No. 5 Wolfpack travels to No. 7 Gulf Coast for showdown

Published 12:00 pm Friday, October 18, 2013

WESSON – This one has been circled on the Copiah-Lincoln schedule since the start of the football season. On Saturday, the No. 5 Wolfpack travel to Perkinston to take on the No. 7 Gulf Coast Bulldogs. The subplots and story lines run deep in a game that is a must win in the MACJC South Division.

Co-Lin and Gulf Coast are vying for second place in the division after Jones locked up first place with a 31-10 win over Southwest on Thursday night. The top two teams in the south division face the top two teams in the north division in the MACJC playoffs beginning Nov. 2.

Co-Lin last played at Gulf Coast in the 2012 MACJC State Championship Game. That game saw the underdog Wolfpack shock a Bulldog team that had dominated them during their regular season matchup earlier in the season. Co-Lin trailed in the championship game until 7:52 left in the contest when Chandler Rogers hit Marquis Hayes on a 46-yard touchdown to give the Wolfpack a 34-31 lead. Co-Lin defensive back Greg Sims was able to intercept a Bulldog pass in the Wolfpack end zone with under a minute to play to secure the 41-37 victory that gave Co-Lin their first state championship since 1985.

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Co-Lin struggled throughout that game to control Gulf Coast wide receiver Dhaquille Williams. The first team All-American caught nine passes for 235 yards. Williams, a New Orleans native, is committed to the Auburn University. This season as a sophomore Williams is averaging 14.5 yards per catch and leads the team with six receiving touchdowns.

Co-Lin will counter with their own big-play sophomore wide receiver in Casey Gladney. Gladney leads the team with 649 yards receiving on the season and seven touchdown catches. The play of Gladney has allowed quarterback Daniel Fitzwater to have one of the finest passing seasons in Co-Lin history. Through seven games Fitzwater has completed 60 percent of his passes for 1,957 yards. Fitzwater has thrown for 16 touchdowns and four interceptions.

The 2012 regular season matchup in Wesson was a disaster from the start for Co-Lin. Gulf Coast bolted to 20-0 lead and was up 33-14 at halftime. The Bulldogs would go on to win 54-21 in a game that gave Gulf Coast the south division lead and put Co-Lin into second place.

Gulf Coast is led by 10th year head coach Steve Campbell. The Bulldogs (6-1, 4-1) suffered their lone defeat at home in Week 3 against Jones County. Jones won a shootout 52-42 in Perkinston. Co-Lin (6-1, 4-1) would fall to Jones the next week. The Wolves lost 50-47 in Ellisville.

Kick off in Perkinston is at 2 p.m. Listen live at or on WMJU 104.3 FM in Brookhaven.