Wildcats bounce back with win

Published 5:43 pm Friday, September 21, 2007

A month into the season, the usually potent Pearl River Community College offense still seems a step slow.

Fortunately for the seventh ranked Wildcats, though, their stout defense is in full stride.

Homestanding PRCC forced six turnovers Thursday night against visiting Co-Lin, including three interceptions by safety Brandon Burns, as the Wildcats dispatched the Wolves 14-2 in South Division juco action.

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The win moves PRCC to 3-1 overall and 1-1 in league play, while Co-Lin falls to 1-3 and 0-2 in league action.

“Our defense was really solid all night, they played an outstanding game,” PRCC head coach Tim Hatten said. “And we were able to put enough points on the board on offense to pull it out.”

The win by the Wildcats helped PRCC avoid a two game losing streak for the first time since the 2000 season. PRCC has never lost two straight under Hatten, who is now in his fifth year at the helm.

The Wildcats were coming off a 24-17 loss to arch-rival Gulf Coast last week, and fell from number one to seventh in the national juco poll.

Pat Oliver replaced Lance Cuevas as the starting quarterback for PRCC, and the younger brother of former Wildcat standout and national juco player of the year Jimmy Oliver did just as his older sibling did and won his first game as a starter.

Oliver was 14-of-30 for 201 yards and one touchdown, a 14-yarder to Theo Wilson that gave PRCC a 7-0 lead in the second quarter.

In the fourth period, Oliver completed a 48-yard pass to Roger Frazier that put the ball at the Wolves’ two. Two plays later, Hendrick Leverette sealed the win with a 1-yard scoring plunge.

Co-Lin’s only points came when Wilson, filling in at quarterback just before halftime, was sacked in the end zone for a safety.

PRCC punter Phillip Sullivan was outstanding for the Wildcats, as he punted seven times for a 47.5 yard average and helped PRCC win the battle for field position.

The Wildcats travel to East Central Thursday for another South Division game.