Wildcats drop Warriors 31-13

DECATUR The 15th-ranked Pearl River Wildcats picked up a 31-13 victory over MACJC South Division rival East Central here Thursday. PRCC improved to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in division play, while ECCC dropped to 1-3 and 0-1. Wildcat All-American quarterback Melvin German of Ft. Myers, Fla., shined, passing for four touchdowns and connecting on 27 of 46 throws (two interceptions) for 368 yards, including a 14-of-19 passing effort in the second half. Tenth-year Wildcat head coach Tim Hatten was pleased with the win heading into next Thursday division match up with 13th-ranked and defending state champ Mississippi Gulf Coast in Perkinston. Were just glad to get out of here with a win, he said. They (East Central) are just like any other South Division team…they can beat anybody on a given night. But weve got to up the ante up going into next week game at Perk. We had three turnovers tonight and that not good. Luckily, we didnt give up any points off turnovers. Give East Central credit. They play hard every year and seem to always play well against us year in and year out. The game opened with three punt exchanges, but Pearl River cashed in on its second possession of the night when German engineered an eight-play, 80-yard scoring drive. The sophomore went four-of-five in the series for 57 yards, hitting Jonathan Duncan of Petal High with an eight-yard scoring pass in the end zone. Pacer Frierson of Picayune Memorial High kicked the extra point to give PRCC a 7-0 lead with 5:15 left in the first quarter. Four series later, the Warriors got on the board in a mere two snaps. Cranking up at its own 21 after a 46-yard punt by Rickey Bradley of Oak Grove High, quarterback Mitch Manley hit Reggie Hall on first down with a 69-yard catch and run to the PRCC 10, then zipped a scoring pass to Corey Collier in the end zone. Jacob Carpenter PAT was blocked, but ECCC cut The River lead to 7-6 with 13:06 left in the half. Javonte Wilson of Picayune Memorial High returned to ensuing kickoff 19 yards to midfield and German followed with a four-for-four passing effort for 40 yards to move the Wildcats to the Warrior eight. After a holding penalty moved things back to the 18, two straight incompletions set the stage for Frierson 38-yard field goal that sailed wide. Four plays later, Steve McNair, Jr., of Oak Grove High intercepted Manley and returned his pick to Warrior 43 where German connected with Jaquaa Peters of Columbia High on first down for the final score of the half at the 8:37 mark. Frierson booted the PAT to make it 14-6. Pearl River padded its lead on the opening possession of the second half when Frierson capped a 10-play, 72-yard drive with a 26-yard field goal with 9:49 left in the third to make it 17-6. The scoring drive was highlighted by a 37-yard German-to-Bradley completion. Terrance Dentry returned the ensuing kickoff 42 yards to the Wildcat 28 and it took the Warriors only three snaps to cut into PRCC lead. Dennis Thames ran for 15 on first down, then Manley kept for four before Thames capped the drive with a nine-yard run. Carpenter PAT made it 17-13 with 8:14 left in the third quarter. The Wildcats answered with an eight-play, 73-yard scoring drive. In the series, PRCC converted a fourth-and-13 at its own 24 when ECCC was flagged for 15 yards on a River punting situation and German took advantage with a three-of-four passing effort, capping the drive with a 36-yard scoring pass to Snoop Rollins of North Forrest High. Frierson extra point made it 24-13 with 4:40 left in the third. Pearl River then held East Central to a three and out and punter Rob Moffitt muffed the snap and Leon Carlton of Hoover, Ala., recovered at the Warrior 17. After one incomplete pass, German hit Bradley on second down for the score. Frierson PAT made it 31-13 with 2:25 left in the third. PRCC drove to the ECCC 28 on the opening possession of the final quarter only to see German picked off by Collier at the 24. The Wildcats third and final turnover of the game KOd a PRCC drive to the Warrior 23 when Cheeto Johnson of Forrest County AHS fumbled the ball away for a minus-10 yards. The River held East Central on a fourth-and-three at its own 33 on the Warriors final possession of the night before the Wildcats killed the clock with four straight running plays. Pearl River finished the game with 22 first downs to East Central 12, while generating 455 yards of total offense (368 pass, 87 rush) to the Warriors 243 (163 pass, 80 rush). Duncan led all receivers in the contest with 85 yards on nine catches, while Rollins had four for 70, Bradley three for 63, Seth Roberts of Tallahassee, Fla., five for 61, Peters two for 57, Steve Simon of East Marion High two for 23, McNair one for five, and Wilson one for four. Simon led Wildcat rushers with 35 yards on five carries, while Thames led the Warriors with 31 on five. Manley completed 11 of 22 throws (one interception) for all the ECCC passing yardage. The Wildcats were penalized nine time for 60 yards, while the Warriors drew 11 flags for 99. Bradley punted six times for a woeful 21.5-yard average, while Moffitt averaged 37-5 on seven kicks.Elsewhere Around The MACJC In other Thursday night South Division action, Mississippi Gulf Coast (3-1, 2-0) downed Southwest Mississippi(1-3, 0-2) in Summit; while in the North, fourth-ranked East Mississippi (4-0, 2-0) bombarded winless Itawamba (0-4, 0-2) 48-7 in Scooba, ninth-ranked Northwest Mississippi (3-1, 1-1) defeated winless Coahoma (0-4, 0-2) 44-21 in Clarksdale, and 19th-ranked Northeast Mississippi (4-0, 2-0) smacked Holmes (1-3, 1-1) 21-0 in Booneville. Hinds (3-1, 1-0) blasted winless Mississippi Delta (0-4, 0-1) 48-17 in Moorhead in the only intra-division game of the week. South Division rivals Jones County (2-1, 0-1) hosts Copiah-Lincoln (2-1, 0-1) Saturday in Ellisville.Next Week In The MACJC Next Thursday in the South Division, Co-Lin hosts Southwest in Wesson, Hinds hosts East Central in Raymond, and Gulf Coast hosts Pearl River in Perkinston; while in the North, East Mississippi hosts Coahoma in Scooba, and Northwest hosts Northeast in Senatobia. Winless North foes Itawamba and Mississippi Delta lock horns in ICC homecoming Saturday, Oct. 1, in Fulton.

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