HARRISON COUNTY – Mississippi Gulf Coast got two quick goals from Mathew Edwards on the way to yet another MACJC South victory, beating Southwest 3-1.
"I'm happy for him," Gulf Coast coach Chris Handy said. "He's been working extremely hard. He worked hard all summer. He doesn't always get the credit he deserves for the effort he puts in. I'm excited he got that opportunity. I'm just happy for the kid."
Gulf Coast (10-2, 7-0 South) won its 21st straight division game. The Bulldogs will try to close out another perfect season in the division Friday when Meridian visits.
Edwards (So, Pass Christian/Pass Christian) opened the scoring in the sixth minute, with Jordan Hall (So, Manchester, England/Royton and Crompton) and C.J. Smith (Fr, Brampton, Ontario/David Suzuki Secondary School) setting him up.
"Jordan crossed the ball in and C.J. went up for the header," Edwards said. "He headed it toward goal and it deflected off a defender. It came right to me and I tapped it in."
The next goal came just 27 seconds later, and again Hall played a role. He charged toward the end line and rifled a pass across the goal. A hustling Edwards picked up his third goal of the season.
"He crossed it on the ground and I barely pushed it past the defender with my left foot," Edwards said. "It rolled into the side net, back post."
Hall netted his 20th goal of the season in the 59th minute, curling a long left-footed shot passed the Southwest keeper. Windham Whatley (So, Florence/Florence) assisted.
The Bears got a goal back on a deflected shot with 20 minutes to play, only the second goal Gulf Coast has allowed in the division.
"We're still working out the kinks," Handy said. "We're always trying to get better. It's easy to get complacent when you score that early, but we've got to learn to put teams away. Especially when you play back-to-back in a state tournament, the quicker you can put a team away the better."
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