By Steve Diffey
Special to the Plaindealer
PERKINSTON —- It was a dogfight here Thursday night as the Holmes Community College battled the No. 1 ranked Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Bulldogs in a non-division game. Gulf Coast capitalized on Bulldog turnovers and special team breakdowns to pull off the 36-7 win.
With the loss, the Bulldogs fell to 0-2 on the season. Holmes travels to Northeast on Thursday in the North Division opener for both teams. The game can be heard on the Bulldog Football Network at breezynews.com, 101.1 FM, 100.1 FM and 103.9 FM.
Gulf Coast took advantage of a Holmes turnover early in the contest when Darius Jones intercepted Payne Horan at the Holmes 20. Gulf Coast then drove to the Holmes four yard line before Tristan Reynolds connected on a 21-yard field goal with 9:48 left in the first quarter.
Justin Brister got Gulf Coast’s first touchdown of the game when he scored from the three. Reynolds’ extra point made the score 10-0 with 10:52 left in the second quarter.
Gulf Coast took advantage of another Horan interception later in the second quarter when Josh Keys picked Horan off at the Gulf Coast 19. With 3:08, Gulf Coast scored on a little tom foolery themselves when they faked a field goal and holder Kevin Phillips found Dhaquille Williams on a 20 yard touchdown pass. Williams lined up near his sidelines and streaked to the endzone uncovered for the easy score. Reynolds’ extra point made the score 17-0 at the half.
Late in the third quarter, the Gulf Coast defense hit Horan in the endzone forcing a fumble that Tim Oster recovered for a touchdown. Reynolds made the score 24-0 with 1:45 left in the third.
On the very next drive, Gulf Coast hit Bulldog reserve quarterback James Ayers at the 25, and Trey Wafford picked up the ball and raced in for the touchdown. The extra point was no good and Gulf Coast led 30-0.
Holmes got on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter when Ayers found Shaquan Holmes in the endzone for a 33-yard touchdown. Cole Ballard’s extra point made the score 30-7 with 3:33 left in the game.
Gulf Coast’s final score came with 1:59 to play in the game when Rod Williams brought free on a 64-yard touchdown run. The extra point was wide right ending all scoring at 36-7.