The Meridian Star
The East Central Community College Warriors are still looking for their first win of the season after dropping the home opener to No. 6 Copiah-Lincoln Community College, 23-0, on Thursday night.
The Warriors were down both quarterbacks and forced to move Anthony Triplett from defensive back into the role.
"I thought Anthony brought some life to our football team," first-year head coach Ken Karcher said. "I thought the kids fought hard and trying to get better."
Triplett finished the night nine for 16 for 78 yards and two interception.
Karcher said he saw improvement in the team despite numerous injuries, riddling the depth chart.
The game opened with some dramatics as Triplett threw his first interception of the night. The mistake was matched by a Wolfpack fumble returning the ball to the Warriors on the 31-yard line.
They began the march down the field, making up 68 yards. The luck would end on the 1-yard line as Tyler Pace fumbled the ball on the carry on the second-and-goal.
"I thought if we knocked the first one in there, down on the one-yard line where we fumble, it's a different ball game," Karcher said. "You can't make those mistakes against a good ball team. our kids will continue to get better and not make those mistakes, but that's a key point in the ball game right there."
After the Warriors threaten to put points on the board, the Wolfpack did on the first drive of the second quarter.
Co-Lin took over the ball on the 1-yard line for its own full-field drive to set up for a 25-yard field goal. The kick was good and broke open the scoreless game, 3-0, with 13:37 on the clock.
The Wolfpack added to their lead with a touchdown before halftime. ECCC turned the ball over on downs after botching a wide-open fake punt, leading to Co-Lin taking the ball in Warrior territory.
Kelton Smith ran in the 7-yard score for a 9-0 lead with 4:23 left in the half.
"We felt like we could compete in the game," Karcher said. "We felt like if we could come out and hold them, and get our offense back on the field then maybe something would happen. But when you play a good football team, you can't make mistakes that are eventually going to get you and that's what they did in the end."
The Wolfpack leaned hard on Smith to extend the score in the second half as he added two punch-in touchdowns. The first made it 16-0 with 11:01 left in the third. He added his second roughly 15 minutes later, with 10:51 left in regulation for the final, 23-0.
Lamarcus Franks finished the night as the game's leading rusher with 89 yards for ECCC.
Next week, the Warriors will travel to Southwest Mississippi Community College in Summit next Thursday at 7 p.m.