POPLARVILLE, Miss. — Fresh off of a thrilling 17-16 Homecoming victory over Southwest on Saturday, Pearl River has turned its attention to No. 1 Gulf Coast.
Kickoff in Thursday's rivalry contest is set for 7 p.m.
The game will be streamed at PRCCAthletics.com and PRCCMedia.com/gold with David Sutton and Kelly Sanner calling the action. The game will also be carried on WRJW 1320 AM in Picayune, WCJU 1450 AM in Columbia, WCJU 104.9 FM in Prentiss and both WHSY 950 AM and WHSY 105.9 FM in Hattiesburg. Carey Meitzler will provide the play-by-play with Barry Harper adding color commentary and Jacob Hickman delivering insight from the sideline.
Pearl River leads the all-time series with Gulf Coast 55-37-1.
Several players came up big Saturday but no one arguably made a bigger difference than freshman Gayden Hence (Hattiesburg). The kicker not only kicked — and recovered — an onside kick late in the contest, but he booted the game-winning 21-yard field goal with just 35 seconds remaining.
For his heroics, Hence was named the Forrest Health Wildcat of the Week.
Hence has been one of the bright spots for PRCC (2-5 overall; 1-4 MACJC South)this season and currently ranks fifth in the NJCAA with a 40.5-yard punting average.
The win over the Bears was also a breakout performance for freshman D.D. Griffin (Richton). The running back scored on a 51-yard rush and led PRCC with a season-high 94 yards on 13 carries. Griffin is third on PRCC with 173 yards on the season. Lance Stewart (Oxford; Lafayette County) and T.J. Wash (Forest; Scott Central) top PRCC's rushing leaderboard with 366 and 202 yards respectively.
Quarterback Terrence Humphrey leads PRCC's passing attack, having completed 48.6 percent of his passes for 759 yards and five touchdowns.
Jaylan Wilson (Bay St. Louis; Bay) continues to be PRCC's most consistent receiver. The sophomore has caught 23 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns.
Linebacker Noah Mitchell (Leakesville; Greene County) continues to pace the Wildcat defense with 57 total tackles. His 9.5 tackles-per-game ranks fourth in the MACJC and 10th in the NJCAA.
Fellow linebackers Kobe Cole (Flora; Madison Central) and Darrell Sims Jr. (Bassfield; Jefferson Davis) aren't far off Mitchell's pace with 45 and 40 tackles respectively. Sims also leads PRCC with four sacks and seven tackles for loss.
SCOUTING GULF COAST
Quarterback Chance Lovertich makes Gulf Coast's offense go. The sophomore has completed 66.3 percent of his passes for 1,685 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Five different Bulldogs have caught at least 10 passes this season. Jymetre Hester leads MGCCC (7-0; 4-0) with 31 receptions and seven touchdowns; he also has 384 yards. Marquis Bridges leads the Bulldogs with 490 yards on 23 receptions; he's second on the team with five receiving touchdowns. Jalen Bracey (27 receptions for 308 yards), Perry Keyes (13 for 128) and Maleik Gray (10 for 154) round out MGCCC's leading receivers.
Austin Bolton leads the Bulldogs rushing attack with 503 yards and eight touchdowns. Three other running backs have eclipsed the century mark, including Deondre House (446 yards on 58 carries), Omni Wells (333 on 82) and Shaun Anderson (158 on 29).
Defensively, Navonteque Strong and Mike Smith lead the Bulldogs with 61 and 60 tackles respectively. Strong also leads MGCC in sacks (4 ½) and tackles-for-loss (10 ½). Jackie Matthews has pulled in four of MGCCC's six interceptions.
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.