-ake caught three balls for 91 yards and a score.
East Central dropped to 1-2 on the season with the loss and 0-1 in MACJC South Division play. Pearl River improved to 2-1 and 1-0.
East Central hits the road again next Thursday, Sept. 21, to face South Division foe Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Perkinston. Kickoff is 7 p.m. from A.L. May Memorial Stadium on the Gulf Coast campus. Pearl River returns home to Poplarville to face Hinds at 6 p.m.
The East Central vs. Gulf Coast game can be heard on WKOZ 98.3 “The Groove” or via audio stream at www.eccc.edu/eccc-media. Live streaming video with audio can be found at www.eccc.edu/eccc-media or www.kicks96news.com.
Score By Quarter:
Warrior freshman receiver Octavious Olowo-ake hauls in a 41-yard touchdown pass from the arm of Mario Asagunla to give East Central a first quarter 7-7 tie with Pearl River. (EC Photo)