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ECCC offense rises to occasion to top Holmes

By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
Sept. 28, 2001
DECATUR – When the game is absolutely, positively on the line, you can count on the East Central Community College Warriors to step up and make a big play.
The Warriors jumped out to a 10-0 first half lead, saw Holmes draw even at 10-10 with 10 seconds left in the third quarter, then scored the final nine points in a 19-10 victory over the Bulldogs Thursday night.
ECCC saw a 14-0 lead over Gulf Coast evaporate last week before rallying for a 29-17 win.
The Warrior offense was nonexistent in the first quarter, finishing with minus five yards on 12 plays. Holmes had only 51 yards in the opening period as neither team found the end zone.
The Warriors opened the second quarter with a vengeance, driving 52 yards in 10 plays to take a 7-0 lead. Patrick Prince carried the ball seven times on the drive, including the final six plays. Prince, a sophomore from Tuscaloosa (Ala.) County High School, scored on a 2-yard run with 10:16 to go before halftime. Danny Haynes kicked the extra point.
The Warriors were back in business late in the first half as Jonathan Hope picked off a Shelton Richardson pass and returned it five yards to the Holmes 15. Prince picked up nine yards on the first two downs, but was stopped for a loss of two yards on third down with Haynes booting a 25-yard field goal to give the Warriors a 10-0 lead with 2:32 left in the first half.
Haynes missed on a 43-yard field goal as the first half ended.
The Warriors had 137 total yards in the second quarter, 73 coming on 17 rushes and 64 coming through the air.
Holmes ran only seven plays in the second period.
The Bulldogs went to work on the ground in the third quarter as Alex Godfrey had 12 carries for 51 yards. Richardson ran the ball six times for 21 yards and completed 4-of-6 passes for 49 yards.
Holmes got to within 10-7 with 4:57 remaining in the third quarter as Richardson lobbed an 8-yard touchdown pass to Reginald Haralson. Matt Jones added the PAT.
The Bulldogs pulled even at 10-10 on an 18-yard field goal by Jones with 10 seconds left in the third period. The Bulldogs had third-and-goal at the ECCC 2, but Richardson was stuffed for no gain on third down and Holmes head coach Hugh Shurden went for the tying field goal.
The Warriors reclaimed the lead with a 10-play, 75-yard drive that ate up a little over five minutes of the fourth quarter. Ramon Williams scored from two yards out with 5:49 to play. Williams set up the score with a 15-yard run to the 2. Haynes' extra point gave ECCC a 17-10 advantage.
The Warriors sealed the win with back-to-back sacks of Richardson with Keith Curry and Courtney Steele combining to drop the Holmes quarterback in the end zone for a safety with 4:51 showing.
Buck Thames and Josh Chaney picked off two Richardson passes in the final three minutes as ECCC improved to 3-1.
Prince had 23 carries for 80 yards for the Warriors. Brian Zbydniewski completed 8-of-17 passes for 99 yards with Dontay Spillman having four receptions for 55 yards.
Holmes, 1-3, got 78 yards on 21 carries from Godfrey. Richardson completed 11-of-27 passes for 82 yards while throwing three interceptions.
The Warriors return to South Division action next Saturday at Copiah-Lincoln.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at mstamper@themeridianstar.com or call him at 693-1551, ext. 3234.

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