POPLARVILLE – Pearl River Community College hopes the friendly confines of Dobie Holden Stadium are a more agreeable environment as the Wildcats look to rebound from last week’s 34-14 loss at Holmes last week.
PRCC will open its home schedule Thursday night, hosting No. 20 Hinds in the South Division opener for both teams. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The Wildcats (1-1) were beaten pretty soundly last week against the Bulldogs, who piled up 550 yards of offense, including 368 on the ground. Holmes held Pearl River to net of just 16 yards rushing and sacked quarterback Mack Lowrie five times for 42 yards in losses.
Sophomore punter Cody Mikell was one bright spot for PRCC against the Bulldogs, kicking six times for a 44.2-yard average.
Also, sophomore linebacker Jarkeith Ruffin had a big game for the Wildcats, recording 16½ tackles, including three for losses of 8 yards, and 2½ sacks for 16 yards in losses. Freshman linebacker Corey Jones had 19 tackles and recovered a fumble.
The Eagles are 2-0 after a pair of home victories over Holmes (32-28) and Northeast (44-13). Sophomore wide receiver Javon Wims led Hinds in last week’s win with six receptions for 193 yards and two touchdowns.
This will be the 76th meeting between Pearl River and Hinds, with the Wildcats holding a narrow 38-35-2 advantage. The Eagles have won four straight in the series, with PRCC’s last win coming in 2010 in a 37-19 victory at Raymond. Hinds won last year’s meeting at Raymond 30-15.
The Wildcats and Eagles have met twice for the MACJC state championship, in 2003 and 2004, and both times Pearl River was victorious. The Wildcats’ 21-17 win in the 2003 championship game began a run of nine straight triumphs for Pearl River in the series.
AROUND THE MACJC
Elsewhere in the second week of play in the Mississippi junior college ranks, top-ranked East Mississippi saw its 25-game winning streak snapped at fourth-ranked Co-Lin 31-24 in overtime. In another clash of Top 20 teams, 14th-ranked Northwest whipped No. 9 Mississippi Gulf Coast 26-10. Also, Itawamba edged Jones County 21-20, East Central downed Coahoma 46-13 and Southwest knocked off Mississippi Delta 20-13.
In other games around the league this week, division play opens for most MACJC teams. In South Division action, Gulf Coast (1-1) will look to get back on the winning track at home against East Central (2-0) and Jones County (0-2) will host Southwest (1-1).
In the North Division, East Mississippi (1-1) hosts Coahoma (0-2), Northeast (2-0) is at Northeast (0-2) and Itawamba (1-1) travels to Holmes (1-1). In inter-division play, Co-Lin (2-0) will be at Mississippi Delta (0-2).
ON THE AIR
The Pearl River-Hinds game can be seen on prccmedia.com and prcc.edu, and can be heard on the radio on the PRCC Network, which includes WFMM-FM (Super Talk 97.3 in Hattiesburg), WFFF-FM (96.7 in Columbia) and WRJW-AM (1320 in Picayune).
Kelly Sanner will call the play-by-play, with David Sutton providing color analysis.