JC Stetson Bennett

Jones College quarterback Stetson Bennett (5) handles the ball during last week’s win over Southwest. (Photo by jucoweekly.org)

The seventh-ranked Jones College Bobcats want to stay on top of the MACJC South Division standings.

To do so, they must defeat Pearl River Community College this week in the 88th annual “Catfight” in Poplarville. Kickoff is at 6. tonight (Thursday) at Dobie Holden Stadium and the game will air on www.jcjc.tv and WLAU-FM, 99.3, with Mark Easley and Luke Johnson on the call. 

This season, the Bobcats are 4-1 overall and 3-0 in the division, while Pearl River is 0-5 and 0-3.

But Bobcat head coach Steve Buckley knows the team records will mean absolutely nothing when both versions of the ‘Cats collide this week.

Two years ago, Jones was 4-2 and Pearl River was 1-5, but the Wildcats spoiled the Bobcats’ homecoming with a 30-23 victory.

“We talked to the team about this last night,” he said in his office Monday. “I go back two years ago and they came in and beat us, 30-23. We were not ready to play and we turned it over six times.”

Pearl River has lost to Itawamba (34-30), No. 1 East Mississippi (59-10), Copiah-Lincoln (49-0), East Central (24-21) and Hinds (28-18).

PRCC led Itawamba 27-7 at halftime, but stumbled in the second half. The Wildcats were down 21-0 to East Central and 21-6 to Hinds before rallying and having a chance to win both games in the fourth quarter.

“You look at their games with Hinds and East Central and they are down three scores, but they come roaring back in the second half and make it a (close) game,” Buckley said. “Obviously, they are continuing to fight as a football team and as an opposing coach, you can look at the film and see that they know what they are doing, but they are just starting off bad.

“It is very important we have a fast start. We have to have a complete game in all three phases Thursday night.”

The Bobcats are coming off a 51-21 victory over Southwest.

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