Submitted by braswell on October 18, 2010 – 2:59pm
POPLARVILLE After two straight losses, Pearl River Wildcats hope to get back on a winning track when the arch-rival Hinds Eagles visit here Saturday for a critical MACJC South Division football battle. A 3 p.m. kickoff is set in Dobie Holden Stadium. Itll be Homecoming for The River, which enters the contest off a 42-36 non-division loss to defending state champ East Mississippi in Scooba, which was on the coattail of Oct. 9”s 21-14 defeat to then-undefeated Copiah-Lincoln in Wesson. Hinds, 5-2 overall, trimmed division rival Southwest Mississippi 20-12 in Raymond last week and now boasts a 2-2 division mark behind the 3-1 Wildcats, Mississippi Gulf Coast, and Co-Lin. Obviously, the Wildcats (4-3 overall) remain in the post-season playoff mix, but, says ninth-year head coach Tim Hatten, well need a little help. Weve got to win out (Saturday against Hinds, Oct. 30 at Jones County) the rest of the way, Hatten explained, plus either (South Division leaders) Co-Lin (4-1) or Mississippi Gulf Coast (4-1) will have to lose their final division games. CLCC, which picked up its first 2010 loss with a 23-3 shellacking to Gulf Coast last Saturday, has division foe East Central Thursday before wrapping up its regular season on the road against non-division opponent Northeast Mississippi in Booneville. MGCCC travels to non-division Coahoma in Clarksdale Thursday, then finishes up at Hinds. Who knows? Stranger and wilder things have happened, Hatten added. But we cant control what happens to the rest of the mix. Weve just got to take care of our own business and hope the chips fall our way. The Eagles opened the season with two straight road wins Itawamba 52-31 and East Miss 50-42 before being popped by Co-Lin 30-17 in Wesson. Hinds rebounded with a 37-31 non-division overtime home squeaker over Mississippi Delta then was trimmed by league foe East Central, which celebrated its Homecoming with a 37-35 victory. Homecoming host Jones County fell victim to the Eagles in Week 6 by a 27-23 count in Ellisville. Last week, the Wildcats amassed 583 yards of total offense at East Mississippi with quarterback Melvin German of Fort Myers, Fla., completing 41 (a school record) of 55 (second in school history) pass attempts for 503 yards (second in school history). PRCC fell victim to three critical lost fumbles, while the host Lions had only one turnover a pass interception on the first possession of the game.The Pearl River_Hinds Series Thursday match up marks the 70th time the two football powers have locked horns on the gridiron with the Wildcats leading the rivalry with 37 wins, 31 losses, and two ties. Pearl River has won its last eight match ups with the Eagles, including a 21_13 victory for the 2004 state title, 2005”s 48-26 blowout in Poplarville that marked a record 21 straight wins, 2006”s 36-7 pasting in Raymond, 2007”s season-ending 39-31 triple-OT win at home, 2008”s 27-10 road win, and last year 45-3 splattering at home. PRCC trimmed Hinds 37_30 on the road in 2004 regular_season battle, marking the first of only two losses for the Eagles that year. In 2003, the Wildcats bopped the Eagles 21_17 for its first MACJC title since 1976, but fell 31_27 in their regular_season battle on a controversial, last_minute 90_plus_yard kick off return in Poplarville. Pearl River took a 25_22 OT victory in 2001, marking the first time the Wildcats had beaten the Eagles since the 1992 season (a 21_16 win). PRCC followed with a 31_22 victory in Raymond in 2002. Prior 2001”s OT thriller, Hinds had reeled off eight straight wins over The River, while grabbing five of its 13 state championships. The Eagles have won six state titles in the last 14 seasons. Pearl River took a 53_0 victory in the inaugural meeting, then the series didnt resume until 1941 with Hinds taking an 18_0 shutout, followed by a 30_18 victory in shortened 1942 season due to World War II. Junior college football all over the state resumed in 1944 and the Eagles reeled off six straight wins over PRCC before the Wildcats answered with a lopsided 27_6 victory in 1950 in coach legend Dobie Holden fifth season in Poplarville. The two teams split the ensuing two years, then, in 1953, the rivalry saw its first of two ties (14_14) in the series. The Wildcats and Eagles finished that season as co_champions in the MACJC. After Hinds took a hard_fought 35_32 win in 1957, the Wildcats won four straight, including a 42_0 shutout in 1959 and a 44_6 lopside in 1961. Pearl River took state titles both of those seasons, including its only national championship in 1961. Holden retired following the 1966 season, giving up the reins to assistant John Russell who was perfect against the Eagles in his seven years at the Wildcat helm. Hinds scored only 63 points in seven games against Russell squads. Russell resigned prior to the 1974 season and assistant coach Harvey Seligman was elevated to head coach. Seligman unit fell 17_13 to Hinds. J.C. Arban took over the Wildcat program in 1975 and the former PRCC and Southern Mississippi offensive coordinator won five straight over the Eagles until Hinds took a 28_5 victory in 1980. In all, Arban was 7_4 against Hinds, but his last three losses all in succession were by a combined total of only 14 points. Mike Nelson succeeded Arban in 1986 and was 1-2-1 versus the Eagles until his departure in 1989, while Willie Coats was 2-3 from 1990 to 1994. The late Keith Daniels was winless at 0-6 from 1995 until midway into the 2000 season when he died of a brain hemorrhage five weeks into the 2000 season. Scott Maxfield pulled off the 2001 overtime victory in his only season at the Wildcat helm in 2001.Last Week Action In The MACJCJones 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 MACJCThis 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.Wildcats Over The Airwaves All Pearl River games are broadcast live on WFMM-FM (97.3) in Hattiesburg, WFFF-FM (96.7) in Columbia, WBOX-FM (92.9) and WBOX-AM (920) in Bogalusa, La.; and WRJW-AM (1320) in Picayune. Long-time play-by-play announcer Jason Baker, color commentator Clay Sweet, and sideline reporter Jeff Lossett will handle the broadcast. Airtime for Thursday PRCC-Hinds broadcast is 6:30 p.m. You may also listen to the Wildcats over the internet by logging on to www.prcc.edu. Click on the icon at the bottom left of the screen, and follow the instructions.