Pearl River preparing to host 'Cat Fight' with Jones College
Dylan Dunaway - PRCC Sports Information Director
POPLARVILLE, Miss. — The Pearl River football team is preparing for a second consecutive rivalry game on Thursday as Jones College visits Dobie Holden Stadium for the 93rd edition of the 'Cat Fight'.
Pearl River enters the contest off a 52-21 road loss at No. 4 Gulf Coast. The Pearl River offense clicked for a second straight week in the game, picking up 335 yards against a team that was averaging just 261 allowed.
"Coach (David) Chatham has done a tremendous job of adding some wrinkles and putting some things in to create some explosive plays the last two weeks," head coach Seth Smith said. "Offense has turned a corner. Unfortunately, the last two weeks have been our worst defensive performances.
"A credit to the kids and coaches. No one is throwing in the towel. Everyone is coming to work every day and fighting hard. We just have to keep working, fighting and scratching to get that first win."
(Eli Hackbarth #17)
An encouraging note on the defensive side of the ball was that Pearl River forced a trio of turnovers by the Bulldogs.
"If you go back and look at non-division play, I don't think we had a takeaway in three games," Smith said. "The two things we've harped on are creating turnovers on defense and trying to be more explosive on offense. We've checked both of those boxes. We have to find a way to put the rest of it together as we move forward."
ABOUT THE BOBCATS
Jones College (4-1 overall; 3-0 MACCC South) comes into the week ranked No. 7 in the latest edition of the NJCAA rankings and won last week's contest 21-3 against Hinds. The Bobcats have rushed for 826 yards and 15 touchdowns this season. Through the air, JC has passed for 978 yards and five scores.
"They've always had a balance on offense, but they're more of a run-first team," Smith said. "They're well-coached and have great players. Their coaches put them in great positions to make plays. You're not going to beat a team like this if you have self-inflicted wounds. If we worry about us and getting better, then we will have a fighting chance."
The Bobcats have used two different quarterbacks this season. Greenville Christian's DJ Smith has completed 49 of 72 passes for 624 yards and four touchdowns. Brax Garrison of Tuscaloosa, Ala. is 32-for-60 for 343 yards and a touchdown.
George County's Trent Howell leads the charge in the run game. He's tallied 59 carries for 306 yards and five touchdowns. Smith is second on the team with 180 yards and four touchdowns on 43 attempts.
The receiving game is led by Justin Campbell from Johns Creek, Ga. The redshirt sophomore has hauled in 12 passes for 248 yards and two touchdowns.
Harrison Central's Raymond Collins leads JC with 26 tackles, five TFLs and three sacks. Daishun Scott of Greenville Christian has earned 25 tackles, 2.5 TFLs and 1.5 sacks.
ABOUT THE WILDCATS Ty Hullette (Senatobia) was 6-for-13 for 166 yards and a touchdown last week. He also carried the ball 11 times for 22 yards and a score. On the season, he is 24-for-44 for 329 yards. He's rushed for 90 yards on 33 attempts.
Christian Turner (Orange Grove; Harrison Central) finished off the Gulf Coast game for the Wildcats, completing three passes for 22 yards.
Kayvon Barnes (Pascagoula) leads the ground game for the Wildcats, earning 298 yards on 61 carries. He rumbled for 102 yards on 19 attempts last week against Gulf Coast.
Marquis McCoy (Crestview, Fla.) paces PRCC in receptions with 21. He's tallied 192 yards and two touchdowns. Jordan Coleman leads the Wildcats in yards with 228 on 14 catches. He's averaging 16.3 yards per reception.
Safety Caleb Williams (Biloxi; D'Iberville) leads PRCC in tackles with 38. He's registered two tackles-for-loss and two breakups. Dalton Lee (Carriere; Pearl River Central) narrowly trails with 37 tackles. Lee also has five TFLs, 1.5 sacks and one pass breakup.
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.
To help improve traffic flow and fan experience, PRCC athletics box offices will be cashless in 2023-24. Only credit and debit cards will be accepted at the box office. Fans are encouraged to beat the lines and purchase their tickets in advance at PRCCAthletics.com/Tickets. Tickets are $8 if purchased ahead of time or $11 on gameday.