Wildcats end losing streak

Published 7:34 am Sunday, October 18, 2009


Item Staff Writer

POPLARVILLE — The Pearl River Wildcats broke a three-game losing streak here Saturday evening by beating the Soutwest Bears of Summit 43-7 in front of a homecoming crowd in Dobie Holden Stadium.

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And Wildcat wide receiver Desmond Ratliff continued to close in on former Wildcat receiver Larry Brackins’ all-time reception records.

Ratliff snagged 12 passes for 157 yards, 3 for touchdowns, leaving him 156 yards shy of surpassing Brankins’ record of 1,117 reception yards in a single season, compiled when Brankins’ was a member of the national champion Wildcats in 2004.

The 6-1, 215 lb. sophomore from Canton has only one more game left to surpass Brankins’ yardage record, and that’s against East Central at Decatur Thursday.

Said Wildcat head coach Tim Hatten after the game, “Well, when we don’t turn the ball over we play real well. If we had played that way all season, we would be in the playoffs. We are happy to get a win. It’s been a long time since we have won, so we are tickled to death with this win.”

The win left Hatten’s Wildcats at 5-3 heading to Decatur and 2-3 in conference standings.

The Wildcats scored in every quarter and piled up 23 points in the second period to put the game on ice, carrying a 30-0 lead into the half-time break. Defensive back Cornelius Michael got the first Wildcat score when he scooped up a Bear fumble on his own 34 and raced to the end zone with only a minute left in the first period. Kicker Travis Bradley’s kick for the PAT was good.

Next with 10:20 left in second quarter action, the Wildcat defense bottled up Bear QB Stanley Jenkins in his end zone and got a safety when he intentionally grounded the ball; 9-0.

Next Wildcat QB Emil Jones ran four yards for a TD at the 7:01 mark, and then with 4:30 left hit Ratliff on an 8-yard toss for another TD. Both of Bradley’s kicks were good.

The Wildcats closed out the scoring for the first half when Wildcat QB Emile Jones hit wide receiver Darnell Jackson for 10 yards and a TD with only 14 seconds to the half-time break. Bradley’s PAT was good.

The Wildcats scored twice more in the second-half when Jones in the third quarter hit Ratliff for a 10-yard strike, and Dupree Harris hit Ratliff for a 51-yard strike.