PERKINSTON — No. 18 Mississippi Gulf Coast dominated both sides of the football Thursday night against No. 15 Holmes and won 48-14 at A.L. May Memorial Stadium.
The Bulldogs (3-0) totaled 485 yards of total offense and held a potent triple-option attack to just 266 yards and 11 first downs. Defensive coordinator Lytrel Pollard's defense forced two turnovers and special teams blocked a punt, helping spark a 20-0 first quarter.
"It's hard to play that thing perfect because the nature of a defensive player is to be aggressive," Gulf Coast coach Jack Wright said. "Playing against that offense, it kind of takes some of that away because you have to be patient and play assignment football. I thought we did a great job tonight of mixing patience with some aggression. He did a fantastic job."
Lowell Narcisse (Fr., St. James/St. James La.) got his first start and led a lightning-fast game-opening drive 75 yards in five plays, ending with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Nick Brown (So., Stone/Wiggins) for a 6-0 lead just 110 seconds into play.
Holmes fumbled on the ensuing drive, and R'Tarriun Johnson (So., Stone/Wiggins) returned it to midfield. Eight plays later, Narcisse scored his first of three rushing touchdowns from 4 yards out.
The Bulldogs defense forced a three-and-out, and Dayreke Snow (So., Newton/Newton) took advantage of a poor long snap to block the punt. He recovered at the Holmes 16, and Omni Wells (Fr., Moss Point/Moss Point) scored two plays later from 2 yards. Gulf Coast led 20-0 just 13 minutes into the game.
"I told the buys to be aggressive, to come out and play with confidence," Narcisse said. "Those guys were 2-0 and just beat Jones last week, so I told them we have to come out with that exact same confidence. I think we did a good job the first three possessions to get going, got off to a great start."
Narcisse scored a rushing touchdown before halftime to make it 27-7, then connected with Mystikal McGhee (Fr., Booker T. Washington/Pensacola) on a 16-yard touchdown early in the third. Narcisse completed 16-of-23 passes for 241 yards.
Narcisse and Austin Bolton (Fr., Poplarville/Poplarville) scored on short touchdown runs in the fourth quarter. Gulf Coast ran for 230 yards at 5.3 yards per carry with five touchdowns.
"When the throwing game is going, and we have three outstanding backs, and we have me running and throwing behind an offensive line that's blocking like they are, we're tough to defend," Narcisse said. "We showed that on the scoreboard."
Holmes managed just 126 rushing yards and ran only 50 plays.
"We executed," defensive lineman Lucky Davis (So., McComb/McComb) said. "We did everything right. We did what we were supposed to do and listened to Coach Pollard's instruction."
The Bulldogs will now point toward their first MACJC South game of the season, a road trip to Jones. The Bobcats (2-1, 1-0) defeated Hinds 28-25 Thursday.
Gulf Coast has set a solid base before starting division play.
"It was a non-division win, but I felt like Holmes was one of the top teams in the league, especially with what they do on offense and defense," Wright said. "They're a very well-coached team. Coming into the week, I thought it was a big challenge. We put a lot of effort and energy into the week like we always do, and I'm really pleased with the way we played."
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