Photo by Nathan Dixon/JUCO Weekly
CLARKSDALE — Mississippi Gulf Coast slogged its way to a 46-21 victory over Coahoma on Thursday night to run its record to 2-0 under first-year coach Jack Wright.
Bulldogs linebacker Jacobi Hearn (So., Clinton/Clinton) returned a fumble for a touchdown in a driving rainstorm and the defense recorded a sack for a safety. The Gulf Coast special teams got another safety when a snap went over the punters head, and they blocked another punt to set up a short field.
"At some point in the year, you're going to not play well and you're going to have win anyway," Wright said. "Tonight was one of those moments for us, especially offensively. We did some things on special teams to create a possession or two, and the defense played really well. The offense kind of had to lean on that. Hopefully in the future, the offense will return the favor."
Gulf Coast drove its first possession down the field for a 7-0 lead in the first two minutes of play, capped by the first of three touchdowns for Terrion Avery (So., Stone/Wiggins). He scored from 1 yard, 7 yards and 38 yards on his way to a team-high 89 rushing yards on 15 carries.
"I think we played good, but we could have been a little better," he said. "Overall, it was a good win."
Coahoma (0-2) took advantage of a muffed punt by the Bulldogs, scoring on a short drive to tie it at 7.
Avery scored to make it 14-7, and Omni Wells (Fr., Moss Point/Moss Point) scored 4 yards in the second quarter. Coupled with the two safeties, Gulf Coast led 25-7 at half.
Coahoma had a nine-play, 80-yard drive in the third quarter before Lowell Narcisse (Fr., St. James/St. James La.) helped start an 85-yard drive with a 29-yard scramble. He completed a 14-yard pass to Nick Brown (So., Stone/Wiggins), and Avery finished it off with his longest run of the night.
Hearn interrupted the next Tigers drive with his 48-yard scoop and score.
"I read the line and saw the quarterback and running back had a little mix-up," he said. "They dropped it there, and I said, 'It looks like six.'"
Austin Bolton (Fr., Poplarville/Poplarville) closed out the Gulf Coast scoring with a 39-yard scamper ahead of a late Coahoma score.
"If you look at the defensive performance, we gave up one drive and one play," Wright said. "Other than that, we shut them completely down. That's hard to do in football today. I'm proud of them."
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