Pearl River Community College faces a huge obstacle to win its first game of the season.
The Wildcats (0-1) travel to face defending MACJC and NJCAA national champion Northwest Community College at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Ranger Stadium/Bobby Franklin Field in Senatobia.
Northwest, ranked sixth by NJCAA, hammered Hinds 40-17 last week and gained 410 yards. Memphis transfer quarterback Clay Holgorsen finished 15-for-20 for 198 yards for the Rangers. Running back Quarderman Sloan ran for 100 yards and scored two touchdowns for the Rangers (1-0).
“This is a great opportunity for us,” PRCC coach David Saunders said. “It’s a chance to compete against the defending national champions. We’re excited about it.”
PRCC will be without starting quarterback D.J. Gillins, who suffered an injury in the season-opening 17-14 loss at Northeast Community College. Former Pascagoula High quarterback Andrew Dunn will get the start.
Gillins, a Wisconsin transfer, was solid. He was 17-of-28 for 165 yards. Wide receiver Matthew Eaton, formerly of Pascagoula High and Temple, had seven receptions for 63 yards.
The Wildcats will need a strong running attack to take pressure off Dunn. Sophomore running backs Darious Leggett and Caleb Kinlaw combined for 95 yards against Northeast. Leggett ran for 59 yards and scored a touchdown and Kinlaw had 36 yards.
“We had some things that we thought we did well, and some other areas where we have to improve,” Saunders said.
PRCC’s defense was solid against Northeast. PRCC had three interceptions, including Joseph Williams’ 59-yard interception return for a TD.
“I thought the defense played with some energy,” Saunders said. “They bent some, but made plays in the red zone.”
Pearl River at Northwest
Where: Bobby Franklin Field
When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday