By Shawn Wansley, Jones Sports Information Director
DECATUR – All three phases of the game contributed to No. 7 Jones College’s 45-20 victory over East Central here Thursday on a wet, rainy night at Bailey Stadium.
The Bobcats had two special teams’ touchdowns and a defensive score as they won their seventh straight win.
Jones is now 8-1 overall and finishes all alone at the top spot of the MACJC South Division at 6-0.
The Bobcats will now host No. 5 Northwest at 2 p.m. on Nov. 3 in the opening round of the MACJC playoffs. The Rangers are 8-1 after clinching the second spot in the North Division with a 34-7 victory over Itawamba Thursday.
Jones led 38-0 at halftime and 45-0 early in the third quarter before ECCC rallied.
The Bobcats would force six turnovers on the night.
The Bobcats opened the game with a 79-yard, 17-play drive for a touchdown, taking up 7:41 of the opening quarter. Jones converted two fourth downs in the drive, including a personal foul on ECCC on a missed 39-yard field goal attempt, which gave them a first down at the Warrior 12-yard line.
Donte Edwards (Mobile, Alabama) scored from a yard out and Cristofer Thompson (Adams County Christian School) added the extra point to give Jones a 7-0 lead at 7:19 of the first quarter.
ECCC would move the ball into Jones territory, but Jonathan Haynes (Ray Brooks) came up with an interception at his own 25 and returned it to the Warrior 42.
Four plays later, Kalyn Grandberry (Memphis, Tennessee) scored on a 4-yard run. Thompson’s kick made it 14-0 with 3:26 to play in the first quarter.
Jones began its next drive at the Warrior 48. Facing a fourth and 8, Jones sent the punt team on the field, but punter Greg Hayden (Vicksburg) would run 18 yards for a first down on the fake. However, the Bobcats would turn the ball over on downs at the Warrior 25.
Jones would then force a ‘three and out.’ Warrior punter Steven Anderson stood at his own 10, but could not handle the snap.
Lakevias Daniel (Louisville) would get the scoop and score from 8 yards away. Thompson’s extra point made it 21-0 with 13:26 to play in the first half.
On ECCC’s next possession, they would shank a punt that would travel only three yards, giving the Bobcats possession at the Warrior 33. Eight plays later, Thompson booted a 27-yard field goal to give Jones a 24-0 lead with 5:56 left in the second half.
The Warriors would take the ensuing kickoff and drive from their 25 to the Jones’ 39. But Daylen Gill (Louisville) would cause a fumble and Davis Harrison (Lamar School) would recover and return it 52 yards for a touchdown. Thompson’s conversion made it 31-0 with 2:02 left in the second quarter.
East Central would have another ‘three and out’ on its next possession.
This time, the Bobcats swarmed the punter on fourth down, blocked the kick and Nataurean Watts (Petal) scooped and scored from 5 yards out. Thompson’s extra point gave the Bobcats a 38-0 lead with 1:06 to play before halftime.
Jones continued to score early in the second half.
The Bobcats took over at its own 27 following a punt on ECCC’s first possession of the second half.
Quarterback Stetson Bennett (Blackshear, Georgia) connected with Watts on a short pass. Watts would haul it the rest of the way to complete a 73-yard touchdown play. Thompson’s extra point put Jones up 45-0 with 11:20 remaining in the third quarter.
The Warriors would then get on the scoreboard, driving 67 yards in nine plays. Marquavious Qualls would score on a 15-yard run. The extra point attempt failed when the holder could not handle the snap, leaving Jones with a 45-6 lead with 4:05 to play in the third quarter.
The Bobcats would start its next drive at their own 39. But Jones would fumble and ECCC would recover at the Bobcat 46. (With a running clock in effect because Jones led by more than 38 points, the Bobcats ran only two plays in the third quarter.)
Five plays later, quarterback Mario Asagunla connected with Jaylen Zachery for a 28-yard touchdown pass. Asagunla found Qualls for the two-point conversion and ECCC was down 45-14 with 12:57 remaining.
Two possessions later, ECCC would drive 80 yards in three plays. After a 40-yard pass and a 39-yard pass on consecutive plays, Asagunla sneaked it over from a yard out with 8:56 to play. The pass for two was incomplete.
Grandberry would end the game with 85 yards on 16 carries, giving him 1,142 yards on the year.
Defensively, Jones had pass interceptions by Haynes, Harrison, Jamar Richardson (Aliceville, Alabama) and Gabe Douglas (Jackson Callaway). The Bobcats had fumble recoveries from Daniel and Harrison.
East Central ends the year at 5-4 overall and 3-3 in the division.
Jones College 45, East Central 20
Jones College (8-1, 6-0) 14 24 7 0 – 45
East Central (5-4, 3-3) 0 0 6 14 – 20
1stquarter – Jones, Donte Edwards 1-yard run, 7:19. Cristofer Thompson PAT. 7-0, Jones.
1stquarter – Jones, Kalyn Grandberry 4-yard run, 4:26. Thompson PAT. 14-0, Jones.
2ndquarter – Jones, Lakevias Daniel 8-yard fumble recovery return, 13:26. Thompson PAT. 21-0, Jones.
2ndquarter – Jones, Thompson 27-yard field goal, 5:56. 24-0, Jones.
2ndquarter – Jones, Davis Harrison 52-yard fumble recovery return, 2:02. Thompson PAT. 31-0, Jones.
2ndquarter – Jones, Nataurean Watts 5-yard blocked punt return, 1:06. Thompson PAT. 38-0, Jones.
3rdquarter – Jones, Nataurean Watts 73-yard pass from Stetson Bennett, 11:20. Thompson PAT. 45-0, Jones.
3rdquarter – East Central, Marquavious Qualls 15-yard run, 4:05. PAT failed. 45-6, Jones.
4thquarter – East Central, Jaylen Zachery 28-yard pass from Mario Asagunla, 12:57. Qualls 2-point pass from Asagunla. 45-14, Jones.
4thquarter – East Central, Asagunla 1-yard run, 8:56. Pass failed. 45-20, Jones.
14 FD 15
38-165 Rushes-Yards 31-136
9-20-2 Comp-Att-Int 12-29-4
118 Passing Yards 160
283 Total Offense 296
6-70 Penalties-Yards 4-37
1-42.0 Punts-Ave. 3-23.3
2-1 Fumbles-Lost 2-2
JC – Kalyn Grandberry 16-85; Donte Edwards 11-40; Greg Hayden 2-16; Stetson Bennett 5-12; Fred Barnum 4-12.
JC – Stetson Bennett 8-16-2 for 115; Fred Barnum 1-4-0 for 3.
JC–Nataurean Watts 2-83; Dontavious Porter 2-13; Donte Edwards 1-13; Immanuel Jones 2-3; Gabe Douglas 1-4; Brodie King 1-3.