PRC scoreless in season opener against Hancock High, 35-0
Published 7:00 am Saturday, August 19, 2017
HANCOCK — The Pearl River Central Blue Devils faced the threat of bad weather Friday night, but they couldn’t fight off the Hancock High Hawks, losing 35-0 during the season opener.
Despite the loss, Pearl River Central Head Coach Larry Dolan was optimistic about the rest of the season.
“It’s not devastating; it’s a tough loss for the first game of the year,” he said.
The game started with a number of turnovers, but tensions grew quickly as the Devils faced a number of penalties. Early in the first quarter, Pearl River Central’s Kaleb Chauppeta attempted to recover a dropped punt from the Hawks but the referees ruled in Hancock’s favor, saying it was incomplete. They took advantage of the possession when Hawks’ Brodie Fitts ran 57 yards for the first touchdown with 5:56 left in the first quarter. After a couple of quick turnovers, Hancock Rondell Womack took the ball at the 30 yard line and ran it in to the end zone to bring the score to 14-0.
A couple of injuries plagued the end of the first quarter heading into the second.
Frustration grew in the second quarter with Pearl River Central receiving two back-to-back off-sides fouls and the Hawks continuing to push the ball down the field. With just over a minute left in the first half, Hawks’ Brooks Rayburn took a pass to the end zone, followed by a field goal to bring the score to 21-0.
A storm threatened to delay the game as players rested during half time. But by the time they got back on the field, the dark clouds and the lightning moved on.
The Hawks almost scored another touchdown in the beginning of the third quarter but received a holding flag and were sent back to the 30 yard line.
Pearl River Central’s Tristan Anderson intercepted the ball at the three yard line but the team was unable to make it past the 10.
The Hawks took possession of the ball and Blake Comeaux ran in the team’s fourth touchdown with 4:28 left in the third.
Hancock County recovered the returning punt, leading to another carry by Hawks’ Caleb Garcia, bringing the game’s final score to 35-0.
“Hancock played well, they played better than we did,” Dolan said. “Conditioning and turning the ball over is what’s going to determine these early games and we didn’t take care of the ball very well.”
The Blue Devils will face Poplarville next Friday at home.