Bobcats close season Saturday at home vs. Pearl River

Written By: Shawn Wansley
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Date Submitted: 2010-10-28 12:49:08

 By Shawn Wansley

JCJC Sports Information Director

ELLISVILLE – The Jones County Junior College Bobcats will close a ‘tough luck’ football season with the 80th annual ‘Catfight’ this weekend.

The Bobcats will host Pearl River Community College at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Bobcat Stadium/Sim Cooley Field. The Wildcats lead the series 40-37-2, but JCJC stunned Pearl River, 27-10, last year in Poplarville

JCJC enters the game with a 2-6 overall record, 0-5 in the South Division. Pearl River is 5-3 overall and 4-1 in league play.

For the Bobcats, it’s been a matter of being close all season long. JCJC’s six losses have been by a combined total of 30 points, including last week’s 14-13 defeat at Southwest Mississippi Community College.

“We cannot make a stop when we need to and we cannot put points on the board when we have the opportunity,” JCJC head coach Eddie Pierce said. “We just keep leaving points on the field.”

Jones took a 10-7 lead over the Bears with 7:55 left in the third quarter on a 2-yard run by Justin Gaines. Dylan Sobiesk had booted a 21-yard field goal in the second quarter and would later add a 34-yard field goal in the final stanza.

But the Bears got a 5-yard scoring run from Tray Bateaste with 5:20 left in the third quarter and took the lead for good.

SMCC then took ball possession in its own territory with just over eight minutes remaining in the game. They would pick up several first downs and keep the clock moving. The Bears ended the game by taking a knee at the JCJC 1-yard line.

“The last time they had the ball, they kept it for over eight minutes,” Pierce said. “They had two drives in the game and that’s what got us.”

The Bobcat defense limited the Bears to 254 yards of total offense, including a minus 3 yards in passing offense.

Pierce noted the efforts of several defenders, specifically Wayne County freshman linebacker Jerrell Gandy and West Jones sophomore defensive back Cory Cooley.

“Jerrell has really made an impact on defense the last three or so games,” said Pierce. “He had 10 or 11 tackles last week. He has done well and will be back. Cory is a quiet kid and has had a good year. He is always where he is supposed to be and has made a lot of plays for us.”

West Jones’ sophomore defensive back Roderick McCullum continues to play well. He had 10 tackles and three assists and leads the team in total tackles with 61.

The Bobcats will be challenged quite a bit this week.

Pearl River must win in order to have a chance for the playoffs and the Wildcats have posted some big offensive numbers all year.

Quarterback Melvin German threw for 311 yards and four touchdowns in last week’s 37-19 Wildcat win over Hinds. He is the top passer in the state, having completed 210-of-316 passes (66.5 percent) for 2,410 yards (301.3 ypg), 15 touchdowns and just three interceptions.

Steve McNair, Jr., leads the state in receiving with 48 catches for 529 yards and three scores, while fellow wideouts Snoop Rollins and Seth Roberts, along with running back Steve Simon, all rank in the top six in the state in receiving.

“They throw it all over the field,” Pierce of the Wildcats. “They will be in four-wides or five-wides and we will have to put tremendous pressure on the quarterback. But our secondary will have to step up this week, too.

“Of course, our offense will have to step up because the best way to play them is to put their offense on the bench.”

Something will have to give on Saturday.

The Wildcats are first in the state in passing offense (310.8 yards per game), while the Bobcats are tops in the state in passing defense (141.8 yards per game).

In the South Division race, Co-Lin is 5-1 and has clinched a playoff spot. Gulf Coast will wrap up the other slot and be the top seed in the division with a win over Hinds Saturday. If Gulf Coast loses and Pearl River beats Jones, then the Wildcats make the playoffs.

In the North Division, Northwest at 5-0 has clinched a spot. If Itawamba, 4-1, beats Northwest on Thursday, then the Indians will gain a playoff berth and be the top seed. If Northwest beats Itawamba and East Mississippi downs Holmes, then EMCC will make the playoffs.

Saturday’s Pearl River at JCJC game will be televised live on Airtime is 1:30 p.m. with Lance Pittman and Mark Easley on the call. The game will also be broadcast on WGDQ-FM, 93.1.


MACJC statistics

- JCJC is 11th in scoring offense (21.3 ppg) and fourth in scoring defense (18.8 ppg). Pearl River is fifth in scoring offense (30.8 ppg) and sixth in scoring defense (23.0 ppg).

- JCJC is 12th in rushing offense (118.4 ypg), eighth in passing offense (187.8 ypg) and 10th in total offense (306.1 ypg). Pearl River is 14th in rushing offense (64.6 ypg), first in passing offense (310.8 ypg) and sixth in total offense (375.0 ypg).

- JCJC is 10th in rushing defense (152.3 ypg), first in passing defense (141.8 ypg) and fifth in total defense (294.0 ypg). Pearl River is sixth in rushing defense (147.6 ypg), 13th in passing defense (214.0 ypg) and 13th in total defense (361.6 ypg).

- JCJC is 12th in turnover margin (0). Pearl River is first in turnover margin (+9).

- Pearl River’s Melvin German is tied for seventh in scoring by non-kickers (48 points).

- JCJC’s Tromarcus Toney is fifth in passing (104-201-5 for 1323 yards). Pearl River’s German leads the state in passing (210-316-3 for 2410 yards).

- JCJC’s Kylan Pollard is 13th in receiving (30 catches for 345 yards and one touchdown). Pearl River’s Steve McNair Jr. leads the state in receiving (48 catches for 529 yards and three touchdowns), Snoop Rollins is fourth (40 catches for 377 yards and four touchdowns), and Seth Roberts (37 catches for 612 yards and five touchdowns) and Steve Simon (37 catches for 381 yards and two touchdowns) are tied for fifth.

- JCJC’s Slater Smith is fifth in punting (37.6 ypk). Pearl River’s Ryan Knight is fourth (37.9 ypk).

- JCJC’s Dylan Sobiesk is fourth in scoring by kickers (41 points). Pearl River’s Travis Bradley is 10th (26 points).

- Pearl River’s Delvin Ervin is tied for first in interceptions (5).

- JCJC’s Malik Lofton is first in kickoff returns (35.0 ypr) and Deuce Coon is 12th (21.6 ypr). Pearl River’s Leonard Johnson is second (34.3 ypr) and Steve McNair Jr. is eighth (24.8 ypr).

- JCJC’s Roderick McCullum is 11th in tackles (48 solos and 13 assists). Pearl River’s Marcus Jemison is tied for 14th (45 solos and 20 assists.).


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