East Central freshman running back JD Martin (No. 4) picks a hole in the Southwest defense in first half action.
East Central freshman running back JD Martin (No. 4) picks a hole in the Southwest defense in first half action.
The East Central Community College Warriors took to the road for the first time in the 2019 football season and pitched a 19-0 shutout over the Southwest Bears in MACJC South Division football action Thursday.

The Warriors picked up the win with a dominating defensive performance that limited the Southwest offense to just 148 total yards. The Bears punted eight times, while the East Central defense caused a safety and intercepted a Southwest pass.

With the win, the Warriors improved to 2-1 overall, but more importantly start 1-0 in South Division play. The Southwest Bears fell to 0-3 overall and 0-1 in the division.

With Southwest running its time-consuming triple option offense, the first quarter saw each team with just two possessions and two punts.

However, East Central wasted little time getting on the scoreboard in the second quarter. On the third play, freshman quarterback Holman Edwards hita  wide-open Depodray Coburn (Noxapater) for a 51-yard touchdown pass. The PAT by Robens Beauplan was good and the Warriors led 7-0 with 13:58 to go until halftime.

The lead was extended to 9-0 less than a minute later when several Warrior defenders chased the Southwest quarterback out of the back of the end zone for a safety.

A Beauplan 41-yard field goal with 6:47 to go gave the Warriors a 12-0 halftime lead. The freshman kicking specialist was the MACJC Special Teams Player of the Week for Sept. 2-8.

East Central struck quickly to open the second half. On its first possession, freshman running back JD Martin (Wetumpka, Ala.) sprinted 42 yards for the score and the 19-0 lead.

Neither team could muster any points the remainder of the second half.

Martin carried the load for the East Central offense with 129 yards rushing. Freshman wide receiver Jalen Jones (Farmerville, La.) caught four of Edwards’ passes in the first half for 37 yards.

Defensively, freshman defensive back Anthony Thomas (Stringer) had an interception for East Central. Freshman defensive linemen Joshua Ratcliff and John Cartwright recorded sacks and tackles for a loss for the Warrior defense. Sophomore corner Fred McGee was in on several tackles and batted away a couple of Southwest passes.

East Central will return home next Thursday to face the Pearl River Wildcats in another South Division matchup. Kickoff from Bailey Stadium in Decatur is set for 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 19.

It will be the annual Be Our Guest Night as all area high school students will be admitted free and one student will be selected to attempt a 20-yard field to win a $1,000 Achievement Recognition Scholarship for the fall 2020 semester.