Pearl River comes up short in home debut
Dylan Dunaway- PRCC Sports Information Director
POPLARVILLE, Miss. — The Pearl River football team held Northeast under the 20-point mark Thursday night but could not get it done offensively, falling 19-3 inside Dobie Holden Stadium.
"We just don't have an identity. We came out in the first half and thought we could throw to set up the run," head coach Seth Smith said. "We tried to run in the second half to set up the pass. We were driving and couldn't establish anything.
"I let it get to this. The only person who can fix it is me. Our defense is good. The coaches do good. You just have got to score."
Pearl River's (0-2 overall) defensive unit showed up and showed out early on in the first quarter. After Northeast (2-0) drove deep into Wildcat territory, the Wildcats had to come up big in a goal-to-go situation. On first down, Dalton Lee(Carriere; Pearl River Central) and Tyree Jackson (Hattiesburg; Oak Grove) combined for a tackle-for-loss. After an incomplete pass and a 2-yard completion, NEMCC opted to go for it on fourth down from the Pearl River 3-yard line. The PRCC secondary was great in coverage to force an incomplete pass and a turnover on downs.
Northeast picked up its first points of the game on the next Wildcat drive when PRCC had a holding penalty called in the end zone, resulting in a safety 2-0.
The Tigers used the big play to help extend their lead as the quarterback connected with his receiver on a short route that resulted in a 59-yard gain. A 10-yard NEMCC rush set up an easy 1-yard rushing touchdown, extending the lead to 9-0 with 1:37 remaining in the first quarter.
Northeast moved ahead 12-0 with 5:49 remaining in the half, hitting a 40-yard field goal.
The Wildcats finally grabbed some momentum late in the second quarter. After using 14 plays to drive down the field, Corblin McGinn (D'Iberville) booted a line drive kick through the uprights from 36 yards out, 12-3.
After the halftime break, Pearl River's defense used back-to-back tackles for loss from Olajahwon Harris (Pascagoula) and Cedric McGill (Hattiesburg) to force a punt. The following drive saw the Wildcats eat 6:38 off the clock, but it ended in a punt that was downed at the NEMCC 11-yard line.
The Tigers added their final score of the night with 1:30 left in the third quarter, going down the field with nine plays before punching it in on an 8-yard touchdown run, 19-3.
Pearl River got the football back three more times in the final quarter of action but could not capitalize, falling 19-3.
Kayvon Barnes (30) looks for running room.
BY THE NUMBERS
Dustin Allison (Pass Christian) completed nine passes for 65 yards, and Ty Hullette (Senatobia) finished with seven completions and 63 yards. Kayvon Barnes (Pascagoula) finished with a game-high 37 rushing yards on nine carries. Allison was second on the team with 24 on 10 attempts. Jordan Coleman (Hattiesburg; Oak Grove) caught four passes for 40 yards.
Caleb Williams (Biloxi; D'Iberville) led Pearl River in tackles with 10. He also had half of a tackle-for-loss. Tyree Jackson (Hattiesburg; Oak Grove) finished with six tackles, three TFLs and half of a sack.
Pearl River makes the trip to Senatobia next Thursday to take on Northwest. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
All Pearl River football games are livestreamed for free at PRCCMedia.com/Gold. Fans who have Roku, Amazon Fire or Apple TV devices can also watch the Wildcat broadcasts by downloading the "Pearl River CC" channel from their app stores.
Games will also be available over the air in Pearl River County by tuning into 1320 AM and 106.9 FM. The radio broadcast is also available at WRJWRadio.com and by downloading the WRJW app.