The biggest task facing the football coaching staff at Pearl River Community College this week may be getting the players back down to earth.
The Wildcats (1-0) rode an emotional high in the wake of last week’s season-opening 27-21 victory over ninth-ranked Northeast Mississippi Community College. But they’ll need to regroup in a hurry as No. 6 Northwest Mississippi Community College pays a visit to Dobie Holden Stadium.
Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. Thursday.
Against the Tigers,, PRCC opened up a 14-0 lead, but then had to rally after Northeast twice came back to tie the game. The Wildcats scored the game-winning touchdown with 33 seconds to play on an 18-yard run by freshman Ron Thompson.
“We’re one game at a time right now,” said Ted Egger, who was successful in his head coaching debut. “We’re going to practice and try to put ourselves in a position to win.”
Last week, Pearl River showed off a balanced offensive attack that totaled 404 yards, including 247 on the ground and 157 through the air. But it could have been better, as the Wildcats hurt themselves with 13 penalties for 128 yards.
“Northwest is a really good football team,” Egger said. “They’re the kind of team that if we don’t clean up some of the mistakes we made, they’ll hurt you.”
Thompson led the Wildcats with 124 yards on 20 carries, and added two touchdown catches of 22 and 6 yards. Sophomore quarterback Justin Agner completed 19 of 32 passes for 157 yards and three TDs.
This is the unofficial season-opener for the Rangers, whose home opener against Hinds Community College at Senatobia last week was suspended after the third quarter in a scoreless tie because of weather complications from the remnants of Hurricane Harvey.
Still, Egger said he wasn’t particularly concerned with Northwest, per se. Instead, he said his focus centered totally on the Wildcats.
“I’ve said all along that I’m not worried about the opponent,” Egger said. “I’m focused on our football team. I believe that if we play our style of football and don’t make mistakes, we can contend with anyone.
The game will mark the 39th meeting between the two schools, with PRCC owning a 24-12 advantage. But Northwest has won the last three meetings in the series, including a 31-14 win at Senatobia in 2016. PRCC’s last win against the Rangers came in a 38-35 decision in 2009.
Thursday’s game will air on WRJW-AM (1320)/Picayune and WFFF-FM (96.7)/Columbia and on supertalk.fm/listen. The game also will be livestreamed on prccmedia.com and youtube.com/pearlrivercollege.