PRC vs. Wayne County preview

Published 7:00 am Thursday, November 19, 2015

By Chris Marquette

Picayune Item

The Blue Devils (11-1, 7-0) host Wayne County (9-3, 6-1) Friday for the second round of the 5A Mississippi State playoffs. 

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Both teams meet after blowing out their opponents in their first round matchups: PRC crushed Natchez 52-7, Wayne County put away Picayune 58-28.

Head Coach Eric Collins says Wayne County has an extremely talented defense which features very solid athletes.

“Wayne County is very athletic, big on the defensive front. They have great athleticism. We gotta be able to handle the front five guys and we can’t let their defensive front dictate the game,” Collins said.

The War Eagles’ defensive statistics back up Collins’ sentiments. Over the course of the season, the War Eagles have gotten to the quarterback often—18 sacks and 73 quarterback hurries. They also force a lot of turnovers with 19 interceptions and 10 fumble recoveries. Collins also said he noticed on film that Wayne County features a dynamic offense.

“They mix it up offensively, they throw it, they run it well. They have a really good running back. They’re solid on both sides of the football,” Collins said.

That talented running back is senior Freddy Jordan. Jordan has 951 yards on 165 carries with 14 touchdowns. Senior quarterback Reggie Stewart throws the ball well, he averages 179.8 passing yards a game. On the season he has 2,157 pass yards with 19 touchdowns and only seven picks. Stewart’s favorite target is senior wide receiver Ramiek Wallace, who has 1,031 receiving yards with 12 touchdowns. He averages 85.9 yards a game. 

Look for senior defensive end Drake Whitfield, who has five sacks and 11 quarteback hurries and senior defensive tackle Steven Gallodoro, who has three sacks to put a lot of pressure on Stewart to try to cut down the War Eagles’ dangerous passing game. 

Despite a tragic week for the PRC community, Coach Collins said that the players have been focused and practice has been going well.

“With all the terrible stuff that our school has gone through, to be 11-1 is just a tremendous credit to their resiliency and mental toughness,” Collins said. 

If the Blue Devils’ offensive line can contain the Wayne County defensive line and free up holes for Christian Roberts, Michael Tatman and Hunter Holifield to run through there is no reason why PRC cannot defeat the War Eagles at home. The PRC rushing trio has 3,737 combined yards and 41 touchdowns this season.