POPLARVILLE, Miss. — Pearl River football's Gayden Hence (Hattiesburg) and women's soccer's Bailey Riddley (Clinton) have been named Forrest Health Wildcats of the Week.
Hence was the hero Saturday, as Pearl River rallied past visiting Southwest 17-16 on Homecoming.
Although Hence had missed two previous field goals, he made his last one — a 21-yard blast — count. The kick came with just 35 seconds remaining in the contest.
Hence set up the thrilling finish by kicking — and recovering — his own onside kick following a 4-yard touchdown run by Jaylan Wilson (Bay St. Louis; Bay).
The freshman specialist also punted twice in the contest, averaging 38.5 yards.
Punting is where Hence has really shined this season for the Wildcats. His 40.5-yard average is third in the MACJC and fifth nationally.
The Wildcats return to the gridiron Thursday with a 7 p.m. kickoff at No. 1 Gulf Coast. PRCC will close out its season next Thursday at home against Delta. The Wildcats will hold a Sophomore Day celebration prior to kickoff against MDCC. Both games will be streamed at PRCCMedia.com/gold.
Riddley has been a stellar defender for the Wildcats (7-2-2 overall, 6-0 MACJC South) all season. Although Pearl River fell to No. 14 LSU-Eunice 2-0 last week, Riddley played a pivotal role in slowing the Bengals' attack.
Riddley uses her athleticism to thwart scoring chances from the opposition and also is skillful with the ball at her feet, helping PRCC get into the attack.
Aided by Riddley's presence, the Wildcats have limited opponents to 0.90 goals per contest.
The Wildcats host Jones College beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday for Sophomore Night and will conclude the regular season Saturday at Southwest. The JC game will be broadcast at PRCCMedia.com/gold.
HOW TO TUNE IN
All home events are broadcast on PRCCAthletics.com and PRCCMedia.com. Anyone who has an Amazon Fire or Roku device can stream PRCC broadcasts by downloading the "Pearl River CC" Channel from the app store.
2019-20 FORREST HEALTH WILDCATS OF THE WEEK WINNERS
Sept. 2: Terrence Humphrey (football), Maddie Beets (women's soccer)
Sept. 9: Taja Brown (men's soccer), Victoria Stewart (women's soccer)
Sept. 16: John Bowman (men's soccer), Jade Shaw (women's soccer)
Sept. 23: Miguel Hernandez (men's soccer), Paige Horsnell (women's soccer)
Sept. 30: Shande James (men's soccer), Isabella Thoennes (volleyball)
Oct. 7: Caleb Burke (men's soccer), Maddie Beets (women's soccer)
Oct. 14: Gayden Hence (football), Bailey Riddley (volleyball)