POPLARVILLE — For the second week in a row, Pearl River's comeback effort ran out of time.
The Wildcats stumbled early at Hinds, but mounted a valiant second half effort before losing 28-18.
"They hit the big plays early and those were the difference in the ballgame," PRCC coach Ted Egger. "We still have to learn to play four quarters of football. I thought our guys play hard but a couple of mistakes were the difference between winning and losing."
Hinds (3-2, 2-1) struck early to go ahead 8-0 on a safety and a short touchdown run by Don Ragsdale, but PRCC (0-5, 0-3) immediately responded. A 15-yard pass from Tavis Williams (Gulfport; Harrison Central) to Tyler Polk (St. Martin) and a 17-yard run by Ron Thompson (Bassfield) helped the Wildcats march 73 yards in 16 plays and score on a 1-yard run by the former Bassfield running back.
After Hinds hit PRCC on a couple long touchdown passes, PRCC hit one of its own when Williams aired it out to Polk for a 40-yard strike to pull the score to 22-12.
HCC hit one more touchdown pass before the half to take a 28-12 advantage into the stoppage but the Wildcats kept the hosts out of pay dirt the rest of the way.
After a scoreless third quarter, Williams ripped off an 11-yard touchdown run with 8:57 remaining.
Defensive standout Eli Stringfellow (Meridian) picked off HCC quarterback Tylan Morton deep in PRCC territory to give the Wildcats a shot in the arm with 2:53 remaining but the host defense clamped down to hold onto a 10-point victory.
Williams continued to be a bright spot for the PRCC attack. Starting his second consecutive game, Williams completed 17 of 26 passes for 182 yards with an interception. He also rushed for a game-high 100 yards on 20 carries. Polk led PRCC receivers with seven catches for a season-high 102 yards. K.J. Breland (Brooklyn; Forrest County AHS) was second on PRCC with three receptions for 28 yards.
Morton completed 18 of 31 passes for 242 yards and three scores. PRCC's defense limited Ragsdale, the reigning MACJC Offensive Player of the Week, to 71 yards on 22 carries. Reginald Todd caught five passes for 144 yards with three touchdown receptions of 22, 43 and 27 yards.
The Wildcats return to the gridiron next Thursday for a 6 p.m. tilt against Jones College at Dobie Holden Stadium.
Sept. 27: Pearl River at Hinds