The Hinds Community College Eagles football team secured another MACJC South Division win as they rolled past the Pearl River Community College (PRCC) Wildcats 28-18 Thursday evening (Sept. 27).
The Eagles continued their trend of putting up points early and often in front of a large, rambunctious home crowd at Gene Murphy Field at Joe Renfroe Stadium. The first score of the game came when Hinds defensive back Kirkland Horton (Water Valley) blasted through the PRCC line to block their punt, which rolled out of the back of the end zone for a safety. Leading 2-0 with great field position following the free punt, the Hinds offensive put together a 26-yard drive that was capped off by a one-yard touchdown run by Don Ragsdale (Pisgah). Hinds failed to convert the extra point but led 8-0 with 7:40 left in the first quarter.
The Wildcats answered back with a one-yard touchdown run of their own following a long seven minute 73-yard drive. The Wildcats attempted to go for the two-point conversion to tie the game but failed to convert.
The Eagles opened up the scoring in the second quarter when Tylan Morton (Griffin, Ga.) found Reginald Todd (Mobile, Al.) wide open in the end zone from 23-yards out. Following the extra point, Hinds led 15-6 with 13:57 left in the first half. After back and forth defensive stands, Morton launched a 43-yard precision pass that was beautifully received by Todd in the end zone for his second score of the contest.
With just under a minute to go before halftime, PRCC and Hinds traded blows. The Wildcats cut the Eagle lead to 22-12 on a 40-yard touchdown pass leaving just 43 seconds on the clock. On the ensuing kickoff, Joe’Vontae Shorter (Vicksburg), who finished the contest with 116 return yards, gave the Eagles great field position and chance to put up some more points before the half. The Eagles did just that when they put together a 47-yard drive in just 41 seconds. That drive was finished off when Morton escaped the Wildcat pressure and slung a 23-yard pass that Todd hauled in, in the end zone for his third score of the game with just six seconds left on the clock.
The Eagles entered halftime with a 28-12 lead over the Wildcats.
The rainy weather and soggy field conditions led for a defensive battle in the second half. The Eagle offense was held scoreless, but the defense picked up the slack holding the Wildcats to just 6 points. Pearl River fought till the end, but Hinds defensive back DarMario Nichols terminated any hopes PRCC had when he intercepted the Wildcat pass on the Hinds two-yard line with under 2 minutes to go. Behind the center, Morton rushed for a first down and sealed the 28-18 victory for the Eagles.
Overall, the Eagles combined for 344 yards of total offense and forced two turnovers on defense. Morton threw for 240 yards and completed 16 of his 31 pass attempts including three touchdown passes. The man who received all three of those touchdown passes, Reggie Todd, finished the game with five receptions for 144 yards. Ragsdale led the backfield with 22 carries and netted 71 yards with one touchdown.
With the win, Hinds improved to 3-2 on the season and 2-1 in the South Division of the MACJC.
The Eagles will be back on the road in Clarksdale next Saturday, October 6 when they take on the Coahoma Community College Tigers (0-4, 0-3). Game time is set for 2:30 p.m.