By Curtis Rockwell, Sports Editor
The Picayune Item
Pearl River Central kept its postseason hopes alive last week.
On Friday, the Blue Devils find themselves in an elimination type of situation once again.
Pearl River Central hosts Natchez at 7 p.m., in Hendrix Stadium on the PRC campus Friday night in Region 3-5A play. The Blue Devils need wins in their final two regular season games, this week and next week against Brookhaven, to qualify for the Class 5A South State playoffs for the third consecutive season.
The Blue Devils are coming off a big road win over Jackson Wingfield. Natchez fell to Brookhaven last week, elminating the Bulldogs from playoff consideration. PRC is 3-6 overall and 2-3 inleague play, while Natchez is also 3-6 overall and 1-4 in league play. Brookhaven, which plays Wingfield this week, is 6-3 overall and 2-3 in league play also.
Wayne County and West jones, who play one another this week, are both 5-0 in league play and Laurel, which lost to Wayne County last week, stands 4-1. All three of those teams have already qualified for the state playoffs. A win this week by PRC would set up a showdown next week in Carriere against Brookhaven for the fourth and final playoff spot.
Natchex fell to Brookhaven 62-36. Bulldogs quarterback Anthony Robinson threw for 271 yards on 21 completions and three touchdowns and also ran for two more scores in the loss.
Aaron Brown had six catches for 120 yards, and Natchez also got one of its top players back in Sidney Davis after the split end had missed several games with an injury.
Davis said there is still plenty of motivation to get things right before the end of the season.
“I just tell them to keep fighting, because our playoff chance might be over, but we still can win these last two game and give them something to talk about,” he said.
Friday was Davis’ first game back since Natchez played against West Jones High School, and head coach Lance Reed said it was good to have him back.
“He brings a little spark for us,” Reed said. “Him being there made a difference.”
Davis said it took him a while to get acclimated to playing at game speed again after suffering a concussion, but he and the offense got things going in the second half when they outscored Brookhaven 22-21.
“I really just wanted to get my first hit out the way,” Davis said. “After I got my first hit, it felt good. I was anxious to play this game.”
Reed said in order for the Bulldogs to win these last two games, they must want to do it for themselves and especially the seniors.
“It’s a pride thing that will have to kick in to go out there and win a game,” Reed said. “We’re playing on pride right now.”
Brookhaven's Tre McDaniel ran for 193 yards and three scores in the win. The Panthers jumped out to a 36-6 lead in the second quarter and never looked back. Natchez had three turnovers in the second quarter alone.
"We made mistakes that hurt us all year," Reed said. "We can't win by turning the ball over and shooting ourselves in the foot."As a whole, we are not a very good football team right now. We understand that and thet we have to work to get better. That's our focus, we have to improve in these next two games."