No. 1 Wildcats invade Co-Lin

Published 5:00 am Thursday, September 21, 2006

WESSON — Fresh from a big win, the Co-Lin Wolfpack prepares forNo. 1-ranked and defending state champion Pearl River CommunityCollege. The South Division game kicks off Thursday at 7 p.m., inStone Stadium.

Co-Lin (2-2, 1-0) won 30-13 over archrival Southwest lastThursday night at Summit while Pearl River (4-0, 1-0) was disposingof then No. 3-ranked Gulf Coast 36-22 in Poplarville. Coach TimHatten’s Wildcats were preseason favorites to win their fourthstraight state title. Hatten, a Southern Miss grad, has compiled a41-5 worksheet and is in his fifth season at the helm.

Hatten said the Wolves can’t be overlooked. “By no means arethey a 1-6 ball club like they were last year. They’re verytalented and very capable of beating anybody they face. In fact,they could be a bit better than Perk (Gulf Coast). We’re expectinga pretty competitive game.”

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Impressing Hatten the most is Co-Lin sophomore quarterbackCedric Johnson, a preseason All-American from Americus, Ga. “He’s areal athletic kind of player and runs around as good as anybody. Hecan break one at anytime with his legs or his arm.”

Co-Lin boats five other preseason All-Americans in linebackerMichael Bibbs, defensive tackle Jesse Bowman, wide receiver DamoyneCarroll, running back Aaron Johns and place-kicker Nick Gunter.

“Our guys have watched film on them and are well award ofCo-Lin’s capabilities,” said Hatten.

Davis On Pearl River

Co-Lin head coach Glenn Davis and his staff also have beenintently watching Pearl River on film. The Wildcats graduatedAll-American quarterback Jimmy Oliver but they have plenty oftalented players returning.

“Pearl River is the No. 1 team in the nation,” said Davis. “Theydo a lot of things right on both sides of the ball. They seem to berunning the ball more this year than they have in the past. Theirbacks are playing pretty well for them.”

PRCC tailback Seth Hayden was recognized as the MACJC’sOffensive Player of the Week after scoring 3 touchdowns and rushingfor 146 yards against Gulf Coast. Hayden (5-11, 190, so.) playedhigh school football at Pearl River Central in Carriere.

Davis said quarterback Mike Greco (6-3, 225, fr.) of LighthousePoint, Fla., is doing a good job directing PRCC’s offense.

“They also have four really good wide receivers,” said Davis.”Freeman and Williams are very good.”

On defense, PRCC usually runs a 4-3 defense. They are not a bigblitzing team so far,” said Davis. “They want to make you executeon offense. They are patient.”

Davis is confident his team will perform well against PRCC. “Ithink we can play with them. We have to play smart and keep theball away from their offense. We want to continue playing withintensity the whole game.”

Johnson provided the spark in Co-Lin’s win at Southwest. Hecompleted 15 of 25 passes for 166 yards and 3 touchdowns and ranfor another. Tray Hardaway, Matt Delaughter and DeAndre’ Daviscaught TD passes. Jeremy Bibbs was Co-Lin’s leading rusher with 11carries for 39 yards.

On defense, Bowman currently leads Co-Lin with 21 tackles, 2quarterback sacks and 2 forced fumbles. Safety Jasper O’Quinnintercepted a pass against Southwest.

Wolf Tails: In the hurricane-shortened 2005campaign, PRCC handed the Wolves a season-ending 45-3 loss atPoplarville. Pearl River leads the series 37-31-3 and has won anunprecedented 18 state championships. Co-Lin has won 9 statetitles, the last in 1985.