By Rashell Reese, Item Sports Correspondent
The Picayune Item
Pearl River Central beat Natchez Friday night 62-36 at Hendrix stadium.
Pearl River Central stayed alive for its third straight Class 5A playoff berth with the win, and will face off with visiting Brookhaven Friday for the fourth and final seed in Region 3-5A.
Blue Devil Christian Smith, returned the opening kick off with for a 55 yard touch down giving Pearl River Central a lead it would never relinquish.
With the win the Blue Devils advance to 4-6 overall and 3-3 in league play and Natchez falls to 3-6 and 2-4.
"I thought our kids played awesome tonight," PRC head coach Eric Collins said. "I couldn't be prouder of our troops."
After the opening score, the Blue Devils extended their lead with a second touchdown in the first quarter ran in by Bryson Penton from the 12 yard line.
The Bulldogs also scored two touchdowns in the first quarter, John Ferguson ran the first one in from the 30 yard line and Lee Jackson ran the second in from the 3 yard line.
In the second quarter Pearl River Central broke open the game scoring four touchdowns. Curry Goodwin ran in a 3-yard touchdown. Hunter Holifield scored from 15 yards out, and Penton ran in a touchdown from the 5 yard line. Dylan Spiers scored the final touchdown of the half from the 1 yard line pushing the lead 42-20 at the end of the first half.
Anthony Robinson ran in one touchdown for Natchez in the 2nd quarter, from the 10 yard line.
The Bulldogs opened the second half with a touchdown by Ferguson from the 32 yard line, making the score 42-28.
Pearl River Central answered back with a touchdown tallied from the 10 yard line by Garret Duplechain, and an 8 yard touchdown run by Goodwin, pushing the lead 55-28.
Natchez scored for their final time with a touchdown pass thrown from Robinson to Earon Brown, and a two point conversion, making the score 55-36 at the end of the third quarter.
Pearl River Central sealed in their win with a final touchdown in the fourth quarter ran in by Christian Roberts from the 12 yard line making the final score 62-36.
"At this time in the season it's about playing hard and not giving up," Collins said. "Our kids have faced a ton of adversity all year and they just kept going and weathered the storm. I told them if they did that maybe some good things could happen and that is certainly what's happening."
"We've come together a little more as a team since the beginning of the season," Collins said. "You know adversity does one of two things, it either tears you apart of brings you together and it's definitely brought us together, both as a staff and as a team."
Wayne County wrapped up the top seed in Region 3-5A with a win over West Jones Friday night. Laurel and WJHS will meet Friday to decide the second and third seed while PRC and Brookhaven will decide the fourth and final seed.
The winner of the PRC-Brookhaven game will travel to Pascagoula to open the state playoffs the next week.