JUCO Showdown sends #13 Pearl River at #12 Gulf Coast Thursday night

By A.J. Giardina – bio | email

POPLARVILLE, MS (WLOX) - Gulf Coast has had the upper hand in recent years having won 4 out of the last 5 games against the Wildcats.

Both Gulf Coast and Pearl River have dominated the South Division with the Wildcats claiming the title in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

The Bulldogs of coach Steve Campbell have the won the South Division title the last four years.

Heading into Thursday's clash, the Pearl River and Gulf Coast have identical records, 3 and 1 overall and 2 and 0 in the South Division race.

Wildcats head coach Tim Hatten says the Pearl River-Gulf coast clash is always an exciting game, "If you like community college football I think this is the game you need to come to. Very contrasting styles offensively. We like to throw it, they like to run it. But it' been a good game, certainly the ten years that I've been here."

He added, "Melvin German is back at quarterback, leading us and doing a great job. He's leading the nation in passing. That's something we like to do, throwing the ball around."@

Coach Hatten knows his Pearl River Wildcats have to shore up a few areas before Thursday's JUCO showdown.

He said, "We need to close some deals in the red zone. We need better teams and a few other areas."

The Pearl River-Gulf Coast match up is one of the oldest rivalries in the National Junior College Football ranks, dating back to 1926.

This is the 89th meeting between Pearl River and Gulf Coast. The Wildcats hold a 52-34 and 1 edge in the rivalry.

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