POPLARVILLE, Miss. — The Pearl River Wildcat football team is hoping to close out its home schedule with a win when they take on South Division foe Southwest on Thursday night at Dobie Holden Stadium. The game will serve as Homecoming and Sophomore Day.
The Wildcats (1-3 overall) are coming off a 37-13 loss at Jones College and are hoping to bounce back and improve their play against the Bears (0-4, 0-4).
Tickets for Thursday's game are sold out.
While the Bears haven't won a game yet, head coach Seth Smith knows that his team is going to have to execute in order to get back in the win column Thursday.
"Southwest is a good team," Smith said. "They haven't won a game yet but they're good. We're going to have to play well. They run the ball really well and they're well coached on both sides of the ball. They're predominantly a run team. They run the triple option so from a defensive standpoint you have to play disciplined.
"You have to make sure someone has the dive, the quarterback and the pitch. If we play up to our standard we'll be able to compete but if we play like we did the first two quarters against Jones we'll get beat."
The Bears have multiple weapons in their backfield starting with quarterback Brandon Edmendson. Edmendson leads the Bears in passing with 344 yards and three touchdowns on the season and also has 103 yards and one score on the ground.
Along with Edmendson the Bears also have Vakeilon Campbell and Jerry Johnson. Campbell and Johnson have 138 and 133 yards rushing respectively.
ABOUT PEARL RIVER
The Wildcats are led in passing by quarterbacks Austin Davidson (Meridian; West Lauderdale) and Jakob Greer (Bay St. Louis; St. Stanislaus). Davidson leads the Wildcats in passing yards with 394 while Greer leads them in touchdowns with four. Davidson also leads the Wildcats in rushing with 161 yards. In addition to Greer the Wildcats also have a trio of running backs with over 100 yards rushing on the season with Chris Holifield Jr. (Mobile, Ala.; Leflore), Will Young (Moss Point; East Central), and Nick Milsap (Raleigh; Oak Grove).
Through the air the Wildcats are led by Latreal "Frog" Jones (Taylorsville), Stetson Moore (Philadelphia), Holifield Jr. and Tavion Smith (Hattiesburg; Oak Grove) who have 216, 199, 104, and 114 yards respectively.
Linebacker Noah Mitchell (Leakesville; Greene County) leads the Wildcats with 55 tackles including 8.5 for loss.
PRCC holds a 61-15-3 advantage over Southwest. The Wildcats defeated the Bears last year in a thrilling 17-16 contest.
Prior to the game, PRCC will honor its sophomore class. Coach Smith is grateful for the contributions and the "buy in" he has got from his upperclassmen in Year 1.
"I just appreciate those kids," Smith said. "They didn't ask for us but they got us and they didn't have to buy in to what we did but they chose to and they've had a great attitude and have played hard and have helped us get better and more competitive.
"Obviously the goal each year is going to be to get better and better but these guys will always be the foundational group."
The Wildcats have 23 sophomores this season in Latreal "Frog" Jones (Taylorsville), Javo Thurman (Magee), Damien Lynch (Pearl), Trent Williams (Petal), Luther Woullard II (Petal), Jakob Greer (Bay St. Louis; St. Stanislaus), Noah Mitchell (Leakesville; Greene County), Ben Johnson (Hattiesburg; Oak Grove), Antonio Barnes (Poplarville), Stetson Moore (Philadelphia), Ricco Moore (Moss Point; St. Martin), Dymarcus Griffin (Richton), Nijewel Coleman (Sumrall), Jaylen Glaude (Ocean Springs), Branson Davis (Hurley; East Central), Ra'Sheim Jordan (Hattiesburg), Mario Barnes (Poplarville), Gayden Hence (Hattiesburg), Jarid Johnson (Pascagoula), Desmond Harris (Moss Point), JuVonta Raymond (Picayune), Hayden West (Leakesville; Greene County), Kyle Stockstill (Picayune) and Javion Evans (Ludlow; Brandon).
SMITH NAMED FORREST GENERAL WILDCAT OF THE WEEK
Pearl River freshman receiver Tavion Smith (Hattiesburg; Oak Grove) has been named the Forrest General Wildcat of the Week.
Smith had a strong performance in PRCC's loss at Jones College, recording career highs in receptions (four) and yards (58).
The freshman wide out has provided reliable hands for PRCC's quarterbacks in 2020, hauling in seven passes for 114 yards and one touchdown. His TD came three weeks ago in PRCC's win over East Central.
STREAMING + RADIO
PRCCMedia.com will once again be the digital home for Pearl River Wildcat Athletics in 2020-21. In addition to PRCCMedia.com, fans with a Roku or Amazon Fire device can also stream PRCC's games by downloading the "Pearl River CC" channel from the app store.
All football games will also be carried on WRJW 1320 AM and WRJWRadio.com.
WJDR 98.3 FM in Columbia is a new addition to the Wildcat Radio Network in 2020.
Carey Meitzler will return as the play-by-play voice of the Wildcats for both the stream and radio. He'll be joined once by Jacob Hickman as the color analyst. Donald Balch will provide insight from the sidelines.