East Central Community College freshman quarterback Anthony Triplett (6) of Philadelphia completes a pass to freshman tight end Tyler Pace (45) of Newton during the Warriors’ home opener with Copiah-Lincoln. Triplett completed nine of 16 passes for 78 yards in his debut as signal caller. The sixth-ranked Wolfpack pulled away late for a 23-0 victory in the MACJC South Division opener for both teams. (ECCC photo)
East Central Community College freshman quarterback Anthony Triplett (6) of Philadelphia completes a pass to freshman tight end Tyler Pace (45) of Newton during the Warriors’ home opener with Copiah-Lincoln. Triplett completed nine of 16 passes for 78 yards in his debut as signal caller. The sixth-ranked Wolfpack pulled away late for a 23-0 victory in the MACJC South Division opener for both teams. (ECCC photo)
DECATUR - Former Philadelphia Tornado Anthony Triplett started his first game as quarterback as the East Central Community College Warriors dropped a 23-0 decision to defending state champion Co-Lin Thursday night in junior college football action.

Triplett completed nine of 16 passes for 78 yards for the Warriors.

After exchanging early turnovers, Triplett - who is listed on the roster as a defensive back - engineered a 13-play, 68-yard drive only to have the scoring threat nullified due to a Warrior fumble near the goal line.

EC's offense was unable to recover from the early miscue and the sixth-ranked Wolves struggled early offensively as well but managed to seal the victory with two second-half scores in the MACJC South Division opener for both squads.

First-year Warrior head coach Ken Karcher said the early turnover was a momentum changer for his young squad.

"I thought if we knocked the first one in there, down on the one-yard line where we fumbled, it's a different ball game," Karcher said following the squad's home opener at Bailey Stadium. "You can't make those mistakes against a good football team. Our kids will continue to get better and not make those mistakes, but that's a key point in the ball game right there."

Triplett, a 5-8, 150-pound freshman, had two interceptions. One of his interceptions nixed a scoring threat early in the third period with the visitors up 16-0.

Karcher praised the performance of the young signal caller, who was called to action due to injuries sustained by sophomore Donnie Farmer of Harrison Central in Gulfport and freshman Jacori Taylor, a product of Early County High School in Blakely, Ga.

"I thought Anthony brought some life to our football team," Karcher said of the Philadelphia High School product. "I thought all the players fought hard and showed much improvement from the previous two games."

EC began the 2013 campaign with a 40-7 loss to then 16th-ranked Itawamba followed by a 59-0 defeat to fifth-ranked East Mississippi.

The Warrior offense was also sparked by freshman speedster Lamarcus Franks, who was the top rusher with 89 yards on 17 carries. Franks is a 5-7, 150-pound product of Greene County High School.

Sophomore Martin Johnson had eight carries for 28 yards. Johnson is a 6-1, 200-pound product of Nanih Waiya High School.

EC travels to division opponent Southwest Mississippi Community College Thursday, Sept. 19. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on the Southwest campus. The Bears (1-2) fell 69-0 to East Mississippi.