By David A. Farrell, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
Pearl River Central Blue Devils defeated the Gautier Gators in a Region 4-5A clash at Hendrix Stadium Friday night, and with the 69-0 win secured a playoff berth.
But next Friday’s Pascagoula -PRC clash looms as one of the most important games of the year for PRC. Pascagoula beat Moss Point 15-14 Friday, and whoever wins next Friday’s PRC-Pascagoula district clash will be the district runner-up behind Picayune and will host the first-round of the playoffs which begin in two weeks.
In other words, they’ll get a home-field advantage, and PRC is their toughest when playing in Hendrix Stadium. The PRC-Pascagoula game will be played at Hendrix field next Friday. It’s a regular season district clash.
Friday night an opportunity offense that took advantage of great field positions, and a swarming defense overwhelmed the Gators.
The Devils offensively and defensively literally exploded in the last five minutes of the second quarter and carried a 43-0 lead into the half-time break.
The Devils scored 33 points in five minutes, the defense scoring 20 points by taking advantage of Gator fumbles and picking off a pass and making a safety.
The Devil defense held the Gators to only 90 yards total offense for the game, while the Devils generated 370 yards total offense, passing and rushing.
The win left the Devils with an 8-1 overall record and a 5-1 district record as they face off with Pascagoula.
Devil kicker Javon Detto got two field goals, a 21-yarder and a 44-yard FG during the second period.
A bevy of Devil backs carried the ball: Steven Kubicki 10 carries for 87 yards and one TD paced the Devils, with Desmond Michel 10 for 38 and 2 TDs, Garrett Duplechain 7 for 38, Curry Goodwin 8 for 43 and two TDs, and Brandon Padgett five for 13 yards.
Devil quarterback Dylan Spiers was 4 of 6 for 107 yards passing.
Said Devil head coach Eric Collins, “We were real proud of the defense tonight. They played real well. It seems that we are getting a little better each week, and the kids are remaining focused on what we have to do.”
The Gators dropped to 4-5 overall, 3-3 in district play. They couldn’t get anything going all night, since the Devil defense was in their face the whole game.
Kubicki got the Devil scoring underway with a 23- yard dash through a gapping hole four minutes into the game, scoring the only points of the first quarter.
Detto hit a 21 yard field goal three minutes into the 2nd period to make it 10-0. The with five minutes left to half-time, the offense and defense literally exploded and scored 33 points in that five-minute period before halftime. When the surge was over PRC carried a 43-0 lead into the half-time break.
On the defensive scoring Padgett scooped up a fumble and dashed 21 yards for a touchdown, Adam Perronne picked off a pass and went 47 yards for a TD and Greg Shearburn also picked off a pass and ran for a TD. The defense got a safety when Perronne, Padgett and Carlos Martinez smoothered the Gator quarterback Jamyrian Quinn in the end zone.
Michel got his TD on a one-yard plunge during the five-minute surge in the second period after Spiers connected with Daniel Rosine on a pass-play that carried 48 yards to the Gautier one yard from where Michel plunged over.
The Devils put in the second string in the second half but scored 21 points more.
Goodwin scored on a three-yard plunge, Shearburn picked off a screen pass and dashed 15 yards for a score, Terek Whitehead hit Padgett on a 21 pass for a TD, and Goodwin got his second TD on a two-yard plunge.