By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal
FULTON – For a night that began so well for Itawamba Community College, it ended so tantalizingly bad.
The Indians’ solid defensive play and early advantage was not enough as No. 14 ranked Copiah-Lincoln scored the only points of the second half Thursday to gain a 17-14 victory.
“We had some momentum early, and I really thought we could capitalize on that early momentum,” Itawamba head coach Jon Williams said. “Co-Lin had a good solid defense.
“They’ve been playing well, and they played well tonight.”
It was the ICC defense that lit up the scoreboard early. On the game’s second play, the Indians’ defense caused a fumble that was scooped up by Brandon Smith of Aberdeen and returned 15 yards for a score.
But early in the second quarter Kalen Jackson of Co-Lin (5-1) timed a pass, picking it off and returning it 51 yards for the touchdown to knot the game at 7.
Itawamba quarterback Griff Loftis, who threw for 166 yards in the first half, racked up 51 of those yards later in the period, connecting with wideout Sanford Seay. The sophomore made a nice move on the sidelines, converting the pass into a TD.
A couple of series later, running back Darius Guy burst up the middle for a 43-yard scoring run, tying the contest at 14.
Both offenses stalled a bit in the second half, though Co-Lin found just enough to decide the contest in its favor. An 11-play drive was capped early in the fourth quarter as Nolan Long hit a 24-yard field goal to give Co-Lin the winning edge.
Northeast 21, Coahoma 17: Nolan Genovese capped a 13-play, 52-yard drive with a 5-yard scoring pass to Kerwin Harrison with 41 seconds left to lift the Tigers (2-4, 1-2).
Northeast returned a fumble on the opening kickoff for a TDand survived three interceptions.