ECCC Warriors seek to rebound at Southwest
By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
Oct. 26, 2001
DECATUR For the past three weeks, the East Central Community College Warriors have played themselves into contention for a state playoff berth.
ECCC went 2-1 against South Division foes Copiah-Lincoln, Hinds, and Jones, with last week's 40-36 loss to Jones being the only setback. The Warriors rallied from a 34-10 deficit to take a 36-34 lead with just over three minutes remaining only to give up a 63-yard touchdown pass in the final two minutes.
The Warriors will be seeking a return to the win column when they travel to Summit Saturday to take on Southwest Mississippi.
Jones is 4-0 in the South Division, while Pearl River is 4-1 and ECCC is 3-1. The other four teams have been eliminated from the playoff picture.
The Bears of Southwest lost their first five games before beating Gulf Coast (7-6) and Coahoma (33-0) in their last two outings.
Southwest ranks at the top of the MACJC team statistics in total defense, allowing only 213 yards per game. The Bears are second only to Jones against the run, giving up 65.5 yards per game on the ground. ECCC is 10th in total defense, giving up 290.7 yards per game.
The Bears rank last in the state in total offense as they average just 227 yards per contest. ECCC averages 327.7 yards per game.
Southwest gets nearly all of its yards on the ground as the Bears average just 79.5 yards through the air. The top rushers are Calvin Batiste (5-10, 230) at 79.5 yards per game and Jarvis Robinson (5-11, 185) at 33.4 yards per game. Quarterback Steve Erdey (5-11, 200) is 34-of-70 through the air for 393 yards.
Patrick Prince leads ECCC's ground game with 116 yards per game. Ramon Williams adds 44.6 yards per contest.
Prince was chosen MACJC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against Jones. The Tuscaloosa, Ala., native rushed for 158 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries and caught a 30-yard touchdown pass against the Bobcats.
ECCC quarterback Brian Zbydniewski has completed 70-of-147 passes for 856 yards. Top Warrior receivers are Dontay Spillman with 24 receptions for 452 yards and five touchdowns and Marcus Lee with 20 catches for 228 yards.
Southwest's Justin Simpson is the state's top punter, averaging 40 yards per kick with a long punt of 74 yards. Bear punt returner Barry Crockett (5-9, 170) averages 14.2 yards per return with kickoff returner Brandon Jamison (6-2, 215) averaging 24 yards per return.
Defensively, linebacker Kelvin Morris (6-4, 220) and defensive back Kent Smith (6-1, 185) both have four interceptions for Southwest. Morris also has six sacks. ECCC's Keith Curry and Courtney Steele both have four.
Morris, who also plays quarterback at times, leads the Bears in tackles with 46 solos and 25 assists. Linebacker Nick Tynes (6-1, 225) has 33 solo and 26 assists.
John Bibb is the Warriors' top tackler with 39 solo and 20 assists. Melvin Cotton has 37 solo and 19 assists. Bibb also has three fumble recoveries.
The game may be heard on WSSI 98.3-FM in Carthage.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at email@example.com or call him at 693-1551, ext. 3235.