PERKINSTON, Miss. (MGCCC) - The Gulf Coast Bulldogs scored early and often on visiting Coahoma en route to a 63-14 win to open the 2013 season.
Gulf Coast (1-0) roared out to a 14-0 lead three minutes into the game and stretched the lead to 42-7 at halftime behind three touchdown passes, two scores from the defense, and a rushing TD.
"It was good to jump out on top," said Gulf Coast head coach Steve Campbell. "We needed a first game to kind of play ourselves into shape. I was pleased with the fact that we were able to move the football and score some points early. The defense scored two touchdowns and any time you get points out of the defense, that's great."
The Bulldogs, ranked No. 1 in two pre-season JUCO polls, opened the scoring with an 18-yard TD pass from Colton Kane to NJCAA All-American Dhaquille Williams.
Fifteen seconds later, freshman Justin Evans recovered a fumble off a bad snap in the Coahoma end zone to make it 14-0 Bulldogs.
"We wanted to set the tempo for everybody out here," said Bulldogs defensive lineman Dechey Williams. "We played with enthusiasm, we played with intensity and we played with heart."
Sophomore Antwon Wells got a 3-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter before sophomore linebacker Trey Wafford picked up a fumble and ran it back 25 yards to make it 28-0 with 12:34 left in the first half.
Kane then hooked up with freshman Ishmel Morrow on an 8-yard TD pass later in the second quarter. Kane, a sophomore from Navarre, FL, went 10-of-15 for 160 yards and two scores before leaving the game with a shoulder injury.
Coahoma (0-1) got on the board with a 3-yard TD run by quarterback Quaintavous Peterson late in the first half but Gulf Coast responded when freshman quarterback Terrian Page found Dhaquille Williams in the end zone from 3-yards out to make the tally 42-17 at halftime.
"Tonight was a good feeling," said Williams, who caught six passes for 69 yards and two scores. He frightened everyone in the stands when he came off the field after his second touchdown writhing in pain. It turns out it was only a cramp.
"My mom walked out of the stadium when that happened because it scared her," Williams added. "But I was OK. We're going to come back to practice Sunday, take it day by day and week by week and see what happens."
The second half featured touchdown runs from Justin Brister, T.J. McCann, and Rod Williams, who sprinted 79 yards for a score, making it 56-7 late in the third quarter. Rod Williams led the Bulldogs with 120 yards rushing on seven carries. Brister had 65 yards on 11 carries, while Antwon Wells racked up 85 yards on 14 touches.
We've got some playmakers," Campbell said. "I love the way the backs ran. The older backs had some big runs and the young guys made a lot of plays, too."
Gulf Coast will now watch the game film and attempt to correct a bevy of first-game miscues before the next game against Holmes Thu., Sept. 5th, in Perkinston.