Wildcats down Wolfpack 26-5

POPLARVILLE Pearl River Wildcats bounced back into the win column Thursday with a 26-5 bombing of Copiah-Lincoln in MACJC South Division football action here in Dobie Holden Stadium. PRCC improved to 4-2 overall and 3-1 in division play with the victory, while the visiting Wolfpack dropped to 3-3 and 1-3. The Wildcats entered the game off a disheartening 17-10 setback to 10th-ranked Mississippi Gulf Coast in Perkinston a week earlier for their only division loss of the season. We played great in the second half, said 10th-year River head coach Tim Hatten. With the exception of a few defensive and special teams breakdowns, we played well on both sides of the ball. It great when you can bounce back with a win after losing the way we did last week at Perk. Were still in the (playoff) mix and that what counts. Pearl River went three and out on the game opening possession and Rickey Bradley of Oak Grove High punted 28 yards to the Wolves 43 only to see a 15-yard PRCC personal foul penalty quickly move Co-Lin to the Wildcat 42 for its initial series. Wolfpack quarterback Chandler Rogers converted a second and seven with a 17-yard completion to DeVante Scott to the 22, but the drive stalled and Nolan Long 40-yard field goal attempt sailed wide. The River answered with an 11-play, 77-yard scoring drive for the first points of the night. All-American quarterback Melvin German, a redshirt sophomore who prepped at Dunbar High in Ft. Myers, Fla., went five for six in the series, capping the drive with a five-yard touchdown pass to Jonathan Duncan of Oak Grove High with 5:20 left in the first quarter. Pacer Frierson of Picayune Memorial High kicked the extra point to make it 7-0. Steve Simon of East Marion High converted two third downs in the scoring possession with a nine-yard run and a seven-yard catch and run. After Milton Griffin returned the ensuing kickoff 17 yards to his own 22, Co-Lin moved to the Wildcat 21 off nine straight running plays before Rogers hit Danny Hobbs with a 16-yard completion on a third and 17 on the first play of the second period. Long arrived to boot a 17-yard field goal to make it 7-3 with 14:04 left in the half. Pearl River Leonard Johnson of East Marion High returned the ensuing kickoff 29 yards to his own 34, but the Wildcats only managed to drive to their 44 before Bradley shanked a 10-yard punt giving the Wolfpack possession at their own 34. Co-Lin went nine and out and Long unreturned 28-yard punt saw Pearl River take over at its own 14. German hit Steve McNair, Jr., of Oak Grove High with a 14-yard pass on first down before finding Duncan a snap later with a 13-yard completion. A 15-yard CLCC penalty moved things to the Wolves 44 where German hit Snoop Rollins of North Forrest High for four and Seth Roberts out of McKay Academy in Tallahassee, Fla., for three before throwing back-to-back incompletions and the Wolfpack took over. Four punt exchanges later, Rogers was sacked for a minus-seven at his own 31 on the last play of the half. Hobbs returned the opening kickoff of the second half a sky kick 33 yards to the Wildcat 27, but Joel Davis fumbled after a 15-yard run on the first Wolfpack snap and Pearl River recovered. The Wildcats went three and out and Bradley punt attempt was blocked and sailed out of the end zone for a Co-Lin safety to make it 7-5 with 13:02 left in the third period. The Wolves went three and out after Bradley free kick and Long unreturned 41-yard punt four plays later gave Pearl River possession at its own 30. German went to work, converting a third and seven with a 16-yard pass to Duncan, then a second and nine with a 35-yard completion to Bradley to move things to the CLCC 14. After throwing incomplete, German kept for 12 before handing off to Marcquis Smith of Hattiesburg High for the score. Frierson extra point attempt was blocked, but PRCC led 13-5 with 7:37 left in the third. Co-Lin cranked up its next possession at its own 23 and moved to the Pearl River four in 11 plays where Long was nailed by a Wildcat defender after kicking wide on a 21-yard field goal attempt. The River was flagged for roughing the kicker and CLCC was looking at a first and goal at the two. Hobbs fumbled the next snap and PRCC recovered in the end zone. Starting at their own 20, the Wildcats cashed in on the Hobbs miscue. German hit Bradley for 18 yards on first down, then a Wolfpack personal foul moved things to the Co-Lin 47 where Larry Thompson of Bassfield High had back-to-back carries for a combined nine yards before Smith burst for 36 to the Wolves two on the final play of the quarter. Three snaps later, German scored on a keeper from the one. Frierson PAT was wide, but PRCC led 19-5 with 13:40 left in the game. Griffin returned The River ensuing kickoff 19 yards to his own 34 and the Wolfpack moved to the Wildcat 23 in six plays where Rogers threw incomplete on a fourth and seven and Pearl River took over. Two snaps later, Thompson fumbled after a six-yard gainer and Co-Lin recovered at the Wildcat 29 and managed to drive to the eight. Rogers was sacked twice for a combined minus-16 yards over the next three plays before and throwing incomplete on fourth down at the 18. German then converted a third and eight at his own 20 with a 27-yard pass to Cheeto Johnson of Forrest County AHS before three straight runs two by Smith for 11 and one by Thompson for seven moved things to the Wolves 35. Kedrick Wolfe of Sumrall High then hauled in a German pass for 28 to the seven where Smith burst for six to the one. Two snaps later, German hit Thompson with a TD pass. Frierson extra point made it 26-5 with 2:20 left. Pearl River recovered its ensuing sky kickoff at the Co-Lin 29 and Wildcat back ups killed the clock in four plays. PRCC finished the night with 19 first downs to CLCC 17, while generating 393 yards of total offense (262 pass, 131 rush) to the Wolfpack 300 (115 pass, 185 rush). German was 24 of 37 (no interceptions) for all the Wildcats aerial yardage, while McNair threw incomplete on his only pass attempt. Duncan led all receivers in the contest with six catches for 67 yards, while Bradley had three for 59, McNair four for 36, Roberts four for 29, Wolfe one for 28, Cheeto Johnson one for 27, Simon one for seven, Jaquaa Peters of Columbia High two for four, Rollins one for four, and Thompson one for one. Davis led all rushers in the game with 89 yards on 15 carries, while Hobbs had 85 on 13. Smith led Wildcat runners with a career-high 60 yards on 10 carries. Rogers was eight of 20 (no interceptions) for all of the Wolves passing yardage with Hobbs leading the way with three catches for 43 yards. Pearl River was penalized eight times for 55 yards, while Co-Lin drew seven flags for 75. Defensively, Justin Graham of Petal High led the Wildcats with 13 tackles (nine solos, four assists), including two quarterback sacks and five tackles for loss; while Chris Bermond of Hancock County High and Ricky Willis of East Marion High had 12 tackles each. Bermond had five solos, seven assists, and two TFLs, while Willis had nine solos, four assists, two sacks, and five TFLs. Dunzie Goins of Lumberton High and E.J. Pearson of Forrest County AHS both had fumble recoveries for PRCC, while Derrick Bourne of Columbia High and Rashod Merritt of Lumberton High each forced a fumble.Elsewhere Around The MACJC In other Thursday action, Southwest Mississippi (3-3) upset 18th-ranked Northwest Mississippi (3-3) 28-14 in Summit in this week only intra-divisional contest and 17th-ranked Hinds (5-1, 4-0) bombed Jones County (3-3, 0-3) 34-7 in Raymond to remain undefeated in the South Division. One South contest set for Saturday when East Central (1-4, 0-2) hosts 10th-ranked Mississippi Gulf Coast (4-1, 3-0) for its Homecoming in Decatur, while in the North, fourth-ranked East Mississippi (5-0, 3-0) visits Northeast Mississippi (5-0, 3-0) in Booneville in a battle of the unbeatens, Holmes (1-4, 1-1) hosts winless Mississippi Delta (0-5, 0-2) for its Homecoming in Goodman, and winless Coahoma (0-5, 0-3) hosts Itawamba (1-4, 1-1) for its Homecoming in Clarksdale.Next Week In The MACJC Only three games all in the North Division are set for next Thursday when Itawamba hosts Holmes in Fulton, Coahoma hosts Northeast in Clarksdale, and Mississippi Delta hosts Northwest in Moorhead. All South Division games are set for Saturday, including Co-Lin hosting Gulf Coast in Wesson for its Homecoming, Jones County hosting East Central in Ellisville for its Homecoming, and Southwest hosting Hinds in Summit for its Homecoming. Pearl River celebrates its Homecoming against East Mississippi in Poplarville on Saturday, marking the only intra-divisional match up of the week.


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