POPLARVILLE— The claws will come out Thursday night at Dobie Holden Stadium when Pearl River hosts the 88th annual 'Cat Fight' rivalry football game against No. 7 Jones College.
The game, which kicks off at 6 p.m., will be streamed at PRCCAthletics.com. It can also be heard on WRJW 1320-AM in Pearl River County and WCJU 104.9-FM in Columbia.
The Wildcats (0-5, 0-3) have shown glimpses of their preseason potential this year but haven't been able to put together a complete four quarters.
Pearl River lineman Ivory Scott (75) blocks during the Wildcats' game at Hinds. PRCC hosts Jones College on Thursday in the 88th 'Cat Fight' between the two schools. (JUCOWeekly.org)
Three of the team's first five opponents were nationally ranked when they clashed with the Wildcats (No. 16 Itawamba; No. 1 East Mississippi; and No. 20 East Central) — making JCJC the fourth ranked opponent to line up against PRCC in six weeks.
"Every game is like this. Every game is a rivalry game because it's our next opponent," PRCC coach Ted Egger said. "I know it's a rivalry game because they're right up the road, but it's also a South Division game, so it's a must win."
BY THE NUMBERS
Running back Ron Thompson (Bassfield) is still among the national leaders. Through five games, Thompson's 538 yards are 10th in the country, while his 107.6 yards per game are ninth. His 6.4 yards per carry also ranks 15th.
Dual threat quarterback Tavis Williams (Gulfport; Harrison Central) continues to progress. The former Jackson State signal caller has thrown for 309 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for 234 and two more scores.
The offense's breakout performer from a week ago at Hinds may have been Tyler Polk (St. Martin). The receiver caught seven passes for 102 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown strike over the middle. Polk now leads PRCC with 20 receptions for 208 yards.
Defensively, Eli Stringfellow (Meridian) put in his most impressive performance of the year, breaking up three passes, recording three tackles and intercepting his first pass of the season.
Jones College (4-1, 3-0) is riding a three-game winning streak into Poplarville, including a convincing 51-21 victory against Southwest last week.
"They're a good team. They play hard," Egger said. "You can't have mistakes against them. It's going to come down to playing a game without mistakes and competing — which we'll do. Our guys are going to give it everything they have in them."
Two quarterbacks have thrown at least 26 passes for JCJC. Stetson Bennett leads the team, having completed 57.3 percent of his passes for 710 yards and seven touchdowns.
Kalyn Grandberry leads JC's rushing attack, having rushed for 581 yards and four scores on 115 carries. Donte Edwards is second on the team with 293 yards and four scores on 55 carries.
Six Bobcats have caught at least seven passes, led by Johnquarise Patterson, who has 26 receptions for 237 yards and three touchdowns.
JCJC holds a slight 43-42-2 advantage in the all-time series.
For the latest on Pearl River Community College athletics, follow us on Twitter (@PRCCAthletics) and Facebook (PRCCAthletics).