No. 18 Mississippi Gulf Coast dominated both sides of the football Thursday night against No. 15 Holmes and won 48-14 at A.L. May Memorial Stadium.
The Bulldogs (3-0) totaled 485 yards of total offense and held a potent triple-option attack to just 266 yards and 11 first downs. Defensive coordinator Lytrel Pollard’s defense forced two turnovers and special teams blocked a punt, helping spark a 20-0 first quarter.
“It’s hard to play that thing perfect because the nature of a defensive player is to be aggressive,” Gulf Coast coach Jack Wright said. “Playing against that offense, it kind of takes some of that away because you have to be patient and play assignment football. I thought we did a great job tonight of mixing patience with some aggression. He did a fantastic job.”
Lowell Narcisse got his first start and led a lightning-fast game-opening drive 75 yards in five plays, ending with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Nick Brown for a 6-0 lead just 110 seconds into play.
Holmes fumbled on the ensuing drive, and R’Tarriun Johnson (So., Stone/Wiggins) returned it to midfield. Eight plays later, Narcisse scored his first of three rushing touchdowns from 4 yards out.
The Bulldogs defense forced a three-and-out, and Dayreke Snow took advantage of a poor long snap to block the punt. He recovered at the Holmes 16, and Omni Wells scored two plays later from 2 yards. Gulf Coast led 20-0 just 13 minutes into the game.
“I told the buys to be aggressive, to come out and play with confidence,” Narcisse said. “Those guys were 2-0 and just beat Jones last week, so I told them we have to come out with that exact same confidence. I think we did a good job the first three possessions to get going, got off to a great start.”
Narcisse scored a rushing touchdown before halftime to make it 27-7, then connected with Mystikal McGhee on a 16-yard touchdown early in the third. Narcisse completed 16-of-23 passes for 241 yards.
Narcisse and Austin Bolton scored on short touchdown runs in the fourth quarter. Gulf Coast ran for 230 yards at 5.3 yards per carry with five touchdowns.
Terrion Avery had 11 rushes for 79 yards, and Austin Bolton had 68 yards on the same number of carries. Wells ran for 40 yards.
Holmes managed just 126 rushing yards and ran only 50 plays.
Copiah-Lincoln 49, PRCC 0
Pearl River Community College never found its groove Thursday in the Wildcats’ 49-0 loss at Copiah-Lincoln’s H.L. Stone Stadium.
The defense had its moments against the Wolves. Late in the first half Damian Gray picked off Wolfpack quarterback Hayden Davis for his first pick of the season.
Early in the fourth quarter Josh Booker-Brown and Darrell Luter (Hattiesburg; Oak Grove) broke through Co-Lin’s protection to block a 45-yard field goal attempt early in the fourth quarter. Kentrell McCray jumped on the loose ball and the Wildcats (0-3, 0-1) proceeded to mount one of their most productive drives of the night.
Led by reserve quarterback Tavis Williams, the Wildcats started at their own 40 and proceeded to piece together a 16-play, 58-yard drive.
PRCC came up just short of breaking the shutout, however, when Juan Nelson caught a Williams pass and was shoved out of bounds 2 yards shy of the goal line as the final buzzer sounded.
Cooper Callis led PRCC on the night with 63 yards passing on 9 of 16 passing. Williams completed 2 of 6 passes for 13 yards. He also rushed five times for a team-high 47 yards.
Ron Thompson and Jesse Pernell rounded out PRCC’s leading rushers with 31 and 22 yards respectively.
Thomson led PRCC with 19 receiving yards on two catches. Juan Nelson and Tyler Polk each caught two passes for 18 yards.