The Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College football team doesn’t appear ready to give up its No. 1 national ranking anytime soon.
Gulf Coast rallied in the third quarter, scoring three touchdowns in a span of just over seven minutes to pull away from rival Pearl River in a 25-3 win in Perkinston on Thursday.
Pearl River scored first in the period on a 39-yard Gayden Hence field goal to pull within three of Gulf Coast at 6-3. But the Bulldogs rally started two plays later as Deondre House took off to the right side of the field an outran defenders in front of the Pearl River bench for a 67-yard score.
The Bulldogs’ defense got on the board three plays later as Diwun Black intercepted Wildcats quarterback Terrence Humphrey and carried it in for a 25-yard score to give the Bulldogs a 19-3 lead.
The Bulldogs defense held the Wildcats to a negative yard on the ensuing possession, and forced a Wildcats’ punt. Starting at their own 27 yard line, the Bulldogs put together a 9-play drive, culminating with a 5-yard Chance Lovertich keeper to close out the game’s scoring with 3:10 showing on the third quarter clock.
“I’m proud of the way our kids played tonight,” said Gulf Coast coach Jack Wright. “Our defense played outstanding. They fought all game and gave us opportunities.”
Gulf Coast has been ranked No. 1 in the nation for the past two weeks, and Wright said that one of the things that comes with being number one is that opponents gain inspiration to play their best.
“It feels good after a win like this,” Wright said. “Pearl River played inspired football. Our defense battled, and Deondre’s long touchdown run was a big play for us. Then the interception and score was huge.”
Pearl River denied Gulf Coast a first down on their first three possessions of the game, but the Bulldogs got their aerial attack going on their fourth possession as Lovertich completed three consecutive passes, the third a 43-yarder over the top of the Wildcats defender into the hands of Jymetre Hester for the game’s only first half score.
House led Bulldogs’ rushers with 127 yards and a touchdown. Austin Bolton added 63 yards followed by Shaun Anderson with 51 yards.
Lovertich completed 18 of 35 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for a 5-yard score.
Lovertich, a Jackson Prep product, has completed 150 of 234 passes for 1,925 yards, 20 touchdowns and six interceptions this season.
The Bulldogs (8-0) remain undefeated and travel to Hinds Community College next Thursday.
PRCC (2-6) will close out the regular season at home next Thursday with Mississippi Delta coming to Poplarville for a 6 p.m. kickoff.
Latreal Jones had a nice day at receiver for PRCC, leading the Wildcats with 67 yards. Freshman linebacker Noah Mitchell had 18 tackles.