PHOTO: BOBBY McDUFFIE/JUCO WEEKLY
PERKINSTON — Three turnovers and more than a dozen penalties helped seal Mississippi Gulf Coast's fate Thursday night when the Bulldogs lost 38-13 to Copiah-Lincoln at A.L. May Memorial Stadium.
"I'm very disappointed in that," Gulf Coast coach Jack Wright said. "Looking back over the course of the season, we've been very fortunate on penalties and turnovers. Those things bit us hard tonight."
Gulf Coast (3-2, 2-2 MACJC South) lost its second straight game. Co-Lin improves to 3-2, 2-0.
The Bulldogs took a 3-0 lead in the first five minutes on the first of two 33-yard field goals by Mason Hunt (So., Stone/Wiggins).
The Wolves scored on a 79-yard drive later in the quarter to take a 7-3 lead. They would extend the lead by another touchdown in the second quarter, this time on a 75-yard drive that was almost over before it got started. Gulf Coast forced a fourth-and-19 after the first three downs, only to rough the punter and kick-start the drive.
A 24-point Co-Lin third quarter doomed the Bulldogs. Gulf Coast failed to convert a fourth-and-1 and midfield on the opening drive, and the Wolves quickly converted for a 21-3 lead.
After a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, Co-Lin needed to cover only 23 yards to make it 28-3.
Hunt's second field goal temporarily stopped the bleeding, but the Bulldogs' first interception of the season provided another short field leading to a Co-Lin field goal.
Two plays later, Gulf Coast fumbled again, leading to a 38-6 deficit.
Gulf Coast lost twice as many fumbles Thursday as it had in the first three games combined. The Bulldogs actually outgained the Wolves 328 yards to 285 and rushed for 207 yards. They also had 12 penalties for 125 yards.
"We didn't play well. I didn't coach well," Wright said. "There's a lot of things I would take back. They were the better football team tonight. The game could have been a lot closer if we'd played better early, if we'd taken advantage of some opportunities early, especially in the first quarter. Things kind of got out of hand."
Omni Wells (Fr., Moss Point/Moss Point) was the only Bulldog to reach the end zone. He did it with 12:40 to play to close out the scoring.
Gulf Coast heads to Summit next week to take on Southwest.
"I'm going to try to stay positive," Wright said. "I still stand by the fact that I think this is a good team. I know for sure we have a bunch of really good kids. We'll stay positive and we'll have a good week. Next week, we'll get on the bus and go to Southwest."
For more information on MGCCC's 10 intercollegiate athletic teams, follow @MGCCCBulldogs on Twitter and MGCCCBulldogs on Facebook, and go to mgcccbulldogs.com.