RAYMOND – The Hinds Community College Eagles defeated Pearl River Community College, 38-14, on Thursday night in Raymond to finish the regular season with a 7-2 overall record and 4-2 mark in the rugged South division.
The Eagles finished the season on a five-game winning streak after sitting at 2-2 overall and 0-2 in the South division on September 19.
The victory over the River was the third consecutive win in the series for Hinds over PRCC, who fell to 4-5 overall and 3-3 in the South division. The Eagles defeated the Wildcats, 26-16, in 2012, and 59-32 in 2011.
Tonight’s contest got off to an unusual start, as Hinds quarterback James Summers (Greensboro, N.C.) threw an interception to Quartavious Smith on the game’s opening possession.
The Wildcats of Pearl River would give the ball right back, however, when PRCC quarterback Shaun White’s pass was intercepted by Hinds linebacker Herbert Harris (Clinton) and returned to the two-yard line.
The interception was one of five Pearl River turnovers on the night.
Darryan Ragsdale (Brandon) would then capitalize on the great field position by running in from two yards out for the touchdown. Joseph Houston (Pelahatchie) added the point after and Hinds led, 7-0, with 14:03 left in the first quarter.
Ragsdale, a sophomore running back, led the Eagles with 16 carries for 57 yards and a touchdown in his final regular season game at Hinds.
Pearl River would tie things up on the following possession when running back Darrell Robinson scampered in from six yards out. Brandon King knocked the PAT through to even the score at seven with 12:12 remaining in the opening quarter.
Houston then put Hinds ahead to stay on the following Eagles possession when his 30-yard field goal attempt was good to push the score to 10-7 with 9:25 left in the first.
Sky Logan (Natchez) picked off a White pass on the next Wildcats possession to set Hinds up in prime position for another scoring opportunity, one in which the Eagles would take full advantage of.
Summers connected with wide receiver De’Andrea Harris (Batesville) on a 39-yard touchdown pass just 38 seconds later and the Houston point after was striped to push the Hinds lead to 17-7 with 8:31 left in the first quarter.
Harris led all Hinds receivers with two catches for 50 yards and a touchdown.
Summers would later find wide receiver Keithon Redding (Atlanta, Ga.) just over two minutes later on an 11-yard touchdown pass and the Houston PAT was once again good to move the Eagles lead to 24-7 with 6:35 still left in the first quarter.
Summers put the finishing touches on the game’s scoring for the next two and a half quarters when his five-yard touchdown run and Houston point after put Hinds ahead, 31-7, with 2:30 left in the opening quarter.
The first quarter provided plenty of fireworks for the Hinds offense and turnovers for the Wildcats offense, but the second and third quarters came to a stalemate and Hinds would still hold a 31-7 lead heading into the final frame.
Summers would hook up with wide receiver Robert Lockhart (Delray Beach, Fla.) on a four-yard touchdown pass with 14:01 left in the game to complete the scoring for the Eagles. Houston’s point after attempt was good and Hinds now led, 38-7.
Pearl River scored the game’s final touchdown when White found Austin Watts on a tipped pass in the end zone from 13 yards out and King added the point after to cut the Hinds lead to 38-14, but it was too little, too late, as only 4:18 remained in the game.
Summers had his second consecutive three-touchdown game through the air, as he finished 9-16 for 122 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
Khiry Lucas (Cleveland) led Hinds in the unofficial defensive stats department with eight solo tackles in his final home game as an Eagle.
Michael Ross (Taylorsville) had five solo tackles and two assists, including two tackles for loss, to lead the Eagles front line.
Kenya Dennis (Leland) added an interception for Hinds, one of three on the night collected by the Eagles defense.
Hinds will now take a wait-and-see approach in the coming weeks, as the Eagles will hold out hope for a possible postseason bowl game.