By Curtis Rockwell, Sports Editor
The Picayune Item
Pearl River Community College was in pretty good shape early against homestanding Hinds Thursday night.
Then, the Eagles got the ball back.
Hinds scored 24 consecutive points to end the first quarter, breaking up a 7-7 tie in the process en route to a 38-14 win at Joe Renfroe Stadium over the visiting Wildcats in South Division play.
PRCC was trying to earn its fifth win of the season and finish year one under head coach William Jones with a winning record. Instead, the Wildcats finish up 4-5 overall and 2-4 in league play.
Hinds, ranked 16th in the nation, ends the season 7-2 overall and 4-2 in league play. The Eagles’ two losses were to division rivals playoff-bound and fifth-ranked Mississippi Gulf Coast (41-34 at Raymond) and fifth-ranked Copiah-Lincoln (19-10 at Wesson), but they bounced back to hand fourth-ranked and division champ Jones County its only loss of the season (24-20 at Ellisville) three weeks ago. Hinds ends the season with five straight wins.
Freshman quarterback James Summers threw for four touchdown passes, two apiece to Robert Lockhart and Keithon Redding, in leading the Eagles to the win.
The playoffs begin one week from Saturday, as Gulf Coast travels to East Mississippi and Itawamba travels to Jones. The state championship game will take place on Saturday, Nov. 8th.
After taking the 31-7 lead into halftime, the Eagles extended the lead to 38-7 early in the fourth quarter before the Wildcats added one final score to wrap things up.
Thursday's game marked the 74th time the two schools locked horns on the gridiron with the Wildcats leading the series with 38 wins, 34 losses, and two ties. Pearl River has won nine of its last 13 match ups with the Eagles, including a 21-13 victory for the 2004 state title, 2005’s 48-26 blowout in Poplarville that marked a record 21 straight wins, 2006’s 36-7 pasting in Raymond, 2007’s season-ending 39-31 triple-OT win at home, 2008’s 27-10 road win, 2009’s 45-3 splattering at home, and 2010’s 37-19 Homecoming victory.
Hinds has won the last three meetings.