Twice As Nice
Posted Nov 8, 2008

Pearl River lost to arch-rival Mississippi Gulf coast during the regular season in a defensive struggle. The Wildcats fell to the Bulldogs once again on Saturday in the MACJC state title game, but the struggles all belonged to the visitors from Poplarville.

The home standing Bulldogs scored on their opening possession and from that point on Gulf Coast dominated the action.

Emile Jones and the Pearl River offense struggled to get on track most of the day. As the Wildcats began to mount a drive to answer the 7-0 deficit, All-American linebacker Chris White picked up a loose ball and returned is 41 yards to expand the Gulf Coast lead to 14-0.

After a Kelvin Bolden touchdown catch raced the lead out to 21-0, Pearl River punted with just under three minutes to go in the half.

It appeared the Bulldogs would salt away the remaining time, but on a 3rd and one play Gulf Coast head coach Steve Campbell pulled out a trick play that broke the Wildcats' will and spirit.

With the jumbo package on the field, Quarterback Greg Jenkins sold the Wildcat defense on the run and then lofted a prayer deep into PRC territory that wideout Kelvin Bolden answered for a 45 yard gain.

Already in field goal range, Gulf Coast caught the Wildcats reeling with a draw play to Vick Ballard who took it the distance and expanded the lead out to 28-0.

Pearl River mounted a bit of a comeback in the beginning of the third quarter. Moments after Emile Jones and Jerry Duncan connected for a touchdown strike to close the gap to 28-7, the Wildcats recovered a fumble deep in Bulldog territory.

A play later, Maryland native Wayne Dorsey came around left tackle and blindsided Jones causing a fumble the Bulldogs would recover.

From that point on it was a simply a matter of the margin of victory.

Two time All-American kicker Sean Brauchle connected on a 28 yard field goal and converted seven of seven PAT conversions as the Bulldogs rolled up a 52-7 lead.

At the conclusion of the game, Gulf Coast head coach addressed his team.

"I don't know if we have the chance to play for a National Championship, but that doesn't matter today," said Campbell with his voice teeming with pride and emotion. "Today it was about winning a state championship and we did that."

Gulf Coast (9-2) will now host the inaugural Mississippi Bowl in Biloxi December 7th.

Both of the Bulldogs losses came in the final moments as Gulf Coast fumbled inside the ten yard line in the games final moments.

"I have said for a long time this is a special team," said Campbell. "They are really a special team. This is one of the best teams I have ever been associated with."

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