By Shawn Wansley
JCJC Sports Information Director
ELLISVILLE – Oak Grove redshirt freshman quarterback Steven Swindle threw for 331 yards and four touchdowns, including three to JaMichael Willis, to spark the 19th-ranked Jones County Junior Bobcats to a 34-16 victory over Pearl River Community College here Saturday night at Bobcat Stadium/Sim Cooley Field.
Swindle, who was named the MACJC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance vs. Northeast Mississippi last week, threw a touchdown pass in each quarter.
Willis, a sophomore from Birmingham, Ala., finished the game with eight receptions for 198 yards.
Defensively, Charles Lewis and D'Andre Jackson had pass interceptions, while Lewis, Jamal Lucas and Addarius Perkins had fumble recoveries.
For the second straight week, the Bobcat defense created five turnovers and the JCJC offense did not turn the ball over.
The victory improves JCJC to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in the MACJC South Division, setting up a huge showdown with top-ranked Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. The Bulldogs, also 3-0 and 1-0, will host the Bobcats at 7 p.m. on Thursday at A.L. May Stadium. The game will air on www.jcjc.tv.
Pearl River, 1-2 overall and 0-1 in the division, travels to Coahoma next week.
JCJC took advantage of a Wildcat turnover to get the game's first score.
Lucas, a freshman from Hoover, Ala., recovered a fumble at his own 49-yard line. The Bobcats would then go 51 yards in eight plays as Swindle found Willis from 15 yards out for the score. Grant McLaurin's extra point gave JCJC a 7-0 lead with 9:19 left in the first quarter.
On Pearl River's next play from scrimmage, Wildcat quarterback Shaun White tried to go deep, but was picked off by Lewis, a West Marion freshman. Lewis caught the ball at his own 15 and returned it to the 25.
JCJC would capitalize on this turnover by moving 61 yards in eight plays before the drive stalled. McLaurin, the MACJC Special Teams Player of the Week last week, booted a 31-yard field goal to put the Bobcats ahead 10-0.
Pearl River then took the ensuing kickoff and used a methodical, 15-play drive that last over seven minutes get on the board. The Wildcats drove from their own 25 to the JCJC 20 where the drive ended when Mark Moore booted a 37-yard field goal to make it 10-3.
The Wildcats added another field goal on their next possession. They moved from their own 41 to the Bobcat 9 in 10 plays. Moore would boot a 26-yard field goal to trim the lead to 10-6 with 9:18 left in the first half.
But JCJC would take the next kickoff and use its up-tempo attack to drive 74 yards in seven plays. Swindle found Quitman sophomore Quartez Cooks from 8 yards away for the touchdown. McLaurin's kick made it 17-6 with 7:36 left in the first half.
Pearl River would then grind out most of the remainder of the half on its next drive.
The Wildcats marched 69 yards in 18 plays. PRCC was aided on the drive when they missed a field goal attempt, but the Bobcats were called for roughing the snapper, giving the Wildcats a first down.
With just five seconds left in the half, Detrick Goff scored on a 2-yard run. Moore's extra point made it 17-13.
The Bobcats took the second half kickoff and had to start at its own 4-yard line, following a penalty. JCJC would then drive 91 yards in 14 plays. McLaurin would kick a 22-yard field goal to give the Bobcats a 20-13 lead.
Two possessions later, Pearl River would move from its own 49 to the JCJC 21 in nine plays, taking advantage of a fake punt that resulted in a 19-yard pass for a first down. But the Bobcat defense stiffened and Moore booted his third field goal of the night, this one from 38 yards to make it 20-16.
But the Bobcats answered with another fast strike, going 59 yards in just four plays. Swindle hit Willis from 22 yards away for the score. McLaurin's extra point made it 27-16 with 1:26 remaining in the third quarter.
JCJC would end the scoring with the game's longest play from scrimmage.
The Bobcats would start a drive at its own 34. After an illegal procedure penalty, Swindle found Willis behind the defense for a 71-yard scoring strike with 8:12 left in the game. McLaurin's extra point ended the scoring.