Blue Devils wrap up drills

Published 7:00 am Sunday, May 25, 2014

HURLEY — Pearl River Central split a pair of games in a jamboree last week to wrap up spring football drills.

More importantly, Blue Devil head coach Eric Collins came away with a good feeling.

Collins’ squad traveled to East Central to face both the homestanding Hornets and Murphy High from Mobile in a half of play each at Shirley Stadium.

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Pearl River Central beat East Central 12-8 and lost to the Panthers 20-12.

“I thought it went great,” Collins, entering his fifth year at the helm of the Blue Devils, said. “I was extremely pleased, and not a big proponent of playing a spring game. I usually don’t do it.

“But we’re in a bit of a different situation this year than we have been in the past few seasons, because we lost so many starters. I just thought it would be better for the new guys to see as much live action as possible.”

Terek Whitehead is one of the new starters, so to speak. Whitehead has seen extensive action on both sides of the ball over the past few seasons, but is moving from defensive back to take over at quarterback replacing four year starter Dylan Spiers.

Whitehead scored on a short sneak against Murphy, after his 42-yard pass to Donte Stephens placed the ball at the Panther one yard line. He also tossed a 35-yard scoring strike to Devin Guitterrez in that scrimmage.

Michael Tatman, a new member of the Blue Devils running corps, scored on two long runs against East Central.

Whitehead, Tatman and cornerback Alex Travis all missed portions of spring training due to being a part of the PRC track team and members on the 4X100 relay squad that finished seventh at the overall Class 5A state meet.

Guard Kevin Crowley is the only returning starter on offense for PRC, with Travis and tackle Trey Revere back on the defensive side of the ball.

“I thought we played hard and with a lot of passion, and that was good to see,” Collins added. “With only one starter back up front, the offensive line was certainly a spot where I had some concerns going into the spring. But I thought as a unit they really played well.

And despite losing as many starters as we did on defense, I though we moved to the ball real well and showed some quickness.”

The Blue Devils failed to make the Class 5A state playoffs for the first time in several seasons last year, losing in heart-breaking fashion to Brookhaven 25-20 in the regular season finale.

Pearl River Central will once again kick off the season playing in the Shrimp Bowl Classic on Saturday, Aug. 23 against host Biloxi in the nightcap of a doubleheader that will also feature Gulfport against Bay High.