When Pearl River Community College needed big plays against Southwest Mississippi, the Wildcats were able to deliver.
PRCC came from behind with a pair of spectacular plays from quarterback Markevion Quinn in the third quarter, as Pearl River defeated the Bears 30-17 in South Division football action Saturday at Hurst Stadium on SMCC campus.
PRCC evened its record at 3-3 overall and improved to 2-1 in division; Southwest dropped to 0-6 and 0-3.
“Every win is a good win,” said PRCC coach Ted Egger. “That’s our team; we don’t stop playing until it says zeroes on the scoreboard. When you do that every play, you’re going to be tough to beat.”
Quinn, a freshman from Ruleville, got PRCC back on track in the third quarter, when he dashed 75 yards for touchdown moments after Southwest took the lead for the first time.
The Wildcats got the ball right back when sophomore Justin Hulett (BiloxI) recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, and on the next play, Quinn hit freshman K.J. Breland (Hattiesburg) for a 47-yard scoring strike.
“We knew we needed to help our defense out and get them off the field,” said Quinn, who ran 13 times for 134 yards. ”The coaches decided to let us run a read play. I saw the end go out with the backs, so I decided to cut it back inside, and it was open.”
The Wildcat defense has taken some lumps this season, but Saturday, they stood tall when it counted, thwarting the Bears on a fourth-down play from the PRCC 12-yard-line midway through the fourth quarter.
“The game was thrown on our shoulders, so we knew we had to step up,” said sophomore Jordan Mims of Pascagoula, who had three pass-breakups, including the key fourth-down stop . “Our coaches put us in the right defense, and it was good enough to stop them.”
And it was the defense that put the exclamation point on the victory, when redshirt freshman Korbin Harmon (Oxford) recovered a fumbled snap in the end zone for a TD on the final play of the game.
The Wildcats started fast, taking the opening kickoff 64 yards on nine plays, with Quinn scoring on a 20-yard run.
After Southwest went three-and-out on its initial possession, the Wildcats drove to the Bears 20 before settling for a 37-yard field goal by sophomore Mark Johnson (Bay St. Louis) and a 10-0 lead.
Southwest stiffened defensively, and trimmed the Wildcat lead to 10-3 on a 37-\yard field goal by Gunnar Robinson, and that’s the way it stayed at halftime.
Southwest found success through the air on its first two possessions of the second half, scoring on touchdown passes from Juwan Adams of 22 yards to Averyon Harris and 34 yards to Neil McLaurin.
After Quinn and the offense regained the lead for Pearl River, the Wildcats forced a fumble and two punts before the Bears drove from their own 39-yard-line following an interception to a first down at the Wildcat 15.
“People have been questioning us,” said Mims, who had two of his pass-breakups on that series in the end zone.
“Before the game, we got together as a unit and Sig Lewis (sophomore nose guard from Hattiesburg) told us we had to do our job, that if we did that, we’d win the game.”
Taking over at the Wildcat 12 with 3:43 to play after the fourth-down stop, PRCC picked up two first downs and bled all but 12 seconds off the game clock before Johnson’s 47-yard punt pinned the Bears at their own 16.
“We did a lot of good things today,” said Egger. “I think we were plus on turnovers, and when you get turnovers, it’s a big deal.”
The Wildcats will return to Dobie Holden Stadium on the PRCC campus for their next contest, the annual Cat Fight against Jones County. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday.
PRCC GAME SUMMARY
Saturday at Summit
Pearl River 30, Southwest 17
Pearl River 10-0-14-6 -- 30
Southwest 0-3-14-0 -- 17
PR – Markevion Quinn 20 run (Mark Johnson kick), 11:37 (9 plays/64 yards/3:23 possession).
PR – Johnson 37 field goal, 5:24. (8/36/4:29)
SW – Gunnar Robinson 37 field goal, 9:23 (11/42/5:23).
SW – Juwan Adams 22 pass to Averyon Harris (Robinson kick), 12:50 (5/65/2:10).
SW – Adams 34 pass to Neil McLaurin (Robinson kick), 5:21 (10/80/4:11).
PR – Quinn 75 run (Johnson kick), 5:07 (1/75/0:14).
PR – Quinn 47 pass to K.J. Breland (Johnson kick), 4:50 (1/47/0:09).
PR – Korbin Harmon fumble recovery in end zone, 0:00.
First downs 16 20
Total net yards 342 344
Rushes-yards 40-213 44-195
Passing yards 129 149
Comp-Att-Int 13-21-1 16-32-0
Fumbles-lost 2-0 4-3
Penalties-yards 5-55 5-48
Punts-yards (avg.) 7-293 (41.9) 6-227 (37.8)
Sacks-yards 0-0 1-1
Third down 3-11 6-16
Fourth down 0-1 3-4
Time of possession 28:24 31:36
Pearl River – Markevion Quinn 13-134, Caleb Batie 10-45, Ron Thompson 8-35, Jesse Pernell 5-9, Justin Agner 2-(-5), Team 1-(-5). Southwest – Chase Hughes 22-83, Neil McLaurin 7-67, Juwan Adams 14-36, Brady Anderson 1-9.
Pearl River – Markevion Quinn 10-17-0-106, Justin Agner 3-4-1-23. Southwest – Juwan Adams 16-27-0-149, Brady Anderson 0-5-0-0.
Pearl River – Malcom Staten 5-49, Tyler Polk 3-32, Shakeenen West 3-10, K.J. Breland 2-51; Southwest – Javian Jackson 6-57, Neil McLaurin 5-55, Averyon Harris 2-23, Johnny Wilson 1-10, Chase Hughes 1-5.