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No. 7 Gulf Coast blows out Holmes

GOODMAN — Mississippi Gulf Coast opened the 2021 MACCC football season in dominating fashion Thursday night, pounding Holmes 56-14 at Ras Branch Stadium.

The Bulldogs were dominant on both sides of the ball, putting up 515 total yards in 69 plays. They had a 97-yard touchdown drive ended by a 72-yard scoring scamper by Cam Thomas (So., Picayune/Picayune). Thomas ran nine times for 138 yards.

“We were efficient,” Gulf Coast coach Jack Wright said. “You don’t know exactly what you have before you play the first game of the season, but we came out and were focused.”

Philip Short (So., Flowood/Madison-Ridgeland Academy) was exactly that through the air, completing 17-of-21 passes for 228 yards and four touchdowns. Rico Dorsey (Fr., Hattiesburg/Presbyterian Christian) caught two of those, netting four receptions for 72 yards.

Jalen Bracey (So., Jackson/Murrah) had five catches for 91 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown pass. Ten different Bulldogs had receptions.

The Regulators, the Gulf Coast defense, stymied Holmes at almost every turn. They held the triple-option attack to 90 total yards, including a minus-2 in the air. Holmes managed only a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and a short drive late in the game after another long return.

“I’ve been in college football a long time,” Gulf Coast coach Jack Wright said, “and you just don’t hold teams under 100 yards.”

The Bulldogs topped their 2019 performance against Holmes when they held the other Bulldogs to 93 total yards, including 64 on one play.

Gulf Coast scored the only touchdown of the first quarter when Levi Wyatt (Fr., Vicksburg/Holmes County) pounced on a dropped punt snap in the Holmes endzone.

That was the first of four touchdowns in less than 10 minutes.

Short hit Bracey on a post pattern early in the second quarter, then hit Dorsey from 32 for another. The blitz ended with 7:45 left in the half Thomas ripping off his long run.

Holmes returned the ensuing kickoff to cut its deficit to 28-7, but Gulf Coast would execute the two-minute offense to near perfection with a 45-yard drive. Short hit K.T. Hicks (So., Petal/Petal) for a 3-yard TD.

It was 41-7 less than five minutes into the half after Dorsey’s second score.

After Holmes scored with 1:55 to play, Gulf Coast had a long kickoff return of its own to set up a 4-yard run by Xavier Evans (Fr., Laurel/Laurel).

Gulf Coast returns to action next Thursday when it makes the long trip to Northeast Mississippi.

For more information on MGCCC’s 10 intercollegiate athletic teams, follow @MGCCCBulldogs on Twitter and MGCCCBulldogs on Facebook, and go to mgcccbulldogs.com.