PRCC back to work after winBy STAN CALDWELL,
POPLARVILLE – The biggest task facing the football coaching staff at Pearl River Community College this week may be getting the players back down to earth.
The Wildcats rode an emotional high in the wake of last week’s season-opening 27-21 victory over ninth-ranked Northeast Mississippi, but they’ll need to regroup in a hurry as No. 6 Northwest Mississippi pays a visit to Dobie Holden Stadium.
Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday.
Against the Tigers last week, PRCC opened up a 14-0 lead, then rallied after Northeast twice came back to tie the game. The Wildcats scored the game-winning touchdown with 33 seconds to play on an 18-yard run by Ron Thompson.
“We’re one game at a time right now,” said head coach Ted Egger, who was successful in his head coaching debut. “We’re going to practice and try to put ourselves in a position to win.”
Last week, Pearl River showed off a balanced offensive attack that totaled 404 yards, 247 on the ground and 157 through the air. But it could have been better, as the Wildcats hurt themselves with 13 penalties for 128 yards.
“Northwest is a really good football team,” said Egger. “They’re the kind of team that if we don’t clean some of the mistakes we made tonight, they’ll hurt you.”
Freshman Ron Thompson led the Wildcats with 124 yards on 20 carries and added two touchdown passes of 22 and 6 yards. Sophomore quarterback Justin Agner completed 19 of 32 passes for 157 yards and three TDs.
This is the unofficial season-opener for the Rangers, whose game against Hinds at Senatobia last week was suspended after the third quarter, with no score, because of weather complications from the remnants of Hurricane Harvey.
Still, Egger isn’t particularly concerned with Northwest. His focus is totally on the Wildcats.
“I’ve said all along that I’m not worried about the opponent,” Egger said. “I’m focused on our football team. I believe that if we play our style of football and don’t make mistakes, we can contend with anyone.”
This is the 39th meeting between the Wildcats and the Rangers, with PRCC owning a 24-12 advantage. Northwest has won the last three meetings in the series, including last season’s 31-14 victory at Senatobia.
Pearl River’s last win against Northwest was in 2009, by a 38-35 margin.