POPLARVILLE, Miss. — Sophomore Night went down to the wire Thursday with Pearl River making enough big plays in the end to clinch a 23-19 victory over visiting Mississippi Delta at Dobie Holden Stadium.
"It was a tough fought game. They're a tough team," Pearl River head coach Ted Egger said. "They came off a big win last week and we knew they were going to be tough in the second half because that's how they've been all year.
"It came down to the end but I'll take it every time. A win's a win."
HOW THE GAME WAS WON
Delta (3-6 overall) scored with 4:13 remaining on a 31-yard pass and then forced PRCC (3-6) to punt with just under a minute remaining. The Trojans aired a pass out down the middle but sophomore cornerback Jabari Coston (Independence, La.; Loranger) plucked the ball out of the air to seal the victory.
PRCC's defense jumpstarted the Wildcats' offense. After Delta scored on a 37-yard run — but missed the PAT — on its first drive, Pearl River responded late in the first quarter. Delta connected on a play over the middle but reigning MACJC and NJCAA Defensive Player of the Week Noah Mitchell (Leakesville; Greene County) punched the ball out from behind and Sirvares Snow (Newton) jumped on the loose ball.
Led by quarterback Terrence Humphrey (Clarksdale), the Wildcats pieced together an 11-play, 81-yard drive. T.J. Wash (Forest; Scott Central) took the hand off and dashed around the left side of the line and through a crowd for a 7-yard score to go ahead 7-6. The touchdown was Wash's first of his career.
Two possessions later the Wildcats landed on the scoreboard again when kicker Gayden Hence (Hattiesburg) boomed a 42-yard field goal to put PRCC ahead 10-6.
The Wildcats scored once more in the first half on a 7-yard run up the middle from D.D. Griffin (Richton). The TD with 27.6 seconds remaining in the half put PRCC ahead 17-6.
Griffin added to the Wildcats' lead to open the third quarter when he capped a 69-yard drive with another 5-yard touchdown run up the middle. The score extended PRCC's lead to 24-13.
"The offensive line did a really good job and all of our kids did a good job bleeding the clock and really shortening the game," Egger said. "I thought their defense got tired in the end and our coaches did a good job of getting our kids to follow the game plan."
Humphrey completed 11 of 17 passes for 137 yards. Griffin broke loose for 105 yards on 26 carries, eclipsing his previous career-high of 94 yards against Southwest. Wash nearly had a career-high of his own, rushing for 62 yards, 18 shy of his high-water mark.
Kobe Cole (Flora; Madison Central) led PRCC with nine tackles. Mitchell chipped in seven. Zeke Chapman (Lake) was active in Delta's backfield. He finished the game with four tackles, one sack and three tackles for loss. Cole also had two TFLs.
Prior to kickoff, PRCC will honor its sophomore class, which includes Jaylan Wilson, Nelson, Darrell Luter Jr. (Hattiesburg; Oak Grove), Wash, Cole, Darrell Sims Jr. (Bassfield; Jefferson Davis), Ron Baker (Prentiss; Jefferson Davis), Chapman, Caleb Rozar (Clarksville, Tenn.; Dickson County), Snow, (Radonte Womack (Prentiss; Jefferson Davis), Coston, Jaeden Ridgeway (Pascagoula), Antuan McDowell (Starkville), Delshun Bradwell (Sawdust, Fla.; Godby), Corbin Lewis (Jayess; Lawrence County), Stetson Moore (Philadelphia) and Terrance Monroe (Petal).