POPLARVILLE— Pearl River Community College scored first Thursday night but couldn't maintain the early momentum against the nation's No. 1 team, ultimately falling to East Mississippi Community College at Dobie Holden Stadium 59-10.
The Wildcat (0-2) defense came up big out of the gate, forcing the Lions (2-0) to punt after a three-and-out.
PRCC proceeded to march 81 yards down the field in 14 plays. The Wildcats originally looked like they had scored on a bruising 4-yard run up the middle by Ron Thompson (Bassfield), but the sophomore had fumbled into the end zone with tight end Justin Mary (Oak Grove) recovering the ball for a score. Cooper Callis (Jackson, Missouri) connected with Donavon Hickman (Union) on the ensuing two-point conversion to put the home team ahead 8-0.
PRCC's defense followed up the score by forcing another punt, but the Lions broke through on their third possession courtesy of a 1-yard run from Keon Moore in the final minute of the first quarter.
The Lions rotated quarterbacks Thursday, splitting snaps between starter Messiah deWeaver and ViJay Miller. The latter completed 17 of 29 passes for 231 yards and touchdown throws of 42 and 24 yards to Dontario Drummond. He also rushed for a 3-yard touchdown.
Running back Deon McIntosh also factored into EMCC's scoring with touchdown runs of 12 and 32 yards. JaQuez Akins and Moore rounded out EMCC's scoring in the fourth quarter with a pick-six and a 6-yard run.
PRCC's defense factored into the scoring Thursday. Late in the third quarter a snap sailed over the head of the EMCC punter and Damian Gray (Clarksdale) tackled the Lion in the end zone for a safety.
Callis completed 15 of 34 passes for 131 yards with three interceptions. Three different receivers caught multiple passes for PRCC. Brice led the Wildcats with six receptions for 48 yards. K.J. Breland (Brooklyn; Forrest County AHS) had a team-high 55 receiving yards on five catches. Tyler Polk (St. Martin) finished with three receptions for 28 yards. Thompson finished the game with 54 yards rushing on 17 carries. PRCC's 10 points were the first EMCC has allowed this year after winning 50-0 in their season opener against then No. 13 Hinds Community College.
PRCC returns to the gridiron Thursday with a trip to Copiah-Lincoln Community College (1-1). Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. The game can be heard on WRJW 1320-AM and WRJWRadio.com. The game
East Mississippi at Pearl River