Coach Chad Huff has been looking all season for a complete performance.
He got one from his team Thursday night for just the second time this season as Gulf Coast demolished Hinds 34-0 at A.L. May Memorial Stadium.
“This win right here shows we really can play good ball,” Bulldogs sophomore Reggio Dean said. “When we play assignment football, play as a team and love each other there, ain’t no telling — the sky is the limit. Everything we want is still ahead of us.”
After Thursday night’s action, MGCCC (2-3, 2-1) is now in a three-way tie with East Central (2-3, 2-1) and Copiah-Lincoln (3-2, 2-1) atop the MACJC South Division, with Jones (4-1, 1-1), Pearl River (1-4, 1-2) and Hinds (1-4, 1-2) all close behind.
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“It was a must win. Every win from here on out is a must win,” Dean said. “We should have been playing like this from the beginning of the season, but it looks like when our backs are against the wall that’s when we play our best.”
It looked like the same old mistakes might plague Gulf Coast in the early going against Hinds.
The Bulldogs dropped their first two passes of the game and punted. MGCCC quickly got it together after that, however, holding Hinds to a missed field goal attempt. After that, it was all Gulf Coast. The Bulldogs built a 20-0 lead before the half pushed their lead to 34-0 in the third quarter.
“Consistency is what we’ve been looking for. A couple of weeks ago coming off of this football field (after a 21-7 win against Co-Lin), we looked like a really good football team and found a way to win it,” Huff said. “Our kids fought and believe in one another. We played with a lot of emotion, passion and like a Gulf Coast football team on both sides of the football.”
Freshman Quentin Frazier opened the scoring in the first half with 2- and 1-yard runs.
After the Bulldogs got a big defensive stop late in the second quarter, Hinds pinned them on their own 2 with a perfect punt.
Southern Miss commit TRod Daniels took the next carry 27 yards to jump-start the Bulldogs’ hurry-up offense. Quarterback Kalen Whitlow found receiver Lester Wells alone over the middle nine plays later for a 15-yard touchdown, extending Gulf Coast’s lead to 20-0 with 16 seconds remaining in the first half.
“That was huge,” Huff said of the Bulldogs’ 10-play, 98-yard scoring drive. “Lester made a heckuva catch. Kalen did a great job of moving in the pocket and keeping his eyes down the field.”
Ge’Vonte Jones capped Gulf Coast’s scoring late in the third quarter on a 9-yard touchdown run.
Whitlow was 17 of 24 to seven different players for 174 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also rushed for 66 yards. Daniels led MGCCC with 110 yards on 12 carries. Former LSU signee and one-time Auburn commit Brandon Martin had six receptions for 57 yards, while former Charlotte receiver Alex Barrow caught five passes for 33 yards.