River rallies for 30-27 OT win over No. 1 Miss. Gulf Coast

October 4, 2010 - 11:37am -- braswell

POPLARVILLE - Pearl River''s Wildcats rallied from a 20-point second-half deficit here Thursday and dethroned No. 1-ranked Mississippi Gulf Coast with a 30-27 overtime MACJC South Division victory in front of a home crowd of some 6,000 fans in Dobie Holden Stadium.The loss dropped previously-undefeated Bulldogs to 3-1 overall and 2-1 in division play, while the Wildcats improved to 3-1 and 3-0 - tied with their upcoming division foe Copiah-Lincoln for first place in the South Division.Fourteenth-ranked CLCC trimmed arch-rival Southwest Mississippi 27-24 on the road in Summit Thursday.Ninth-year River head coach Tim Hatten said his Wildcats showed tenacity."We never gave up even when things looked pretty bleak early in the second half when we were down 20," he said. "But our defensive settled in and shut them down. Toss in a few breaks thrown our way and we bounced back to take a win."I couldn''t be more proud of the way our guys played as a team."Bulldog quarterback Clayton Moore, a freshman transfer from Ole Miss, zipped a 54-yard touchdown pass to Javon Bell on the first snap of Gulf Coast''s third possession of the game. Will Scott booted the PAT to make it 7-0 with 5:55 left in the opening quarter.The Wildcats managed to move 49 yards in five plays to the MGCCC 22 only to see Travis Bradley of Pascagoula High miss wide left on a 39-yard field goal attempt and Gulf Coast capitalized on the miscue when it answered with a drive to the PRCC 25 in 17 snaps and Scott kicked a 42-yard field goal to give the Bulldogs a 10-0 cushion with 9:35 left in the half.After three punt exchanges, Scott padded the visitors lead to 13-0 when he boomed a 45-yard three pointer on the final play of the first half.After the opening kickoff of the second half sailed out of bounds, PRCC cranked up at its own 40 and German started out with back-to-back completions to Snoop Rollins of North Forrest High and Seth Roberts of Tallahassee, Fla., for 13 and 19 yards, respectively, before keeping for 18 to the Bulldog 10.A minus-13-yard sack followed, then Steve Simon of East Marion High was dropped for a minus-three. After German threw incomplete on a third and 26, Bradley''s second field goal attempt again sailed wide from 43 yards out.Taking over at its own 26, Gulf Coast running back James Gillum burst up the middle on first down and sped 74 yards to the end zone. Scott''s extra point put the Bulldogs up 20-0 with 11:14 left in the third period.But the Wildcats suddenly came alive.After Daryl Bourne of Hattiesburg High returned the ensuing kickoff 26 yards to his own 31, German connected with Roberts with a beautiful 51-yard completion to the Gulf Coast 18 on first down. Three plays later, German kept for a 13-yard TD. Bradley''s extra point made it 20-7 with 8:51 left in the third.Following a MGCCC three and out, PRCC continued to play catch up. Starting at its own 41, German kept for one on first down then three straight running plays to Simon accounted for 18 more yards. A Bulldog offsides penalty pushed things to the Gulf Coast 32, from which German went three for four through the air with his final completion to Simon for a 20-yard score. Bradley''s PAT was blocked, but The River had pulled to within seven - 20-13 - with 2:57 remaining in the quarter.The Bulldogs punted to the Wildcats five plays into their next possession and, again, PRCC cashed in. Scott''s 49-yard punt from his own 16 was returned by Steve McNair, Jr., of Oak Grove High, to his own 42 and German hit Simon again seven plays later with a 15-yard touchdown pass.Pearl River converted a third and eight from the MGCCC 40 in the series, while German went five-for-five for 53 yards on the drive. Bradley''s extra point was true and things were knotted up at 20-20 with 11:48 left in regulation.Gulf Coast''s Alonzo Lawrence fumbled the ensuing kickoff inside his own five, but Bulldogs recovered. Again, the Wildcat defense put the pedal to the mettle and throttled the Bulldog offense three straight snaps before Scott shanked an 18-yard punt out of the rear of the end zone that landed on his own 22.German hit McNair for a 16-yard gainer on first down, then Simon ran for two to the four. An incompletion later, German found Jonathan Duncan of Petal High in the end zone for the go-ahead score. Bradley''s extra point put The River up 27-20 with 8:32 later.But the Bulldogs showed resiliency. Lawrence returned the ensuing kickoff 15 yards to his own 30, then Moore engineered an 18-play scoring drive to knot things again.Gulf Coast converted three third-down and two fourth-down situations in the drive, including Moore''s 10-yard TD pass to Bell on a fourth and goal with 1:02 left. Scott''s extra point tied it at 27-27.Bourne''s 50-yard kickoff return to the MGCCC 40 gave the Wildcats a glimmer of hope in regulation. After Simon was dropped for a minus-four on first down, German hit Roberts with a 12-yarder to the 30. Two incomplete passes later, Bradley''s 47-yard field goal attempt was blocked as time expired.In overtime, Gulf Coast had first dibs. Eric Wills was dropped for a minus three on the first snap, then Moore found Curt Amacker for 12 yards on second to the 15. Wills got the next call around right end, but fumbled inside the five and PRCC''s Alton Bailey of Seffner, Fla., recovered the bounding ball in the end zone for a touchback.The River''s turn. German hit Rollins for 11 on first down for 11 before Simon lost five on the next snap. MGCCC intercepted German on second down, but the pick was nullified via a penalty and pushed things to the four. After Marcquis Smith of Hattiesburg High managed only one yard on back-to-back carries and a delay flag pushed things back to the eight, Bradley arrived to kick the game-winning field goal.Pearl River finished the game with 19 first downs to Gulf Coast''s 17 and had six penalties for 43 yards, while the Bulldogs drew 11 flags for 65.PRCC finished the night with 411 yards of total offense (353 pass, 58 rush) to MGCCC''s comparable 408 (251 pass, 157 rush).For the Wildcats, Roberts led the receiving corps with four catches for 123 yards; while Simon had eight for 102, Rollins nine for 64, McNair four for 31, LSU-transfer Jhyran Taylor of Franklinton, La., two for 22, and Duncan one for four.Bell topped Bulldogs receivers with seven catches for 155 yards, while Mo Milliam had six for 43, Kevin Barkley three for 26, Amacker two for 16, and Wills one for 11.Gillum topped the rushing charts with 110 yards on 16 carries.German finished the night completing 28 of 38 passes (73.7 percent) with no interceptions, while Moore was 19 of 27 (70.4 percent) with no picks.Defensively, Daniel Hayden out of John Ehret High in New Orleans led PRCC with 17 tackles (nine solo, eight assists), including five tackles for losses, a sack, and a forced fumble; while Marcus Jemison of Birmingham, Ala., had 16, including 15 solos, three TFLs, and a forced fumble. Chris Bermond of Hancock County High also had 16 (six solo, 10 assists), three TFLs, a sack, and a forced fumble; while LeDarren Cook of Bassfield High and Otha Foster of Varnado, La., both had 12 tackles each. Cook also had three TFLs, while Foster also forced a fumble.Other Week Five Action In The MACJCIn other South Division action around the MACJC on Thursday, 14th-ranked and undefeated Copiah-Lincoln survived a scare from arch-rival Southwest Mississippi in Summit with a 27-24 victory; while in the North, Itawamba squeaked past winless Mississippi Delta 21-20 in Moorhead, defending North and state champion East Mississippi blew out Coahoma 49-14 in Clarksdale, and ninth-ranked Northwest Mississippi smacked Northeast Mississippi 26-6.In this weeks only inter-divisional match up, Jones County bombed Holmes 24-6 in Ellisville. Winless East Central hosts Hinds Saturday in Decatur for its Homecoming bout.Next Week In The MACJCFour Thursday games and three Saturday games set the stage for next week in the MACJC. On Thursday in the South Division, Mississippi Gulf Coast (4-1, 2-1) hosts East Central (0-4- 0-1) in Perkinston; while in the North, East Mississippi (2-3, 2-1) hosts Northeast Mississippi (3-2, 2-1) in Scooba and Mississippi Delta (0-5, 0-2) hosts Holmes (0-5, 0-2) in a battle of the winless in Moorhead. North leader Northwest Mississippi (5-0, 2-0) hosts Southwest Mississippi (2-3, 0-3) in next week''s only inter-divisional contest.South battles set for Saturday include Copiah-Lincoln (5-0, 3-0) hosting Pearl River (4-1, 3-0) in Wesson and Jones County (2-3, 0-2) hosting Hinds (3-1, 0-1) in Ellisville - both Homecoming games - while in the North, Itawamba (2-3, 1-1) hosts Coahoma (2-3, 1-2) for its Homecoming.</p>