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Pass-happy Pearl River hosts Co-Lin Saturday night

WESSON – If Co-Lin head coach Dave Cross has his prayersanswered, it will rain and rain some more Saturday in Poplarville.Cross hopes it rains enough to slow down Pearl River CommunityCollege’s high-powered passing attack.

The South Division showdown starts at 7 p.m., in Dobie-HoldenStadium. Pearl River (4-1, 2-1) and Co-Lin (4-1, 1-1) both needvictories to stay in the state playoff picture. Under this year’snew format, the top two teams from the North and South Divisionswill advance to the playoffs.

“We need about four inches of rain Saturday,” said Cross. “Ihope it rains enough to float our bus.”

Pearl River, under the direction of first-year head coach ScottMaxfield, stumbled two weeks ago and lost 24-14 to Jones CountyJunior College. Last Saturday night, the Wildcats amassed 420yards, 369 through the air; whipping Southwest 29-7.

Quarterbacking the Wildcats is sophomore sensation Charlie Reeve(6-1, 180) of Frisco, Texas.

Reeve has passed for 1,567 yards in 5 games, completing 131 of219 passes, including 14 touchdown tosses. He’s thrown just 2interceptions.

In last Saturday’s smashing of Southwest at Summit, Reevecompleted 36 of 51 passes for 303 yards and 1 touchdown.

“Their quarterback is really good,” said Cross. “They throw itjust about every down. They are very much a West Coast-lookingfootball team.”

In five games, Pearl River leads the state in total offense with446.2 yards per game, averaging 350.4 passing yards per game. Bycomparison, Co-Lin averages 282 yards per game and rankseighth.

“Offensively, they are as good as anybody in the state. They areaveraging around 500 yards a game,” Cross pointed out

Co-Lin’s sophomore secondary will face a monumental taskSaturday night. Cornerbacks Aaron Pitts and Odell Bradley lead theconference in pass interceptions. Each player has 5 thefts.

“We have confidence in our secondary,” said Cross. “They will betested pretty good.”

Sidney Wiley works at free safety and Marcus Winn is at strongsafety for Co-Lin.

Pearl River’s prime receivers are O’Shek Weekley (6-3, 185) ofWater Valley. He caught 11 passes for 97 yards against Southwest,tying a PR record.

Ike Chekwa (6-3, 200) of Harvey, La. and Otho Graves (6-4, 236)of Bassfield are the other prime targets of Reeve’s passes. Chekwahas caught 22 passes for 340 yards and 5 TDs. Graves has 20 catchesfor 301 yards and 1 TD.

Leading the Wildcat rush is Perry Tisdale (5-11, 195) of Purviswith 26 carries for 251 yards.

Wolves Try Again

Four interceptions and two breakdowns on coverage doomedthe Wolves in their 28-14 homecoming game loss to East Central lastSaturday. A fourth-quarter interception returned for a touchdownsealed their fate.

Cross said two of his defensive players would miss thegame due to injuries. The Wolves lost freshman defensive tackleAlvin Young to a fractured leg and sophomore backup linebackerLandon Harrison to a torn ACL. Young broke his leg in two places inthe first half of the East Central game. Harrison injured his kneein practice last week. Both players underwent surgery on Tuesday inJackson.

“Hopefully we can put some points on the board and keepthings under control,” said Cross. “Pearl River doesn’t give upmany sacks or interceptions.”

Sophomore fullback Aaron Yarborough is Co-Lin’s leadingrusher with 54 carries for 257 yards and 3 TDs. Freshmanquarterback Willie Johnson has completed 58 o f 97 passes for 760yards and 7 touchdowns. He’s also thrown 7interceptions.

Wide receiver Josh Chatman leads the Co-Lin passcatchers with 15 receptions and 5 TDs. He averages 13.5 yards percatch.

Sophomore Tracy Barlow paces Co-Lin and the league inpunt returns. He is averaging 20 yards per return on 11returns.

Defensively, linebacker Ken Bournes ranks third in totaltackles with 36 solos and 18 assists. Linebacker Daniel Gawronskiranks ninth with 30 solo stops and 24 assists.

Jeff Hobbs has averaged 36 yards per punt on 28 puntsthis season. His longest punt is 50 yards.

Wolf Tails: Last year Co-Lin went overtime to edge PearlRiver 9-3 in a homecoming game at Wesson as Bradley, moved toquarterback, scored the winning TD.