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GOODMAN, Miss. – The Copiah-Lincoln Community College Wolves fell to 0-1 to start the 2018 season as the Holmes Bulldogs hit a 40-yard field goal with just 34 seconds remaining in the contest to secure a 29-28 victory. Co-Lin is back on the road next week as the team makes the long haul to Booneville, Miss. to take on the Northeast Mississippi Community College Tigers.
The Wolves’ offensive was moving the ball well in the opening quarter despite some first game jitters. Co-Lin fumbled the opening possession on the third play from scrimmage, but the Wolves responded after TJ Campbell forced a fumble on the defensive side and Lawilliam Holmes recovered. Co-Lin took advantage of the opportunity and marched 49 yards in nine plays to score. Hayden Davis completed a pass to Kundarrius Taylor from four yards out for the first touchdown of the season. Ashton Garner tacked on the point after. With 8:09 remaining in the first quarter Co-Lin led 7-0.
After a 21-yard kickoff return from Holmes the Bulldogs got their run-heavy offense rolling. They took the ball 78 yards on 11 plays, nine of which were runs, to knot the game at seven all late in the opening quarter.
Co-Lin took the momentum right back as Taylor returned the ensuing kickoff 57 yards to the Holmes 33-yard line. Unfortunately, the Wolves’ drive was cut short by a fumble just two plays later.
The Bulldogs took over and once again marched the length of the field. Co-Lin made an impressive goal line stand in their own redzone with tackles by Edwin Whitlock and Lawilliam Holmes. The Bulldogs’ Connor McKay knocked in a 21-yard field goal to take a 10-7 lead with 10:51 left in the second quarter.
Once again the Wolves’ offense took the field with vengeance. Co-Lin took the ball 70 yards on 13 plays including a 13-yard halfback dive from Deion Dampier on third and one midway through the drive. Davis connected to Jay Jimison for a 22-yard strike to put Co-Lin on the one-yard line, and Dampier capped the drive with a one-yard plunge. With 4:04 left in the first half the Wolves led 14-10.
After a Holmes punt, the Wolves took over at their own 20 with just 1:59 remaining in the second quarter. After a quick 12-yard gain on a pass to Malik Heath, the drive was broke wide open after Dampier took a short out route 44 yards to the Holmes 36 yard line. Rico Owens punched in a run from 12-yards out to finish off the 56-second drive and stretch the Wolves’ lead to 21-10.
The Bulldogs scampered down the field in the final minute with a pass from Jesse Walton to Dylan Kelly for 45 yards and hit a 22-yard field goal as time expired in the first half. The score cut Co-Lin’s lead to 21-13 going into the locker rooms.
The Bulldogs scored on the opening possession of the third quarter to bring the game to just one, 21-20, after a lengthy 12 play 69 yard drive, but the Wolves were unable to get anything going on the offensive end.
In the fourth, the Wolves pulled away to a 28-20 lead after Davis threw a bullet pass to Antoine Robinson from 21-yards out for a score.
Holmes once again responded. The Bulldogs’ Darius May scored from 12-yards out with 7:28 remaining in the game to bring Holmes within two, 28-26. The Bulldogs went for two, but Co-Lin’s Swayze Bozeman batted the pass down.
After a Co-Lin punt, Holmes drove 50-yards, and ate five minutes and 16 seconds off the clock before stalling at Co-Lin’s 23 yard line. Holmes’ McKay hit the 40-yard field goal with 34 seconds remaining to give the Bulldogs a 29-28 lead, a score that secured the win.
Hayden Davis, who was 18-for-27 for 220 yards and two scores, led the Wolves offensive attack. Rico Owens and Deion Dampier rushed for 42 and 37 yards respectively with one score each. Davis’ passes were spread to nine different receivers with Dampier leading the bunch with 43 receiving yards. Antoine Robinson posted 36 yards and a score, while Kundarrius Taylor had 31 yards and a touchdown.
Darius May led Holmes with 128 yards on the ground with one score, while quarterback Jesse Walton was 9-for-18 with 186 yards.
Defensively, Swayze Bozeman led Co-Lin with 13 tackles, one tackle for loss, and one forced fumble. Jakaiszer Glass posted 10 tackles, while a host of Wolves finished with nine. TAijh Alsot and TJ Campbell also forced fumbles.
Kickoff against Northeast is slated for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 6 in Booneville. Fans can listen to the action live at colinathletics.com and WMJU 104.3 FM in Brookhaven or watch live at www.nemcctv.com courtesy of Northeast Community College. For more information on the Wolves follow @colinathletics and @CoLinFootball on Twitter.
Photos include running back No. 2 Rico Owens and QB No. 14 Hayden Davis
Photo credits: Natalie Davis