PRCC takes aim on South Division title

Published 3:35 pm Thursday, October 26, 2006

Even though Pearl River got de-railed just a bit earlier this season, the Wildcats can secure one of their pre-sesason goals tonight on the road against Hinds.

That because PRCC’s destiny is in its own hands, and a win over the Eagles in Raymond tonight will give the Wildcats the South Division title and the homefield advantage throughout the juco playoffs which begin next week.

The Wildcats are coming off a big 31-0 Homecoming win over Southwest, the Wildcats’ first shutout of the season.

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Kickoff tonight is set for 7 p.m., between PRCC which is 7-1 overall and 5-1 in division play and Hinds, which stands 3-5 overall and 1-4 in league action.

PRCC moved up a notch to third in this week’s national rankings, and the Wildcats are coming off a stout defensive performance against the Bears in which they caused five turnovers on defense and one on special teams.

“What more can you say about a defensive performance like that,” PRCC fifth year head coach Tim Hatten said. “If we keep playing defense like that, we’ll be fine.”

Hinds is coming off its first league win, a 27-8 win over East Central on the road.

“They (Hinds) haven’t been real successful in the win-loss column this year, but I can assure you Hinds is the best or at least one of the best five-loss teams in the country,” Hatten added. “They’ve had a rough go of it, which is very uncharacteristic of a program with such a great winning tradition.

Hatten hopes PRCC can continue its trend of forcing turnovers defensively, as the Wildcats lead the state in turnover margin with a plus-17, five more than Copiah-Lincoln and Gulf Coast which have plus-12 figures.

Former Pearl River Central standout Justin Brandon paced the PRCC defensive effort last week by picking off a pair of passes, including returning one 77 yards for the game’s final touchdown.

“We’ve got to take care of our own business and we’ll be fine,” Hatten continued. “This is basically a playoff game for us. The division title is on the line and preparation is the key.”

The Eagles, long time a perennial power in the state junior college ranks, have fallen on hard times this season a bit and will see their season come to an end tonight.

“Hinds has had problems with its pass defense this year (last in the league, 182.3 yards a game), but our passing game isn’t where it should be either,” Hatten said. “But their a very athletic team that has plenty of speed.”