Pearl River Central dominates Wingfield in 70-12 victory

Published 7:00 am Saturday, October 25, 2014

Pearl River Central got their season back on track and improved to 4-4 after routing Wingfield 70-12 in Carriere Friday night.
“We talked all week about putting our last game behind us and not letting Wayne County beat us twice,” Head Coach Eric Collins said, “I was proud of our guys for playing hard and doing what we had to do.”
PRC dominated every aspect of the game from start to finish, scoring 9 total touchdowns in the first half and cruising to a 63-6 halftime lead.
Wingfield received the opening kickoff but only held the ball for a minute and a half before cornerback Alex Travis came down with the first of his four interceptions. Blue Devils Running back Michael Tatman opened up the scoring one play later with a 30-yard touchdown run with 10:25 left to play in the first quarter.
Wingfield turned the ball over on downs after three straight incompletions on their next drive, giving the Blue Devils starting field position on the Wingfield 11 yard-line. Quarterback Terek Whitehead ran the ball down to the 1-yard line on first down, setting up wide receiver Devin Gutierrez for the 1-yard touchdown on the next play to make the score 14-0 with 9:20 seconds left in the first quarter.
Strangely, neither Wingfield nor PRC punted in this game. Wingfield elected to go for it on every fourth down instead of punting, a strategy that failed more often than not.
After holding Wingfield on fourth down, PRC was in position to score after a Gutierrez catch and run to the 3-yard line, but he fumbled after a hard tackle appeared to separate his shoulder. It was the one drive PRC had in the first half that did not end in a touchdown.
A few plays later, Travis picked off Wingfield quarterback La’andre Thomas for a second time and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown, bringing the score to 21-0 with 5:25 left to play in the first quarter.
Wingfield turned the ball over on downs on their next possession, and two plays later Whitehead connected with wide receiver Donte Stephens for a 23-yard touchdown pass. With 2:56 remaining in the first quarter, the score was 28-0.
It only got worse from there for Wingfield. After the PRC defense forced another turnover on downs, Gutierrez made his gutsy return to the game, catching a 33-yard touchdown pass from Whitehead after having his shoulder popped back into place on the sidelines. With 8:38 left in the first half, PRC was leading 35-0.
Less than two minutes later, Wingfield failed to convert a fourth down, and PRC scored on the first play of their offensive possession. Whitehead found tight end Cole Lott for a 28-yard touchdown pass to make the score 42-0.
Wingfield scored their only touchdown of the first half on their next drive. Thomas found receiver Ralph Powers for a 44-yard touchdown with 5:22 left in the half. The two-point conversion attempt failed, and the score remained 42-6.
The Blue Devils answered back with a 32-yard touchdown run from Tatman on the ensuing drive, extending their lead to 49-6 with 2:56 seconds to play in the first half.
On the next possession, Travis snagged his third interception and returned it more than 50 yards for his second touchdown of the game with just over two minutes to go in the first half. PRC led 56-6.

SCORING DEFENSE: Cornerback Alex Travis returns his third interception for his second touchdown. Photo by Dart Spiers

SCORING DEFENSE: Cornerback Alex Travis returns his third interception for his second touchdown.
Photo by Dart Spiers

But Travis wasn’t done. Less than a minute later, he picked off another pass to give him a remarkable four interceptions in the first half. Running back Austin Champagne scored a rushing touchdown from 46 yards out on the next play, giving the Blue Devils a 63-6 lead at the half.
Champagne scored again on a 10-yard rushing touchdown with 4:35 remaining in the third quarter, bringing the score to 70-6. The Blue Devils did not throw a single pass in the second half and played a lot of their second and third string players.
Wingfield would score on a 2-yard quarterback run from Thomas as time expired in the fourth quarter, but failed to convert the 2-point try, making the final score 70-12.
“We’ve got a stretch run here,” Collins said, “if we win out we put ourselves in a good position for the playoffs.”
The Blue Devils travel to Natchez next Friday night to take on the 4-5 Bulldogs.

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