Pearl River welcomes Gulf Coast for Homecoming
POPLARVILLE — Fresh off of a convincing win at Southwest, Pearl River’s football team will look to build on the momentum this Saturday when the Wildcats host No. 19 Mississippi Gulf Coast for homecoming. Kickoff is at 2 p.m.
The game 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.
Pearl River leads the all-time series 55-36-1, according to school records.
The first rivalry clash happened all the way back in 1926 as Pearl River toppled Gulf Coast — then known as “Perkinston” — 6-0.
The latest PRCC win came last year, a 31-27 thriller on Homecoming in Poplarville. The victory meant a lot for the Wildcats and coach Ted Egger, but the second-year head coach hasn’t brought up the 2017 game to his players.
“Last year was last year and this is a whole different team and a whole different year,” Egger said. “I try to make sure the players understand there’s a rivalry, but at the same time we need to make sure our team is ready to go each week.
“It shouldn’t matter who the opponent is.”
Egger praised his staff for a strong gameplan a week ago that saw the Wildcats roll past Southwest 37-9. PRCC (1-6; 1-4 MACJC South) put in a complete effort, with the offense, defense and special teams all doing their part.
Ron Thompson (Bassfield) continues to be one of the nation’s top rushers. Against Southwest, the sophomore rushed for 125 yards and touchdowns of 35 and 23 yards on 13 carries. His 743 yards on the year rank ninth nationally.
“He’s a special player,” Egger said. “I think somebody is going to get a special kid after this. He can play football.
"I think he’s the best back in the league.”
Pearl River running back Ron Thompson breaks free against Southwest in the Wildcats' 37-9 victory in Summit. PRCC hosts Gulf Coast at 2 p.m. Saturday for Homecoming. (JUCOWeekly.org)
PRCC also saw the reemergence of Cooper Callis (Jackson, Missouri; Jackson), who came off the bench to throw for 170 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively, Josh Smith (New Orleans; Landry Walker) scored a scoop-and-score touchdown, Darrell Luter (Hattiesburg; Oak Grove) intercepted a pass and the Wildcats combined to force three fumbles and 4.5 sacks — with Cory Jackson (Jackson; Madison-Ridgeland Academy) leading the effort.
“He had a great game, but that’s what we expected from Cory,” Egger said. “It’s what he has done for us his whole career. We expect those kinds of games out of him & need another one out of him.”
And then on special teams there was no one better in the league than Will Lang (Inverness; Indianola Academy), as the sophomore kicker was named the MACJC Special Teams Player of the Week on Tuesday.
In the win at Southwest, Lang accounted for seven points, converting 4 of 5 PATs while also nailing a 38-yard field goal. He also kicked off for the Wildcats and punted nine times for 290 yards with a long of 48 and three landing inside the 20-yard line.
Gulf Coast (5-2, 3-2) enters Saturday’s game fresh off of a 27-14 victory over East Central. MGCCC deploys a balanced attack on offense, with two quarterbacks — Chance Lovertich and Lowell Narcisse — combining to throw for 1,487 yards and 13 touchdowns against just two interceptions, while the team has rushed for 1,399 yards and 24 scores. Terrion Avery is the unquestioned rushing leader with 649 yards and seven touchdowns on 105 carries. Darius Townsend leads the defense with 62 tackles.
“They’re good,” Egger said. “They’re well coached and physical.
“They’re a good team and do a good job.”
Saturday will be busy all over PRCC’s campus. Here’s a list of events:
8 a.m.:PRCC cheerleading 5K/walk
10 a.m. – noon:PRCC Past, Present & Future Wildcat Cheer Clinic (open to ages 2 and up)
10 a.m.:The Mrs. Verlene Norton Cole Alumni House dedication
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.:Visit the PRCC Museum
10 a.m.:PRCC baseball scrimmage
10:30 a.m.:Voices Ensemble & Alumni open house
11 a.m.-2 p.m.:Homecoming Carnival next to Dobie Holden Stadium
11 a.m.:Homecoming Alumni/Sports Hall of Fame luncheon at Olivia Bender Cafeteria
1 p.m.:MACJC Championship ring ceremony at Dub “Paw Paw” Herring Park
1:30 p.m.:Cheer Reunion in South End Zone of Dobie Holden Stadium
2 p.m.:Kickoff between Pearl River and Gulf Coast
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