COMMUNITY COLLEGE PREVIEW: ICC eyes winless EC for first win

By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal

One of these teams – Itawamba or East Central – will no longer be winless after tonight.
First-year head coach Jon Williams takes his ICC Indians (0-2) south to his old stomping grounds in Decatur to play the Warriors (0-2). He anticipates a tough battle.
“I started my career there and I know the kind of kids they recruit,” Williams said. “They get blue-collar kids, who are really good. They come ready to play each week.”
East Central dropped a 41-26 decision last week to MACJC North Division leader Northwest last week while ICC lost 34-14 to Pearl River.
“This team had Northwest beat at halftime,” Williams said. “They’ve got a really good football team.”
ICC was in the hunt at the half last week against No. 21-ranked Pearl River. The Indians, who trailed 14-7 at halftime, had an opportunity to score late in the second quarter, but turned the ball over on downs.
Williams says despite not scoring, his players were upbeat at halftime.
“We knew we had a chance,” he said. “Our defense was playing well and had a lot of confidence. We felt like we could win the game.”
ICC freshman quarterback Andy Wilson threw two touchdown passes against Pearl River, including one for 75 yards to Dengelo Henry. He caught a 54-yarder for a score in the first half.
Wilson has completed 29 of 65 passes for 472 yards and three TDs. He’s also suffered three interceptions.
“He’s played really well for the most part,” Williams said. “We left about 150 yards on the field with dropped balls last week. He’s doing everything we’ve asked him to do. He’s managing the game well.”
The Indians’ offense is rated seventh overall in the 13-team league, averaging 362 yards per game.

Northeast hosts Delta
Northeast (1-1) plays its home opener tonight at Tiger Stadium in Booneville against Mississippi Delta (0-2).
The Tigers lost 20-16 last week to South Division foe Southwest.
Northeast sophomore wide receiver Josh Jarboe, a transfer from Troy, leads the team with 13 catches for 195 yards and two TDs. Tigers quarterback Clint Wilson has completed 37 of 77 passes for 493 yards and four scores in two games.
The defense was led last week by linebacker Anthony Brown, who recorded 13 stops.
In today’s other game, Northwest (2-0) travels to East Mississippi (0-2). The Lions, who lost 50-42 to Hinds, will be the Rangers’ toughest test of the young season.

Contact Gene Phelps at 678-1593
or gene.phelps@djournal.com.