PRC pulls out win over Brookhaven, secures playoff spot
By Marty Albright
BROOKHAVEN — The Pearl River Central Blue Devils came out with revenge on their minds as they spoiled the Brookhaven Panthers senior night with a 42-12 victory on King Field Friday night.
“This was a great win for our guys,” said PRC coach Eric Collins. “We knew coming in that had to play physical against Brookhaven to slow down their strong rushing attack. Overall, I am proud of my young men. They stepped up and came out ready to play. I think our guys wanted some revenge from last year, when Ole Brook knocked us out of the playoffs. I want my guys to enjoy the feeling of making the playoffs for right now, because next week we must get ready for business.”
With the win, the Blue Devils (6-4, 5-2) punch their ticket for the playoffs as the No. 4 seed out Region 3-5A. PRC is projected to visit Picayune next week in the opening round of the Class 5A playoffs.
The Panthers conclude their emotional season with a 6-5 overall record while posting a 3-4 record in Region 3-5A action.
In the opening quarter of action, the Blue Devils came out on fire as they returned the opening kickoff to the Brookhaven’s nine yard to start their first offensive possession with a first down and goal. On the third play of action, PRC’s Micheal Tatman scored on a one-yard run with 11:08 remaining. Jordan Guillot was the successful on the extra-point attempt and finished the night perfectly hitting six-of-six PAT’s.
Brookhaven quickly bounced back to answered PRC’s challenge with 8:21 left in the first quarter as Jon-Mark Mathis connected with Ken Boyd for a four-yard touchdown strike. Tyler Mixon was unsuccessful on the extra-point try as the Blue Devils’ special teams exploded through the line to block the attempt. After one quarter of action PRC leads Ole Brook 7-6.
In the second quarter, the heated rivalry continued to heat up offensively and defensively. Pearl River managed to break up the slugfest early as Terek Whitehead pulled off a fake handoff to score on a wide open 11-yard touchdown run on the other side of the field with 10:55 left.
PRC continued to play aggressive defensive against the Panthers as they held Brookhaven from scoring on their next possession to get the ball back. With 4:27 remaining, the Blue Devils added to their lead with a 11-yard run by Tatman.
Ole Brook would fight back to cut into PRC’s lead with a 61-yard sprint by Boyd with 3:29 left. The Panthers elected to go for the two-point conversion but were unsuccessful on the pass attempt.
At the end of the first half, Pearl River Central commanded a 21-12 lead at halftime.
In the second half of action, the Blue Devils completely controlled the flow of the contest as they scored 21-unanswered points and held the Panthers scoreless throughout the rest of the contest.
Whitehead would score a one-yard touchdown plunge in the third to give the Blue Devils a 28-12 lead after three quarters of action.
In the final quarter of action, PRC would score two more touchdowns to increase their lead to 42-12 for the win.
Tatman continued his hot streak scoring twice on runs of one and six yards to end the game.
Unofficially, Tatman was the offensive leader on the field for the Blue Devils with 21 rushes for 160 yards. Hunter Holifield contributed to the ground attack with 13 carries for 85 yards. Christian Roberts had 11 rushes for 50 yards. The Blue Devils amassed 47 rushes for 355 yards,
Whitehead completed two-of four passes for 30 yards and rushed for 14 yards on six carries.
Defensively, Tyquan Osborn, David Salser and Dalton Howe recovered fumbles for the Blue Devils. Dylan Bryant intercepted a pass.