Terrence Humphrey clapped and out of the corner of his eye saw the Itawamba safety begin to drop toward the line. Pearl River’s quarterback peeked at his receiver and the play was on. Jaylan Wilson (Bay St. Louis; Bay) had been petitioning Coach Ted Egger the entire drive to call it and with under 30 seconds remaining and the seconds rapidly disappearing, the third-year head coach sent it in.
Humphrey caught the ball in the shotgun, waited a half second and zipped it to a wide open Wilson on the left side for the go ahead touchdown with 16 seconds remaining.
The Wildcat defense held strong in the waning seconds and PRCC clinched a 35-31 victory over ICC at Eaton Field to open the 2019 season 1-0.
“I’m proud of everybody on the football team,” Egger said. “Here’s what I was proud of. We had a lot of people go out with cramps and it was next man up. We didn’t skip a beat. That’s why it’s a great team win.”
The final touchdown was Humphrey’s third of the game in his debut at quarterback for the Wildcats. One year after breaking his leg while playing defensive back, Humphrey completed 22 of 36 passes for 254 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for a 1-yard score.
“That’s the first game he has played. He’s a freshman at quarterback so you knew there were going to be some growing pains,” Egger said. “He did a great job leading this team.
“I think we have a quarterback.”
Humphrey was aided by strong offensive line play, multiple receivers stepping up and several more running backs ripping off big gains.
“I want to give all the glory to God for putting me in this moment with my teammates and coaches. I’ve been preparing for moments like this ever since my injury last year so I thank God for making the way he made it,” Humphrey said. “This win means so much to us because it’s the start of the turnaround.”
Wilson led all receivers, making seven grabs for 74 yards and a touchdown. Jones caught five passes for 71 yards and a score. Ashby and Moore each caught four passes for 42 and 61 yards respectively.
Lance Stewart led PRCC’s running backs with 89 yards on 13 carries. D.D. Griffin was second with 47 yards on 11 carries.
“That’s everything we’ve seen in practice. We have four kids who are good running backs,” Egger said, including T.J. Wash and Tionne Frost. “They’re going to give people problems.”
PRCC returns to the gridiron next Thursday with a 7 p.m. road tilt at East Mississippi.
Gulf Coast thumps Miss. Delta
No. 12 Mississippi Gulf Coast shook the rust off early and exploded to a 49-9 victory at Mississippi Delta on Thursday.
The Bulldogs ran for 293 yards, with three backs over 70 yards, and threw for another 225 yards on 20-of-27 attempts.
“We really played well as a team in a lot of areas,” Gulf Coast coach Jack Wright said. “We played good team defense. We needed both the running game and the passing game at times to move the football, so I’m pleased with the overall effort. I think a lot of kids contributed to the overall effort.”
Gulf Coast won on a night that saw No. 1 East Mississippi and No. 4 Jones lose. Hinds upset East Mississippi 24-16, and Coahoma beat Jones 18-10. The Bulldogs play CCC next week in Perkinston. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at A.L. May Memorial Stadium.
MGCCC’s defense held the Trojans to 167 total yards, including just 58 rushing. The Bulldogs forced three turnovers.
“Going against them every day, I see an active group,” Wright said. “That doesn’t surprise me. They were in the backfield, not cooperating with what the offense wanted to do, creating havoc, and that’s gonna lead to more turnovers.”
Austin Bolton sprinted 43 yards for the opening score midway through the first quarter. It was his first of three touchdowns on the night. He finished with 107 yards.
Deondre House ran for 119 yards, including a 57-yard fourth-quarter touchdown. He averaged 17.0 yards per carry, and Omni Wells (So., Moss Point/Moss Point) finished 74 yards.
Chance Lovertich completed 20 of 25 passes for 225 yards. His third pass of the game was intercepted, but he threw touchdown passes to Travis Isaac, Marquise Bridges and Jalen Bracey.
MGCCC hosts Coahoma at 7 p.m. on Thursday.