PRC nips South Jones

Published 11:52 pm Saturday, September 1, 2007

For the second straight season, Pearl River Central opened the football year with a win.

The Blue Devils beat visiting South Jones 23-19 Friday, chalking up the first of what they hope to be many wins this season.

A near fifty yard kick return touchdown by PRC’s Jabar Locure in the fourth quarter turned the tide in the game, just as it appeared the Devils could have been in for their first defeat.

“He’s exciting, he’s one of those guys that when he touches the ball anything can happen, anything,” Blue Devils head coach Jeremy Weir said about Locure.

It was a long hard fight, with no scoring or large plays taking place in the first quarter. Late in the second quarter things began to heat up with only 4:23 left on the clock. At that time Devils running back Ben Lee scored the first touchdown of the game. The team followed it up with the extra point, the Braves were not content to allow the first half end with a score of 7-0. Braves quarterback Brett Bailey completed a 15 yard touchdown pass to Travis King with only 38 seconds on the clock. The successful extra point tied the game up just before half-time.

Bailey would later throw three interceptions to the Devils, and help them get the leverage they needed late in the game to gain their first win.

In the third quarter Ben Lee scored his second touchdown of the game by running the ball seven yards to the end zone, with 4:45 still to play. A successful extra point set the score and the Devils’ lead at 14-7.

A large run by Braves Alex McGruder for 57 yards put the team within touchdown range, which he achieved in the next play with 2:33 still to play. The extra point fell wide to the left leaving the score at 14-13 for the remainder of the quarter.

In the fourth quarter the action really heated up, with an interception at the end, a fifty yard kick return touchdown, and the use of a safety to keep the Devils at bay.

The beginning of that last quarter the two teams danced with the ball for the first three minutes and ten seconds. But the Braves broke out with a touchdown pass from Bailey to Marc Whatley with 8:50 left to play. To make up for the missing extra point earlier in the game the Braves attempted a two point conversion, but failed to execute it effectively, leaving the score at 19-14.

Two ball changes later the Devils were able to push the Braves back to their end zone. Fearing the Devils would get another touchdown the Braves took a safety, giving the Devils an extra two points. Now the score was 19-16 and the clock had 5:20 remaining.

When the Braves kicked the ball off to the Devils, Jabar Locure ran the ball from about the 50 yard line all the way to the end zone, ending the Braves short-lived lead. An extra point would put the final score at 23-19 and leave only 5:07 left in the game.

A 26 yard pass from Bailey to McGruder had the Braves close to the end zone late in the fourth quarter, but the Devils defense was able to hold them at bay and eventually regain control of the ball. Two Devils’ plays later and a kneel put an end to the last 23 seconds of the game.

“I’m proud of all my guys, it was definitely a team effort,” Weir said.

The Devils will host their homecoming game next Friday Sept. 7 where they will face off against Vancleave.