Mississippi Gulf Coast never punted, allowed a scant 102 total yards and dominated Mississippi Delta 52-0 Thursday night at A.L. May Memorial Stadium in Jack Wright's first game in charge of the Bulldogs.
"I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a little bit of emotion at the kickoff, so it feels really good," he said. "It's an exhale and take a deep breath after the game. I'm tickled to death with the effort we got and the execution, too. That's a very good feeling."
The Bulldogs opened the 2018 season in style, piling up 572 yards of total offense and the two-headed quarterback monster of Chance Lovertich (Fr., Jackson Prep/Brandon) and Lowell Narcisse (Fr., St. James/St. James La.) completed 20 of 22 passes for 345 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
The defense allowed just nine first downs and forced a fumble, and after a 13-play Delta drive that ended on downs at the MGCCC 19, the Bulldogs defense stiffened.
"We were disappointed that they scored 20 points on us last year," said defensive back R'Tarriun Johnson (So., Stone/Wiggins). "We wanted to show how good we've become over the last few months. Our freshmen corners stepped up and made a couple of big hits. It wasn't just sophomores. The freshmen made plays, which makes me feel real good about the future of our team."
Lovertich was successful on 16-of-17 attempts for 215 yards and a touchdown. The Bulldogs spread the receptions around to eight different players, with Sedevyn Gray (So., Puckett/Puckett) catching three passes for 135 yards and two scores.
"We were prepared for the game, and we came out with a lot of confidence," he said. "We've been working hard, and everything paid off for us, the whole team."
The Bulldogs did not turn the ball over on the way to piling up 227 yards rushing. Terrion Avery (So., Stone/Wiggins) needed just eight carries to rack up 70 yards rushing, and Narcisse averaged better than 10 yards per carry while scoring two touchdowns on the ground.
"We ran the ball when we wanted to, and we threw the ball when we wanted to," Wright said. "We dictated the tempo, and that's a good feeling too."
Narcisse also completed 4-of-5 for 132 yards and two more scores, including an 83-yarder to Gray.
"Any time you get a win in the first game, that gives you some momentum," Wright said. "Being a first-year head coach here at Gulf Coast, that gives our staff credibility with the players. It's a time to take a teachable moment and make the program. Let's grow this thing. The buy-in is really high right now."
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