Who’s on first in South Division?

Published 5:00 am Thursday, October 24, 2002

Who’s at first?

Who’s on second?

Who used to be ranked No. 2 in the nation?

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Taking a look at the wild football race in the MississippiAssociation of Community/Junior Colleges. For your information,those Pearl River Wildcats are in sole possession of first place inthe South Division after smashing Jones County 44-17 last Saturdayin Ellisville.

Who would have thunk it?

Three weeks ago, the JCJC Bobcats were ranked No. 2 in the NJCAAnational poll. They were unbeaten in 5 games and fresh from beatingSouthwest 26-13.

Then a funny thing happened on the yellow brick road. TheBobcats were ambushed. Lowly East Central, a loser to even lowerCo-Lin, took a 1-4 record against the Bobcats.


East Central shocks Jones 6-3. Still staggering, the Bobcatsentertain archrival Pearl River. Slam, bam, thank you maam.

Suddenly, Jones (5-2, 2-2) is struggling to make the playoffs.The Bobcats’ dreams of a national championship have been flusheddown the tubes.

Meet Pearl River, 4-0 in the South and 5-2 overall underfirst-year head coach Tim Hatten. The Wildcats gouged the proudJCJC defense for 441 yards total offense, with 336 coming via thepass. Every time a small plane or large bird flew near the practicefield this week, the Bobcats got nervous.

Gulf Coast has quietly moved into second place with a 3-1 Southrecord. The Bulldogs are 4-3 overall.

East Central, the born again team, is 3-2 in the South and 3-4overall. Hinds, once the bully in the South has faltered to a 2-2division record and is 4-3 overall.

Only Co-Lin (2-5, 1-3) and Southwest (2-5, 0-4) are out of theSouth playoff picture. Co-Lin has suffered enough injuries thisseason to cover the next 10 years. Nursing school students atCo-Lin receive on-the-job training when they visit the Frank PittsField House.

Last July, new head coach David Poinsett called Co-Lin’sincoming class of freshmen the best-ever group of recruits.Unfortunately for Poinsett and his staff, many of them areinjured.

Southwest is still searching for an identity. The Bears, undersecond-year head coach Dom Green, have new coordinators on offenseand defense. A win over Co-Lin would help solve some problems andkeep them out of the South Division cellar, too.

In the North Division, Coach Bobby Hall’s Northeast Tigers haveclimbed from doormats to division leaders in two years. They are6-1 overall and 4-0 in the North. Holmes (6-1, 3-1) and Northwest(3-4, 3-2) are battling for second place.

Looking ahead, the MACJC has received the go-ahead to host abowl game in early December. It would be played in M.M. RobertsStadium on the Southern Miss campus and feature a Mississippi teamversus an out-of-stater.

Meanwhile, Professor Hoopla, B.S., was looking for his favoritecereal bowl. He prefers either oatmeal, raisin bran or frostedminiwheats for breakfast. Before heading for the grocery store,Hoopla dropped off his list of weekly predictions, complete with amilk stain. He picked the winners of 22 games last week and missed7 of them. Congratulations to the Loyd Star Hornets for winningtheir homecoming game.

Hoopla will start this weekend’s fearless forecast with aThursday night community college special.

Southwest at Co-Lin: If character won games, the Wolves would becelebrating at 10 o’clock tonight. Southwest 24-10.

Brookhaven Academy at Bowling Green: The Cougars had an opendate to prepare for this gargantuan challenge. Bowling Green34-16.

Loyd Star at Madison St. Joseph: Hornets need a win to stay inthe hunt for a state playoff berth. Loyd Star 17-14.

Mize at Enterprise: Another Region 4-1A showdown produces anoutstanding game. Mize 16-14.

Mount Olive at Bogue Chitto: The Pirates are improving and soare the Bobcats. Bogue Chitto 22-18.

West Lincoln at Stringer: Bears visit a win-starved group of RedDevils. Stringer 12-9.

St. Andrew’s at Wesson: Homecoming provides a showcase for theRegion 6-2A-leading Cobras. Wesson 35-6.

Raymond at Lawrence County: Cougars tune up for their showdownwith the Brookhaven Panthers. Lawrence County 39-12.

Amite County at Franklin County: It’s a big Region 7-3A contestin Meadville as the Bulldogs win a thriller. Franklin County28-26.

In other area action, Hazlehurst should beat Jefferson County31-12, Lamar should ambush Copiah Academy 23-13, North Pike shouldwhip Crystal Springs 24-12, McComb should trounce Terry 35-13,South Pike should smash Port Gibson 43-16 and Parklane should edgeAdams County 20-13. Brookhaven has an open date to recuperate.

After taking a nap, Hoopla gives a preview of Saturday’scollegiate scene.

Ole Miss at Arkansas: When last seen, the Rebel defense wasstuck in reverse. Arkansas 34-19.

Jackson State at Grambling State: G-Men don’t have enoughoffense to catch the Blue Bengals. Jackson State 38-28.

In other Magnolia State games, Belhaven should edge Georgetown17-14, Millsaps should clip DePauw 22-14, Henderson State shoulddump Delta State 28-18, Mississippi College should whip Austin29-10, and Texas Southern should sack Valley State 28-14. SouthernMiss has a Wednesday night, Oct. 30 date at TCU and it looks like aHorned Frog victory, too. Alcorn State and Mississippi State haveopen dates to promote their basketball programs.

Write to sports editor Tom Goetz, at P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven,MS , 39601 or e-mail sports@dailyleader.com.