SCOOBA Pearl River Wildcats amassed a season-high mark of 583 yards of total offense here Saturday, but couldnt overcome the high-scoring offense of defending state champ East Mississippi and took a 42-36 MACJC intra-division loss. PRCC dropped to 4-3 overall, while the host Lions improved to 3-4. Despite the setback, quarterback Melvin German etched himself securely in the Wildcat Record Book with his incredible aerial performance, completing 74.5 percent (41 of 55) of his throws for 503 yards second-best in PRCC history and three touchdowns. The redshirt freshman from Fort Myers, Fla., also ran for another score, while his 41 pass attempts ranks first in individual and second in team marks and his 55 attempts is second-best in River history. Ninth-year Wildcat head coach Tim Hatten said his team was its own worst enemy, particularly on the defensive side. You produce nearly 600 yards of total offense and lose? Well, we did, unbelievably, he said. But we were our own worst enemy. Defensively, we just couldnt seem to stop them. East Miss, coached by former Wildcat co-offensive coordinator Buddy Stephens, finished the game with 439 yards of total offense (162 rush, 277 pass) and never relinquished the lead even though PRCC knotted things at 7-7 midway in the first quarter. We had several opportunities, but didnt take advantage of them when we needed to, Hatten continued. But give them (EMCC) credit. They made plays to win the game…we didnt. The Lions committed their first and only turnover of the day on the game opening possession when Delvin Ervin of Oak Grove High intercepted EMCC quarterback Brad Henderson on a third-and-nine and returned the pick his team-high fifth of the season to the East Miss 37. Unfortunately, Pearl River immediately answered with its first of three lost fumbles of the game when German coughed up the ball via a hard defensive shot and the Lions recovered at their own 45. After going three and out, the Lions seemingly forced The River into a three and out, but gave the Wildcats new life when East Miss was flagged for 12 men on the field on the punting play. Three plays later, PRCC had moved to the Lion 47, but German again coughed up the ball and EMCC Denico Autry recovered at the Wildcat 36. Trayshun King ran for five on first down before Henderson kept for 31 yards and the score around left end for the game opening score. Taylor Walker extra point made it 7-0 East Miss with 8:46 left in the first period. But the Wildcats answered on their ensuing possession. Starting at its own seven, The River drove to its own 40 in three snaps before German hit LSU transfer Jhyryan Taylor of Franklinton, La., with a 60-yard catch-and-run score. Travis Bradley of Pascagoula High kicked the PAT to knot things up at 7-7 with 6:02 left in the quarter. Exactly two minutes later, EMCC regained the lead. After Rodney Davis returned the ensuing kickoff 21 yards to his own 41, Henderson methodically drove the Lions down the field, capping the seven-play scoring drive with a 27-yard pass to Andre Taylor on a third and 10. Walker extra point put East Miss up 14-7 with 4:02 left. Again, it appeared the Wildcats would answer, but German connected with Leonard Johnson on a five-yard dump off pass on the last play of the first quarter only to see the freshman out of North Forrest High fumble his catch and Autry recover and return the miscue to the Wildcat 44. From there, it was King, who ran twice for a combined nine yards before Henderson hooked up with him on a 35-yard scoring pass. Walker PAT made it 21-7 with 13:46 left in the half. After an exchange of punts, the Wildcats put together a nine-play, 76-yard scoring drive. German went five-for-six on the series, capping the series with a 10-yard scoring pass to Steve McNair, Jr., of Oak Grove High. Bradley extra point made it 21-14 with 6:49 left before the intermission. Davis returned Pearl River ensuing kickoff 44 yards to the Wildcat 41 and it took EMCC only six plays to pad its lead. Henderson converted a third and 10 with an 18-yard completion to Termarcus Conner, then an 11-yard catch by Mario Creer two snaps later pushed things to the PRCC 10. King then got the call and ran it in. Walker extra point made it 28-14 with 4:46 left in the half. Two series later, Davis shanked a 12-yard out-of-bounds punt from his own 26, giving The River possession at the 38. Four straight completions moved things to the eight before German was dropped for a minus-three and German spiked the ball with a second left on the first-half clock. Enter Bradley who booted a 27-yard field goal to make it 28-17 at the break. Pearl River cut East Miss lead to five on the opening possession of the second half. Starting at their own 34, German had back-to-back completions for a combined 22 yards to the Lion 44 before being sacked for a minus-seven. He redeemed himself with a 25-yard scramble to the EMCC 26, but back-to-back PRCC penalties for a combined 15 yards pushed things back to the 41 where German found for Steve Simon of East Marion High for a 10-yard completion. A 15-yard roughing the passer penalty on the Lions moved The River to the 16 where German hit Simon again for four, then kept left for 11 to the one before sneaking it in on a first and goal. The two-point conversion attempt failed, but things were 28-23 with 10:22 left in the third. Floyd Graves returned the ensuing kickoff 19 yards to his own 49 and Henderson took over from there. After a first-down incompletion, Henderson hit on three straight passes for 16, 20, and 15 yards the last to Taylor for the score. Walker PAT made it 35-23 with 9:07 left in the third. Leonard Johnson of North Forrest High followed with a 25-yard kickoff return to his own 27 and the Wildcats managed to drive to the East Miss 17 eight plays. After Marcquis Smith of Hattiesburg High got the first-down carry for 10, German went five for eight from there. Meanwhile, he saw Snoop Rollins of North Forrest High drop a sure-fire, over-the-middle scoring toss on a first and 10 from the Lion 47 before hitting Jonathan Duncan of Petal High with a 19-yard pass to convert a fourth down two plays later. Three snaps later Taylor dropped another sure-fire scoring pass on a third and seven from the 17 before a holding penalty pushed things back to the 27 and Bradley arrived for a 43-yard field goal attempt. An errant snap resulted in a minus-eight yard rush for holder Beau Underwood out of St. Patrick High in Biloxi and the Lions took over. Opportunity knocked for the Wildcats who held the Lions to a three and out and Davis shanked a 22-yard punt out of bounds giving PRCC possession at its own 41. German hit Duncan with a 17-yard pass on first down, then found McNair with a 37-yard completion to the Lion five a play later. Three snaps later, German attempted a sneak in on a second and goal only to fumble, but Dunzie Goins of Lumberton High recovered the miscue in the end zone for the score. The two-point conversion try failed, but things were 35-29 with five seconds left in the third quarter. East Miss cranked up its ensuing possession at its own 23 with Henderson putting on a perfect four-for-four aerial show over the seven-play scoring drive. Henderson hit J.J. Harbin with a 42-yard scoring pass with 11:58 left and Walker extra point ended the scoring for the home-standing Lions. Pearl River answered to pull to within six. Johnson returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a score only to see his dazzling effort nullified by an illegal block in the back. Still, the Wildcats took possession at the EMCC 48 and German converted a third and 10 four snaps later with a 20-yard run to the Lion 28. After a minus-one-yard completion and a 15-yard facemask penalty on the Wildcats, German hit Duncan for 12 yards, then Seth Roberts of Tallahassee, Fla., with two straight passes the last a razzle-dazzle scramble-throw good for 31 yards and the score. Bradley kicked the PAT to make it 42-36 with 8:19 left. The Lions drove to the Wildcats 36 on their next possession only to see Walker come up short on a 53-yard field goal attempt, then Pearl River drove to the East Miss 14 where German fourth-and-three pass attempt was batted down. McNair had a 36-yard catch earlier in the drive to push The River to the EMCC 28. King got two straight runs to kick off the final possession of the game with his second being a 65-yard burst down the PRCC sideline to the Wildcat 21. A Lion personal foul pushed things back to the 36 where Henderson had back-to-back keepers for only a combined four yards before King completed a halfback pass to Conner to the two with 1:25 left. Two straight kneel downs ended the game. Pearl River finished the game with 25 first downs to East Mississippi16, while both squads drew plenty of penalty flags. The Wildcats were called for 13 miscues for 126 to the Lions 11 for 98. Simon led Wildcat rushers with 59 yards on nine carries, while King led the Lions with 99 on 10 and Henderson kept 10 times for 53. McNair exploded for a season-high eight catches for 134 yards to lead all receivers in the contest, while Roberts had nine for 94, Taylor three for 81, Simon seven for 60, Snoop Rollins of North Forrest High six for 57, Duncan four for 57, and Johnson three for 15.Other Week Seven Action In The MACJC Jones County dropped its fourth South Division game to East Central 24-14 in Decatur in the only Thursday game last week, while in other South action on Saturday, Hinds defeated Southwest Mississippi 20-12 in Raymond and 11th-ranked Mississippi Gulf Coast handed eighth-ranked and previously-undefeated Copiah-Lincoln its first loss of the season with a lopsided 23-3 decision in Perkinston. In the North, sixth-ranked and undefeated Northwest Mississippi bombed Mississippi Delta 33-6 in Senatobia, Northeast Mississippi defeated Coahoma 31-17 in Booneville, and Itawamba smacked winless Holmes 33-20 at Goodman.This Week In The MACJC This Thursday around the MACJC sees Copiah-Lincoln (6-1, 4-1) hosting East Central (2-5, 2-2) in Wesson in the South Division, while in the North, Mississippi Delta (1-6, 1-3) hosts East Mississippi (3-4, 3-2) in Moorhead, Itawamba (4-3, 3-1) hosting Northeast Mississippi (5-2, 4-1) in Fulton, and Northwest Mississippi (7-0, 4-0) hosting Holmes (0-7, 0-4) in Senatobia. Coahoma (2-4, 1-4) hosts Mississippi Gulf Coast (6-1, 4-1) in the week only intra-divisional contest in Clarksdale. Two Homecoming games are set for Saturday with Pearl River (4-3, 3-1) hosting Hinds (5-2, 3-1) in Poplarville and Southwest Mississippi (2-5, 0-4) hosting Jones County (2-5, 0-4) in Summit.
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