High School Sports

Pearl River Central dominates Long Beach with pounding ground attack

Pearl River Central running back Michael Tatman
Pearl River Central running back Michael Tatman jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com

Pearl River Central’s offense scored on all five first-half possessions and the defense held on in the second half in the Blue Devils’ 48-28 win at Long Beach on Friday.

The Blue Devils (3-4 overall, 1-2 in Region 4-5A) used a pounding ground attack featuring end sweeps and slants that seemed to keep the Bearcats defense off balance in the first half.

“We’ve been pretty good on offense this year,” said Blue Devils coach Larry Dolan. “That’s our game — to try to get on the edge. We block very well, I guess. Anytime we run the ball that well, we ought to have success.”

The Bearcats (2-6, 0-3) opened the second half, recovering an onside kick. The Bearcats failed to convert the scoring chance, but their defense stopped the Blue Devils on consecutive possessions, and they scored on their second possession to get within 35-20.

“The first half was a lot of misalignments by our defense,” said Long Beach coach Forrest Williams. “Offensively, it was just missed opportunities in the first half.”

Long Beach’s comeback ended as PRC’s Brennan Duplechain got a good read on Cade Crosby’s pass to intercept it. Duplechain returned it for a touchdown and a 41-20 lead early in the fourth quarter.

The Blue Devils went up 48-20 as Dionte Lenoir scored his second touchdown of the night on a 4-yard run.

Crosby completed a 17-yard touchdown pass to Tony Young to close out the game’s scoring with 1:25 remaining.

Lenoir led the Blue Devils attack with 171 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns. Michael Tatman added 102 yards on 18 carries, one touchdown and a 2-point conversion. Louis Reece rushed for 95 yards on 13 carries.

Crosby completed 19 of 30 passes for 222 yards and a touchdown.