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ECCC comes up short against Northwest

By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
Oct. 24, 2003
DECATUR Following East Central Community College's 40-31 loss to Northwest Mississippi Community College Thursday night, Warriors' head coach Terry Underwood was both proud and disgusted.
Confused? On a night of big plays, one in particular left many in attendance unsure of exactly what happened.
Trailing 21-19, Ranger quarterback Rayburn Morris was flushed out of the pocket and hit near the line of scrimmage. Whether his knee touched the ground or not is a point of contention, but no whistles blew the play dead and Morris jogged and backpedaled his way 76 yards to the end zone as no Warriors gave chase. A touchdown was signaled when Morris finally crossed the goal line with 7:25 left in the game.
Underwood made his way onto the field for one of two discussions with referee James Vance.
The extra point failed, leaving MACJC North Division champion Northwest, 7-1, up by eight points with plenty of time remaining.
The Warriors, 2-6, drew to within 27-25 with 3:45 left on a 10-yard pass from Terrell Robinson to Kenshay Hunter. Robinson was tackled for no gain on the two-point attempt.
After a return of a short sky kickoff to the ECCC 29, the Rangers upped their lead to 33-25 two plays later on a diving reception in the end zone by Derrick Hassell for a 27-yard score. Kevin Dowell's PAT again failed, leaving the Warriors in striking range at 33-25.
A 40-yard interception return for a touchdown by Jason Campbell 17 seconds later, however, gave the Rangers a 40-25 advantage.
With 19 seconds showing, the Warriors drew to within 40-31 on a 6-yard touchdown toss from Robinson to Derrick Harris. A two-point run by Hunter failed. In the fourth quarter, Harris had five receptions for 73 yards.
The Warriors recovered an onside kick, but were unable to score again.
The Warriors controlled most of the first half. They took a 7-0 lead with 5:23 left in the first quarter on a 6-yard pass from Robinson to Clinton Thomas. Mitch Myers added the PAT. The score was set up by a fumble recovery by Mantrell Ashford at the Ranger 3-yard line.
Northwest drew even with 25.6 seconds left in the first half on a 2-yard pass from Dallas Mooneyham to Chad Brown. The Rangers went up 14-7 with 11:55 to go in the third quarter when Eldra Buckley raced 65 yards.
On their next possession, the Rangers extended their lead to 21-7 on an 8-yard scoring pass from Morris to Joemal Campbell.
The Warriors got to within 21-13 with 1:47 left in the third period on a 13-yard run by Hunter. Myers' low PAT was blocked. Bobby Lindsey turned a short pass from Robinson into a 47-yard gain to the Ranger 32 with Mario Thomas getting 20 yards on an end around on the next play to set up the score.
Myers missed a 43-yard field goal in the first minute of the fourth quarter.
ECCC drew to within 21-19 on its next possession as the Warriors marched 51 yards with Germaine Smith scoring on a 3-yard run. A two-point bid failed under heavy pressure by the Rangers.