Football Thursday Final: Bobcats, Wildcats win, Saints fall in Green Bay

One team looks to stay unbeaten, another looks for its first win, and the third has the honor of opening the 2011 NFL season. Let' start off right here in Mississippi:

Coahoma- 20

Jones County- 46

Last week against Mississippi Delta, the bobcats put 33 points up on the board and walked out of Bobcat Stadium with a shutout win. While they allowed 20 points this week, they scored 13 more points and moved on to 2-0 with their 46-20 win over visiting Coahoma. Most of the damage from the Bobcats came right off the get-go; in the first quarter.

A trick play scored the first touchdown of the game, followed by a long pass from freshman quarterback Ben Stevens. Jones County scored once more in the first quarter to lead 21-0 heading to the second quarter. From that point, however, things might have stalled for the boys in red.

The defense allowed two consecutive long drives from Coahoma as the half drew to a close. Jones corner Deneco Hathorn would have eased things a bit and put up the only bobcat touchdown in the second quarter. He picked off a tipped pass and returned it 90-plus yards the house, but a penalty negated the score because of a hands-to-the-face penalty on the quarterback, and Coahoma responded with a touchdown of its own.

The only points in the second quarter from the bobcats came courtesy of a field goal, and they lead 24-7 heading to the locker room. The win concludes the bobcats' two-game home stand to start the season, and they'll now begin South Division play when they travel to Mississippi Gulf Coast next Thursday. Game time is 7:00 pm.

Pearl River Community College- 34

Itawamba Community College- 8

The Wildcats fell in heart-breaking fashion last week, losing a over-time thriller 56-55 at Northwest Mississippi, but redeemed itself on its second road test. Pearl River exploded on offense yet again, and came away with a 34-8 win over Itawamba.

It looked as though fans were in for an interesting game, as Itawamba stormed out of the gates running, and running well. But in a scoreless game in the first quarter, Pearl River's Derrick Bourne intercepted a Darren Daniel pass on the sideline. From there, shifty quarterback Melvin German took care of the rest, crossing the goal line from about ten yards out and putting the wildcats on the board first. He showed the same impressive moves on a later drive in the first half, pump faking a defender into the air then hurdling another, making the score 14-0 at the time.

The wildcats (1-1) finished the night with 417 total yards and 170 yards on the ground.

Itawamba celebrated one of the pillars of its football program tonight, officially opening up Eaton Field, named after their athletic director and former head football coach Mike Eaton. Eaton coached from 1974 to 1992 and hoisted the state title trophy 3 times.

Saints- 34

Packers- 42

In a game that came down to the very last play, the New Orleans Saints fell to the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers 42-34 in a thrilling NFL season-opener. After driving the ball down to the 10-yard line, saints quarterback Drew Brees flung a pass into the endzone, intended for newly acquired who-dat Darren Sproles.

The pass fell to the turf, and the clock expired, yet the saints offense clapped their hands. The refs penalized Green Bay for pass interference, which meant the black and gold got one last shot. They would need a touchdown and a two-point conversion to force overtime.

In what some might consider a surprising call, saints head coach Sean Payton chose to keep the ball out of the hands of former Super Bowl MVP Brees, and put it in the hands of rookie running back Mark Ingram. After taking the handoff, the rookie back out of Alabama ran into a wall of Packers, the clock expired for a second time, and the celebration began in Lambeau Field.

Even with the loss, the saints (0-1) put up impressive numbers. Brees passed for 417 yards in the season opener, receiver Devery Henderson caught six passes for 100 yards, and in his debut as a saint, Sproles didn't excite. He electrified.

While he only rushed twice for seven yards, the former San Diego charger, produced 168 return yards; 92 on two punt returns and 76 on two kick returns. Not to mention, one of those punt returns Sproles took to the house. In addition, Sproles caught seven passes for 75 yards.

Though the offense couldn't produce the tying touchdown and extra point, the loss did not come as a result of the offense. The defense, even while allowing only 399 yards of total offense from the Packers, allowed reigning Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers to throw for 312 yards and three scores.

More importantly, the Packers controlled the clock, keeping the ball for nearly 33 minutes, as opposed to only 27 minutes of possession for the Saints. Brees looked effective, but the saints rushing attack only produced 81 yards on 21 attempts.

The saints return home Sunday and will face the Chicago Bears. Kickoff is 1:00 pm.