Johns, Co-Lin Wolfpack hunt another big win at Gulf Coast
WESSON — After the hoopla and celebration surrounding Co-Lin’supset of No. 1 Pearl River Community College last Thursday night,running back Aaron Johns was recognized as the MACJC’s OffensivePlayer of the Week. He rushed for 188 yards and three touchdowns inCo-Lin’s 31-21 triumph over the Wildcats.
“Our offense played a lot better against a four-man front,” saidJohns. “They (Pearl River) figured they could just use theirlinebackers more in the back.”
A Saturday homecoming game at Gulf Coast in Perkinston is thenext large obstacle for the Wolfpack (3-1, 2-0) in its quest forthe South Division title. Kickoff has been moved to 3 p.m.
Gulf Coast (3-1, 1-1) lost 36-22 to Pearl River 2 weeks ago.Last week the Bulldogs blitzed Hinds 37-13.
Johns said he is confident Co-Lin can focus on the task at handand defeat the Bulldogs. “We have a good chance of beating thatteam. We’ll be facing a three-man front most of the time.”
Johns, from Thomasville, Ala., made a decision to transfer fromthe University of Alabama last winter. He received some immediateattention from junior colleges.
“I like Co-Lin,” said Johns. “I’m comfortable here. Gulf Coastwas trying to get me, too.”
Co-Lin head coach Glenn Davis said the offense showed dramaticimprovement against Pearl River. “Aaron Johns played well. Ouroffensive line blocked well. (Fullback) Matthew Delaughter gave himsome big blocks and so did our tight end.
“Jeremy (Bibbs) ran the ball extremely hard, too,” Davis pointedout. “They made some tough yards and broke some tackles.”
Co-Lin’s rushing attack had struggled through the first threegames of the season. Davis said Johns and Bibbs responded to hisencouragement. “I challenged them. If they were going to be SECbacks, they need to start running like one.”
Davis On Gulf Coast
Under third-year head coach Steve Campbell, the Bulldogs havemade steady progress. They were the only team to beat Pearl Riverlast season. They finished 7-3 overall, beating Itawamba in thefirst round of the state playoffs and then losing the rematch withPearl River in the state title test.
Campbell, a Troy State graduate, has compiled a 15-8 record. Hehad coaching stints at Southwest and Delta State before moving toMiddle Tennessee State and later Mississippi State. At Delta State,1999-2001, he compiled a 27-8 worksheet and led the Statesmen tothe NCAA 2000 Division II National Championship.
“Gulf Coast has a good club,” said Davis. “They played PearlRiver early in the year and they turned the ball over a good bit.They are extremely physical and they run the football.”
Quarterbacking the Bulldogs is Andrew Carcich (5-11, 210, soph.)of St. Martin. His primary receiver is Ole Miss signee Coeric Riley(6-2, 210, soph.) of Lucedale.
“They haven’t thrown the ball as well as they did last year butthey have some good receivers,” said Davis. “Coeric Riley is a verygood receiver.”
The Bulldogs boast several good running backs. Larry Warner andAustin Divinity are their best backs.
Warner (5-5, 175) is a sophomore from Vicksburg. Divinity (6-0,200) is a freshman from Raymond (Hinds AHS).
“Gulf Coast is really big in the offensive line,” said Davis.”They average 300 pounds across the board and are pretty physical.One guy is about 380.”
Bulldog sophomore offensive tackle Les George of Moss Point tipsthe scales at 6-foot-3 and 385 pounds.
“Defensively, their group up front is strong,” said Davis. DionGayles (6-6, 380) of New Orleans has committed to Ole Miss.
“Their nose guard is Terrence Cody (6-5, 375),” of Fort Myers,Fla. At the other line spot is Cedric McKinley (6-5, 245, fr.) ofDemopolis, Ala.
Linebacker Marquino Siler (5-11, 225, soph.) of Troy, Ala. goeshard to the football.
Davis said the Bulldogs will show a variety of looks in thedefensive backfield. “They use a lot of coverages in thesecondary.”
Wolf Tails: In last year’s hurricane-shortened season,Gulf Coast eluded Co-Lin 30-37 at Wesson. In 2004, the Bulldogsprevailed 38-35. The Wolves won the 2003 contest 28-23 and finished2-7.