Hinds cruises past East Central, 31-19

Published 11:38 am Friday, September 30, 2011

RAYMOND — Leon Lett and two of his former NFL colleagues returned to their roots at Hinds Community College on Thursday night. The Eagles gave them plenty to smile about.

Playing in front of Lett, who was inducted into Hinds’ sports hall of fame earlier in the evening, the Eagles beat East Central 31-19 as quarterback Deon Anthony threw for 280 yards and three touchdowns.

The game, though, took a bit of a backseat to the guest of honor.

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Lett played on three Super Bowl winning teams for the Dallas Cowboys during his 10-year NFL career from 1991 to 2000 and was named to two Pro Bowls. He played at Hinds in 1986-87 for coach Gene Murphy and was grateful to be back.

“It means the world to me to be back here,” Lett said. “I got my first taste of college life here. It was also my first taste of college athletics. I got to play for a state championship on this same field against Northwest in 1987. Cortez Kennedy was on Northwest’s team and there were six guys who became great NFL players on the field that day.”

Lett missed most of his induction dinner into the Hinds 2011 Athletic Hall of Fame class, but was on hand to be introduced at halftime of Thursday’s game with East Central. Lett is currently a defensive line coach with the Cowboys, who are preparing for Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions.

Murphy, who has returned to the sideline as Hinds’ coach after a brief retirement, was pleased to welcome back some of the school’s other NFL alumni, too.

In addition to Lett, former Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Jerome McDougle and former San Francisco 49ers defensive end Andrew Williams were also in attendance.

Both McDougle and Williams played at Miami after leaving Hinds. McDougle was a first-round draft pick of the Eagles.

On the field, Hinds (4-1, 2-0 MACJC South Division) rolled past East Central (1-4, 0-2).

Anthony had a 36-yard scoring toss to Adam McWilliams and a 59-yard touchdown pass to Quantavius Leslie in the first half as the Eagles built a 24-7 lead. It went to 31-7 after Anthony hit Leslie for a 5-yard score in the third quarter.

“We were able to move in their corners and then make big plays,” Anthony said.

Hinds’ second-team offense lost three fumbles in the fourth quarter and East Central was able to cash in two of the miscues for 12 points to make the final score seem closer than the game actually was.

Hinds’ secondary continued to play well, getting two interceptions. One was by former Vicksburg High star Malcolm Butler, who picked off a pass in the end zone to stop East Central’s first drive of the game.