Pearl River looks to put on a show for Homecoming
Published 1:35 pm Tuesday, October 5, 2021
The Pearl River football team returns to Dobie Holden Stadium Thursday to take on Holmes. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Prior to kickoff, the Wildcats will hold Homecoming festivities at 6:30 p.m.
Fans are encouraged to show up early for the 5:30 p.m. Homecoming parade. The route will begin at the Nursing Building and wrap around Marvin R. White Coliseum before concluding between the new dorms and Dobie Holden Stadium.
Secretary of State Michael Watson will be on hand as the Grand Marshal and will be the honorary captain for the coin toss. His staff will have a table set up inside the stadium helping fans register to vote.
Pearl River (1-4 overall; 0-3 MACCC South) enters Thursday’s contest a week after falling to East Central on a field goal in the last seconds of the game. The Wildcat offense had six turnovers in the game.
“Turnovers again made the difference,” head coach Seth Smith said. “Since the Coahoma game, our effort has been terrific. We have the players to be successful, but our problem is us. If we just find a way to fix that, we may be able to start talking about wins instead of losses. We’re not losing games because we don’t have the players or execution. It’s that we turn the ball over too much. If we don’t do that, these last few games are much more enjoyable.”
The Wildcat defense led the way in the matchup with the Warriors just as it has done for much of the season.
“Our defense is good enough to help us beat anybody,” Smith said. “We just need to be able to compliment them. The entire year our defense has been in a tough position because they have had to do everything. If we can find a way to help them and not turn the ball over then the results will be fun to look at after a game.”
LEADING THE WAY
Leading rushers for the Wildcats include Tony Brown (Hurley; East Central), Chris Holifield Jr. (Mobile, Ala.; Leflore) and Will Young (Hurley; East Central) who have run for 218, 188 and 158 yards, respectively.
Latreal Jones (Taylorsville) has made 14 receptions for 106 yards in three games. Tavion Smith (Hattiesburg; Oak Grove) is second on the team with 11 catches for 158 yards.
PRCC is led on defense by Jacquez Andrews (Hattiesburg) who has tallied 29 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, two pass breakups and one blocked punt.
“Jaquez walked on and made the team late,” Smith said. “Due to a couple of injuries, he’s had an opportunity to fill in and he’s done amazing. He’s one who took a chance on himself and now he’s a scholarship player and he’s helping us play good defense. He showed the guys that scholarship or no scholarship we’re going to play the best player. He always plays hard and does what you ask.”
Holmes (0-5; 0-3 MACCC North) is an option-based offense that runs for 212 yards per game and passes for just 22 yards.
“They’re an option team and they’re a good team,” Smith said. “Again, there is not a bad team in this league. Any team that you play will beat you if you turn the ball over like we did. Holmes is a good football team, but the focus is on us. If we fix us, then we will be okay.”
The option offense is a rare offensive scheme, making it hard to defend.
“Playing an option team requires you to be disciplined,” Smith said. “On defense every week every kid has a job, but the difference is that when you play an option team, and a kid doesn’t do their job then they can score. We’ve got to be disciplined, but I know our defensive coaches will have their guys ready.”
The Bulldog offense has four guys with over 100 rushing yards on the season.
Thomas McCauley leads the pack with 281 yards and two touchdowns on 46 carries. Quarterback Kyren Batey is second on the team with 44 rushes for 237 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore running back Wykece Johnson has 45 rushes for 160 yards and freshman Kerrick Ross rounds out the leaders with 102 yards on 18 carries.
On defense, Duke Arnold leads the team with 24 tackles and Zak Morris narrowly trails with 22.
According to PRCC records, the Wildcats lead the all-time series against the Bulldogs, 36-13-2. The last matchup between Pearl River and Holmes was in 2015. HCC won the game 34-14.
Pearl River’s annual Fall Fest will take place on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. in Centennial Courtyard between Crosby Hall and the Administration Building. The Spirit of the River Marching Band, String of Pearls, football team and Homecoming Court will be present.
Fans are strongly encouraged to purchase tickets in advance to avoid lines. Tickets are available now and can be purchased at PRCCAthletics.com/tickets.
All Pearl River football games are livestreamed for free at PRCCMedia.com/gold. Fans who have Roku, Amazon Fire or Apple TV devices can also watch the Wildcat broadcasts by downloading the “Pearl River CC” channel from their app. stores.
Games will also be available over the air in Pearl River County by tuning into 1320 AM and 106.9 FM., in Columbia on WCJU 102.7 FM and 1450 AM, and in Hattiesburg on WHSY 105.9 FM and 950 AM. The radio broadcast is also available at WRJWRadio.com and by downloading the WRJW app.